1. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    Map Making World Creation and Naming

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Xboxlover, Aug 18, 2017.

    Ugh.. I can draw maps, and create wonderful landmasses and cities structures but naming is just not an easy thing for me in my writing. I needed maps to keep track of where my characters are at and what's happened where in my story. It's complicated enough to warrant it. I need it for the consistency as such, but my biggest issue is naming places. :/ Fantasy can be easy but also difficult. Up until now, I've just had a few names I've kept, and mostly used terms like region 123 abc world 123 abc you get the idea. The reason I bring up naming and such as I am in the writing process and there is nothing worse than place holder names for me which consisted of the above or **** or whatever. I even do it with characters whose names haven't been decided on yet. I know I'm probably getting hung up on a small detail right now while writing my rough drafts but still it seems important to have those names chosen eventually. Especially for beta reading and publishing reasons.
    I know everyone here will point me to name generators but I can't help but feel thousands of people use those and it will inevitably create a copyright issue somewhere down the line for someone. Most of those generators are used for gamers who don't plan on selling their works later and just want a quick name or setting for their games. Now I have come up with a few good names here and there that have stuck for decades but its filling in the essentials in the rest of the world.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Are you saying that you object to placeholder names or just to boring placeholder names? To get less boring placeholder names you could Google, for example, "list of villages in (whatever country)", choose a link, pick names, and then remember to replace them later.

    For example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_towns_and_villages_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_and_towns_in_Poland

    etc.
     
  3. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    I feel like my placeholder name could eventually pose a problem while writing since I do thing abc 123 world city region identifiers. I feel like it can distract from my writing as well. :(
     
  4. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm confused. My suggestion is that you use real-world names instead of abc 123.
     
  5. Night Herald

    Night Herald Malfunctioning clockwork person Supporter Contributor

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    I most certainly will not point you to a name generator. I wouldn't point my worst enemy to a name generator. I've tried them out. Gibberish from end to end. Maybe there are some decent ones out there, but I won't be finding out.

    I'm lucky enough that names come quite easily to me, though they don't always stick (and I can't draw a coherent map to save my life, which, as an artist, I find positively vexing). Now, I tend to have some trouble with naming when a setting is fresh, and if I get stuck I just put in a suitable placeholder based on some attribute of a given place. Once the setting solidifies and cultures emerge, certain naming conventions, or at least flavors of names, emerge along with them. It tends to be pretty easy from there. You can always look to history for inspiration. History is hard to beat when it comes to great names.
     
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  6. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    So what you guys are saying is after the culture and areas are defined maybe picking names from an area in our world. Or maybe using a language translator and picking a language that fits that area and naming it. Kind of like language equals culture.
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Well, I'm not quite suggesting that. I'm suggesting that right now, this minute, you say, "I'm going to name all my places after Polish villages!" or whatever country. Or, yes, you could use Polish names for one area, Irish names for another, and so on. And you name them all, and keep a little list of those names so that you can do a search-and-replace later, and you write your first draft, and THEN you worry about their final names.

    That's what I'm doing with character names in the Highly Flavored Novel. Irwen's people have Welsh names, Swietek's people have Polish names, Meldry'd people have English names. I'm going to be very sad someday when I have to (I suspect) change their names, but right now, this naming strategy is working just dandy.
     
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  8. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    I would suggest using real world naming conventions. Things like, who founded it, what landmarks are around, what does it trade a lot of.
    E.G In the UK there is a town called Swinton, the 'ton' bit coming from town, so we know it was swin-town at some point. What's close to "swin" in terms of sounds, swine. Swine town, turned to swinton.
    In my own work there's a place that is literally called "Claypit", as that's where people mine play, and another place called "Dunmouth", that is at the mouth of the River Dun.
     
  9. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    Some of my names I used the 1000+ page doorstopper The Dictionary Mythology by J. A. Coleman and just flicked to a random page, waited to see if something jumped out at me. It tells you the etymology of the name (Mesopotamian, Central American, Romanian, etc, etc) and I'll corrupt, adapt or mish-mash to my pleasing. After a few different names, I get a grasp of what I'm going for to start to create my own names, perhaps. Some maps of fantasy worlds that I have seen does have that "name-generator feel" to them, with little logic behind the names of places and characters whatsoever. For names of people, behindthename.com is also very good.
     
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