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Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:19 am
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IamTraunt says...



What I do is research 'strange/weird names', because there are so many common names in books and its hard to make your character unique when they have the same name as a number 1 selling book character. Also, really get to know your character, if you don't know them, well, you cant think of a name. Say a few names out loud - when I say a name it always makes me think of a certain type of person. For example, Jane. Plain Jane. That's the first thing that I think of. Montgomery. Evil, tight with money Montgomery. But, sometimes it is nice to change a person's perspective on a name. Maybe even change that name from a horrible name to a likable character.
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Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:47 pm
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Rosendorn says...



Honestly, when looking for names, I characterize the parents more than I do the person getting the name.

Very, very rarely do people pick their own names. They'll pick nicknames, and sometimes go by their middle name, or sometimes they'll rename themselves (especially in the case of trans characters who have inappropriate birth names). But a good chunk of the time... it's not the person picking their name.

Therefore, look at how the parents see it. What would they name their kids? Do they want a common name, or an uncommon one? Did they not know the name ended up being common, and they ended up with a bunch of people who have the same name in a setting? What sounds did they like? Are their any religious preferences (ie- the number of Catholic girls who have "Mary" as one of their names)?

Parents are often the ones who pick names. They pick the names without knowing what their kid is like. Therefore, picking a name because it matches who the character grew up to be, especially for a villain, isn't reflecting how people are named.
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Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:26 pm
Spotswood says...



So I am trying to come up with the name for an ancient order of wardens that guards the eastern border of a Europe-like continent and settles domestic disputes.

I was originally thinking of just calling them the Wardens, but that is the name of a similar order in the game "Dragon Age". I also considered calling them the "Watchers", but that is too much like the "Night's Watch" in Game of Thrones, even though my order is very different from the Night's Watch.

My temporary name for the group is simply "The Wards", but it does not have a very good ring to it. Thoughts?

I would appreciate good name ideas.
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Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:30 pm
Spotswood says...



nothing?
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Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:26 pm
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Rosendorn says...



Okay.

Let's get worldbuilding.

So we have a mysterious ancient order named by whatever ancient traditions founded it. I am going to ask you one question:

What would they have named it and why?

This means figuring out:

- Why were they founded
- What would have been considered valuable back then
- The actual details of the culture (Germanic vs Norman vs Russian vs Greek— all "European" cultures)
- If they were dedicated to anything, and if yes what
- If their name has been changed to reflect changing times, and if yes, what change

Figure that out, and you'll get a good name.
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Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:46 pm
Dracula says...



Naming tip...

If it's a character that you love then name it what you would name your child.
If it's a character you don't like name it something you would never call your child.
I bought a cactus. A week later it died. I got depressed because I thought Damn, I am less nurturing than a desert.
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:16 am
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LadySpark says...



Naming tip...

If it's a character that you love then name it what you would name your child.
If it's a character you don't like name it something you would never call your child.


Um...no.

First off, the names have to be relevant to the time period, species, world, location, culture, religious aspects... Oh I could go on for hours.

Let's start with an example.
In Victorian Aristocratic England, you would not have a character named Sasha. For one thing, the orgin of Sasha is Russian. For another thing, you just didn't NAME your kids Sasha in aristocratic Victorian England. You named them things like George and Matthew. Solid, Christian names. (Because basically everyone was Christian.)
On the other end of the spectrum, if you went into New York City, 2014, Harlem, you wouldn't meet many people named Mary. You're just not going too. Not because people don't know the name Mary exists, but because the culture is different there than it was in Victorian England, when the name Mary was very common. Sasha, you could probably find without many problems. People have become more socially aware of other names from other orgins, and more creative with their naming. Once upon a time, that wasn't the case. So no, don't name your character your favorite name just because it's your favorite name, name your character your favorite name because it makes sense with the story and follows the cultural aspects. That goes for least favorite too.
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Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:49 am
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Shiverfeather says...



Obviously a name should suit the situation, setting and family background of a character. I write high-fantasy and often come up with names. Generally I base if off a real name and fiddle around with it until it sounds right
  





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Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:46 am
Holysocks says...



I mostly agree with your entire post Rosey Unicorn! Except one thing:

Alright so, the parents thing makes sense- choose a name that their parents would have chosen. That makes complete sense.

But...

Therefore, picking a name because it matches who the character grew up to be, especially for a villain, isn't reflecting how people are named.


I agree kind of with the villain part, so many villains get named scary, intimidating names... But I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think that it is fine to name a character based on what they grew up to be.

Most people I meet, when they tell me their name, I find that it fits them. Most people I know, their names fit them. I know not one, not two, but three people that got called by their nicknames right from the beginning, and to this day, still get called by their nicknames... always. One of them recently confessed that he didn't feel like his given name was his name ( this kind of seems like it's going towards your favour... but wait a moment )... he felt that the name he was always called, was his name, it fit him the most.

I understand that that kind of is like him changing his name... or like the name he was given was rejected, and that it is not like him at all... but his parents still gave him the nickname, and it turned into his real name ( or so he feels ).

My point is, I think there's something bigger in naming people/characters. Sure, parents might just slap a name they like onto a child, but that child still wiggles it's way into that name, and makes it their own. I don't think I've ever met someone that doesn't fit their name. No matter what they go by, except if I've known someone all their life one way... then it's a bit hard to get used to calling them something different... but it still ends up being their name.

And kids don't just wiggle into their names, their names wiggle onto them. Have you ever known someone for awhile, and then one day heard what their name meant in whatever language it was from? More often then not, the meanings in those names are eerily spot on to describing that person ( not exactly, but pretty darn close ). For an example, my friend got this kitten, and named her Reena ( probably the wrong spelling ). When that kitten was all grown up, I stumbled upon the meaning of the name Reena, which was 'a song' or something to that effect. Well, Reena was known to talk... a LOT, like constant mewing.

What I'm saying, is that yes, you should certainly consider what the parents would name them, but you should also consider what kind of person the character is. Because they aren't going to have a lot of time to fit into their name, perhaps, so they got to fit pretty good already.

That's what I've found, anyway.
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

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Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:19 am
Cole says...



What is the traditional pronunciation of Aquila?

1. "uh-QUILL-uh" / "AH-quill-uh"

2. "uh-KEY-luh" / "AH-key-luh"
  





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Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:49 am
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Rosendorn says...



@Holysocks

Yes, names do fit the person they grow up to be, but it tends to be a loose association that feels more along the lines of "oh, yeah, I can see that's your name" instead of "this name fits Everything my character is look at this essay for why this name is the perfect exact one based on half a dozen factors."

Plus, if you're not careful, you can pull ethnic names from the latest cultural scapegoat for the "villain-like" names. Which both reinforces negative stereotypes and is a fairly low hanging fruit to pick for "yes I need my villain's name to be villainous from the ground up".

That's more what I was getting at. Go for fit, sure, but don't go completely out of your way to find The Perfect Name based on a list of traits the name has to meet.

Unless, of course, the character named themselves that way. Then by all means make the name symbolic. (I have one such, but he's the Emperor in a world that has all rulers pick their own names as titles and goals for their rulership)

@Cole

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Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:53 am
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Lefty says...



I usually go to baby name websites. They have lists of the most popular names and unusual names as well as "Origin" lists like Chinese or Indian. It can be really helpful. For my latest story, I searched for "Steampunk Names" because it had a steampunk theme which is where I got the name for my main character. To help me with secondary characters and last names I found this Steampunk Name Generator: http://www.oobleck.org/steam/
Which was extremely helpful. Just FYI to any other fantasy/Victorian/steampunk writers out there!
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Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:44 am
lilyhawk says...



21WhiteRoses wrote:Could someone please help me come up with three of names:) ? The first is the father of the main character. He is very aristocratic, arrogant, and prideful. I pretty much consider him an antagonist. His name should be elegant, but should fit into a medieval/fantasy environment. The second is a woman who the guy I just mentioned falls in love with after his wife is killed. She's pretty mysterious and quiet. She in a way represents the moon, sea, and wind. She has silver hair and silver-blue eyes. The third is the main character's teacher. He is almost king-like but more humble.He is very wise and powerful. His symbol,I suppose, would be a golden fox. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! :D


For the father, from what little I know I really like the name Cadney, Madigan or barthalameau

For the Woman Baina, Zabrina or Raewinn

And for the teacher : Baldwin, luke or savaric

I hope this was helpful. I am a big fan of the name game :)
  





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Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:22 am
BlueSunset says...



I usually use nature or color names of some sort, and occasionally I might use a animal name sort of thing. I think whatever kinds of names interest you, you should use. :D
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Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:09 pm
Charm says...



I need help getting a name for one of my character's boyfriend. He has black hair and brown eyes. He is tall and they are both in high school. He comes from a wealthy family. This takes place in present day. His girlfriend is about average height. She is a ginger with brown eyes. Her name is Penelope Breen.
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