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Making up names... is it weird?



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Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:02 pm
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Holysocks says...



So, I really don't like naming my characters common names. In fact, I don't like naming them real names at all. I tend to go onto baby name sites, scroll through a bunch of names and either merge a couple names into one, or get inspired by one or more names for a different name altogether. So I end up with names like (super recent one here) Hess, Mali, Teegue, Perry, etc. And I guess some of them may be names (I know Perry is a last name because I saw it as a doctor's last name on a sign). And I'm not using these names for like, realistic fiction, I'm using these for fantasy type settings where really anything I want goes.

But I've always wondered, do people think that's weird? Should my names make a little more sense? They probably won't ever unless I actually write something where the setting is more realistic and/or the names are super important to the story.

I'd really love some feedback. And am I the only one?
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

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Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 pm
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niteowl says...



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_(given_name)

Perry is definitely a given name, even if it's not that common and it's most well-known from the old TV lawyer Perry Mason.

As for the actual practice of making up names, I haven't done it since my terrible attempts at writing fantasy years ago, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. In fact, I know when I'm reading a story with a character that has a name similar to someone I know, I'm probably going to keep picturing the person I know even if they're nothing alike. So with a made up name, you avoid having those kind of weird associations. As long as the name is pronounceable, I think it's fine.
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:47 am
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fortis says...



Perry the platapus! Also I'm pretty sure I've seen Teegue as a nickname for Teegan? hmmm and I've seen Mali somewhere too.
Those definitely strike me as names that probably do exist, but they're so rare we just don't know it.
I like making up names like that too. Like, I have Everen and Kerra that I made up but they definitely sound like real names, and Kerra probably is a name someone has.
With unique names, it means when someone says your character's name out of the blue, everyone who has read the book will know who you're talking about. If I just say Harry you won't necessarily know that I'm talking about Harry Potter, but if I say Dumbledore then you know exactly who I am referring to.
Pronunciation is important too, though :)
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Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:54 am
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Mea says...



I totally don't think it's weird to make up names for fantasy novels especially. It's particularly cool in my mind when the authors stay really consistent with naming rules in their world - having characters of similar ethnicities have etymologically related names or names that at least sound like they're distinct from a different ethnicity's names just adds so much to the overall immersion for me. Though it's also a lot of work. xD

I know for my fantasy novels, I pretty much just make up the names of most of the characters in a similar way to you, fortis, influenced by who they are and the situation they grew up in.
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:58 am
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fishsashimi says...



DUDE I FEEL! I go on name generators all the time because I’m that original. I don’t think that coming up with random names is wierd, it’s just another way to show your creative talent. But if you have a character named Quabertyumit, I would question it.
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:21 am
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Holysocks says...



Thanks guys! I feel a lot better about this now cx
I hope it's a good joke because otherwise I'll have got it for nothing...

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:13 am
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BooksCatsAndTea says...



I'm currently still in the phase where I'm designing characters, and three out of the four protagonists are aliens, each from a different planet. The thing with aliens is, they most likely have different naming systems on their planet, if at all!

I've come up with names by spelling them backwards shoving a random collection of letters and numbers together, and to be honest they're all a little wacky, but its important for your main character to have a unique name; its easier to remember a Tessreia than a Sally in. most cases.
  





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Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:00 am
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tinybookfarie says...



That is me every time!!!!!!! So don't worry about it. I don't think it's weird because we don't know how many Authors in the world use Google to find names. I'm terrible at coming up with names because I'm trying to find a good name that isn't also very common. Don't worry about it and I DON'T THINK IT'S WEIRD
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Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:23 am
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AlyTheBookworm says...



I can definitely relate! I've always made up the names for the characters in my stories. I even keep a notepad with tons of name ideas and notes on how names would be different based on what culture in my world they're from. I think creating your own names is good for immediately showing readers that the story is taking place in a fantasy setting, a different culture, and/or a different timeline.

I just think it's important to be consistent. If a story had a Galbatorix and a Sally, I'd laugh, but the names you've chosen sound good to me.

One technique I've heard of for coming up with names is taking a real name and changing a few letters. It makes your made-up name sound like a name while also being different and foreign. (I think Teegue worked for me because I have a teacher with the surname Teague)

Molly -> Mali Elena -> Celaena
  





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Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:53 pm
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FlamingPhoenix says...



I go through the same thing. Like one minute you have the best name you can think of and then you decided it's to long, and it doesn't fit with the character and what they have been through. Like if you have a solder you don't want their name to make them sound like a whimp, that just tells the reader the wrong thing.

Now when it comes to coming up with names know ones heard of, well that's a bit harder for me. When I first begun writing story's, I would write everything down about the characters . Like where their from, what they look like, but when it got to the name I would sit there for ages trying to think of something good to fit the character.
But now I just don't do that stuff any more, because I come up with the names as I write. It kind of just pops into my head after a while, like the other day I'm writing the battle part of the book where my main character Viper is going up against this other dragon, whitch needs a name, so I keep on writing until later this great name comes to me, and was just what I needed. So I named the female dragon Nuddia.
So all I'm really trying to say is, don't worry if the name whitch you have at the moment doesn't fit your character, because a better one will come to you in time, or another thing you can do is ask a friend for some help. That will work too.
  





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Mon May 13, 2019 9:03 pm
HiddenMask says...



Oh gosh, I do the same. I've actually created a list of names (The usual ones) so that if I ever get stuck for one, I can just pop back and look at some names I've heard and thought were cool. However, with several characters, I haven't found a name that works, that fits the character without turning them into a different person. That's when I do the same thing as you, just muck about with letters to find a good word. That's what happened with Dolherem, a character who is in fact a spirit. It'd be very complicated and long-winded to explain my definition of "Spirit" and what in fact he IS, so suffice to say it's nowhere near human.

Sometimes an odd or nonsensical-ish name can tell the reader that your character is not your average bear. (That expression does not translate well to page, I must admit) Dolherem certainly isn't, and giving him (Or his kin) an average name just..... doesn't work, on so many levels. I tried to find a collection of sounds that sounded like the essence of him. (I know it's woo-woo BUT IT STILL WORKS)

Even for normal people, there's nothing weird about making up a new name. Sometimes there aren't any already created that fit, so it makes a lot of sense to create a new one. Plus, your made-up name can reflect the ethnicities or culture of the character in question, adding more layers to the name. So in my opinion it's not really insane or seriously weird to make up new names - it's practically vital!

Also - I too go to baby-name sites. :smt023
  








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