Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fantasy Names

What is it about a world that seems to draw a reader in? To call the adventurous lad, and beckon to the girl who only wants to wield a sword? I submit one of the things that first can grab a reader is the worlds name. Would you rather pretend you were in a world called, Gooeyzine, perhaps Rockyarg, or Naergood, or even Loopertroll? Now I realize some of these titles are a bit far out. Possibly even sounding like a sneeze!---And you, being a good author would not even attempt to craft a well thought out world without a strong name to start with ;) A name for your world instantly crafts the qualities of the reader in his mind. Is it a strong name? Stout hearty and with wild things in it? Or is it perhaps more graceful and yet subtlety dangerous such as the name “Allyra” in the book Curse of the Spider King. All that I have spoken about your world’s names can readily apply to the naming of anything in your world. If you don’t believe me, try naming a harmless rodent a “Killer” and a ravenous bloodthirsty dragon “Cheeps”.  So when crafting your world, don’t forget that even a name can mean a lot.



  1. This is all very true. I'd also add that a really long, foreign-sounding name will turn quite a few readers off of the book. I personally have worked hard to make my names--of places AND people--familiar. Most of them are made up, but a lot are twists of existing names. They still sound like Earthly names.
    Now, not everyone works towards the same goal of familiarity, but I do think that since the rise of Tolkien, many names feel cliche because they sound like something from Middle Earth.

    Great subject!

  2. I like names that seem a bit unusual, but not too much. For example, my WIP has an Abigail, a Joel, and a Micah--I went with Hebrewic names, which gives it an old-fashioned feeling.


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