I haz a cold.
Now, as I'm watching Benjamin Button very soon, here's a quick post on fantasy names.
But first, a little question on the title of this post:
Isn't fantastical the most awesome-est word in the entire English language?
I knew you'd agree with me.
Of course, my friend Peanut Butter (just a nickname, don't worry. I don't use real names here) didn't believe me when I told her it was a real word.
Ah, the sacrifices we make for awesomeness.
Now, on to the post.
In case you haven't figured this out yet, I love fantasy. (The understatement of the week.) So, most of the names I use aren't random. I only have a few
1) It has to sound at least remotely right. Meaning, it has to fit. Sometimes, a name just doesn't work for a character.
2) It has to have a meaning that matches. All names have meanings. When I name a character, often I'll look up the meaning of a word. For example, Eberheardt focuses around a war, right? So, there are two army commanders. 'Marcus' means soldier, or something like that. 'Gabriel' means something along the lines of "G-d is strong". I won't name a bad guy 'Simcha', which means happy. I plan to rename my bad guys something like, "Akser". It comes from a word "achzar" (the "ch" is guttural) which means "cruel". Get it?
3) It has to be old-fashioned. Eberheardt takes place in a fantasy world with no new technology. Like, say, medieval times. Meaning, no blogging. (Some people did have travel logs, though!) They see with torches, fight with swords, and travel by foot or horseback. Nothing even remotely new. So,to fit with that old-fashioned theme, I use names like "Annabell", not, say, "Derek".
4) It can't be reused, or share the same letters as four other characters. Meaning that unless they're triplets, I won't have John, Joe, and Jack. I usually avoid names that start with the same letter or are similar to another character's name. In one place in my book, I have a character Aero and a character Art who are buddies. That's because it seemed right. As for what I said about reusing names, this is in most cases. In Eberheardt, there's a character of lore with the same name as a character you actually meet. This is done on purpose. It's part of the plot. Only do it if it's part of the plot, so as not to confuse people. For example, in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, it's what the plot is based upon.
5) Don't mix real and fake names. Unless you're me. I mentioned the name Aero before. I love it. It's fake. I'll change it. All of my names are real, except for that one and another character, Janko, based off a kid I know.
When I pick names, I use behindthename.com and babynames.com.
So, how about you? Any naming tips?
Music: Rose's Turn-Glee version