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    Dragon Snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3114

    Heya Kapeefers!

    I needeth opinions.

    After various consideration, I’ve come across the conclusion that perhaps some sci-fi and fantasy names are a bit to…crazy.

    I mean, the most famous names in fiction are Harry and Luke and Frodo and Bilbo. None of which are overly complicated or hard to pronounce.

    So what about you? What do you think is too complex for a name? What makes a memorable name? What makes the pronunciation not-hard?

    @daeus @kate-flournoy @catwing @aratrea @epicaddie2 @ethryndal @that_writer_girl_99 @salome01w4g @corissa-maiden-of-praise @someone and anyone else…
    *melts chair*


    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1610

    @dragon-snapper *nods* Well for starts alien are sometimes peppered with z’s, x’s, w’s, q’s, and/or several y’s they seem to be harder to remember…
    Names that are very similar can be confused.
    When you see the name are you reading it (as in pronouncing it in your head. Later you can say it possibly.) or are you just looking at the letters (as in you see the word and don’t really read it, instead you just look at the beginning and ending letters and your brain says that them.)?
    If you wonder if they are difficult, say the names out loud.

    Memorable names are names you can remember.

    Is that helpful? *waits patiently*

    Ambassador of the Kingdom of Allore
    Writing a Catwing Christmas that is as madder as the hatter.


    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 646

    @dragon-snapper First off, I LOVE NAMES! I seriously just browse baby name websites for fun.
    Anyways, back to your question. For me, a name is too complex if you can’t pronounce it easily. *trying to think of an example but can’t because I can never remember complex names*

    An INFJ Ranger


    Josiah DeGraaf
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 678

    @dragon-snapper I personally use this site and just play with alterations on the different names the site generates until I find the one that works for me: The most important thing for me is finding names that all seem to have a similar vibe/similar culture behind them in a story.

    Writing fantasy stories w/superheroes. ·

    N. C.
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 887

    @dragon-snapper Ok, I am going to ramble, so brace yourselves. I pretty much know nothing about the topic that I will now ramble about. This is all from my observation, so use at your own risk. 😛 Alrighty, using a “y” instead of an “i” is very cool right now, but it’s a kind feels “forced,” like you’re trying too hard to be cool. Go for something that sounds unique and interesting when you say it out loud, and doesn’t depend of weird spelling to be cool. Second of all, I confess that my eyes will glance over names that are too complicated, because taking time to figure out what a long word says is something I do when I read science textbooks, not fantasy. 😛 So, don’t write names that people have to go too much out their way to read, because they might not. Also, make names that most everyone will pronounce the same. It’s just awkward for your fans to try to talk about your book, but pronouncing the characters’ names differently. Oh, and don’t use names that start with the same letter for characters that might get mixed up. *looks at post* Wow, I rambled quite a bit, didn’t I? 😉 BUT ELOQUENTLY. *laughs at self* Hope that is the least bit helpful!

    But not without regard for the double negative!


    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1657

    Here’s the deal—-I don’t worry about this much. That being said, here’s what I do sometimes, just to make things interesting.

    Take the name Kiara. It’s got a bunch of different variations…Kiera, Kyra, Kira… sometimes, playing with the spelling is super fun.

    That’s what I do, at least.


    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1330

    @dragon-snapper Basically what they said. Try to not make it too, well, forced sounding. Try not to use too many letters that are difficult or controversial to pronounce. Choose something memorable and unique, but not too “alien.” Does that make sense?

    Title: The Perfect Grammatacallion


    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 586

    @dragon-snapper, I honestly don’t think the names matter too much. it’s the character that makes the name memorable, not vice versa. For example, the names Harry and Percy are now instantly recognisable as fantasy names, because of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but there are probably heaps of average, ordinary men (maybe even women) named Harry or Percy. We remember Harry not because of his name, but because of who he is.

    like pretty much everyone has already said, names that aren’t too weird are great. Frodo is a name that no one would ever have in real life, so it brings to mind a fantasy setting, but its easy to pronounce and it doesn’t hurt your head. Even Tolkien’s elves, for the most part, have names that are easy to say: Arwen, Galadriel, Legolas, Elrond.

    I’ve been reading a lot of French literature at the moment, and one of the things I really struggle with are silent letters. I hate silent letters and sounds, so I prefer books with names and words that don’t have weird accents and silent things (*glares in the general direction of Christopher Paolini*). It takes me a lot to get used to names like that (the name Eowyn, for example. It’s said A-o-winn, but in my head I always read it as Ee-o-winn).

    Sorry for the long reply, I’m extremely passionate about names.

    INFP with an army of origami cranes and a sabre from Babylon.


    Aislinn Mollisong
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 379

    Sweet! I love names myself, @dragon-snapper. And I have one, big fat tip for you:


    I read a book recently where almost half of the “fantasy words” had X’s or Z’s in them, and it was painful. (On the strain of the “fantasy words”, do not use too many!!! That book did that too, and that was just painful. Even more than the name Jaxter Grimjinxx)

    I like names that are flowy, airy, delicate sounding. Like Eowyn.(yeah, I know. @seekjustice) Or Catriona, or Saoirse, or Brynn. (Not Saoirse though, because no one will even know what it is.)

    Hope this helps! *bows, and speeds off into the night*

    Aislinn out!

    Signed, Aislinn of Aethasia.


    Corissa Maiden of Praise
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 247

    Oh goodness, names… what makes them too much… let’s see.
    I’d say that most everything has already been said- I especially agree with Josiah about making sure the names sound like they’re from a similar culture for everyone within the same culture of your story. But then, maybe you have someone with a name from a different culture, and maybe it is or isn’t different enough that everyone can tell just from hearing it it’s a foreign name. Just a thought *shrugs* Also, I think it’s okay to have semi-long names if they’re easy to pronounce- if you really want someone to have a long name that you think might be a bit much, just make it their “formal” name and give them a nickname as well. Things like that.
    I’d also like to say that fantasy names don’t have to be so different at all; like you said, the most famous aren’t extremely unique or unusual. I actually have a fantasy I’m (kind of) working on that’s based off of old English culture, with possibly a splash of Jewish, so most of the names are pretty normal, with one or two slightly unique- Emma, Deric, Sir Algernon Ashenburl, Cole, Lord Valron, Aziel… 😀


    Kate Flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    @dragon-snapper I LOVE NAMES. I NAME EVERYTHING.

    With that crucial bit of random information out of the way, I’d tend to agree with you. The best fantasy names are those that don’t look so absolutely foreign they’re impossible to relate to. The name should describe your character, not overshadow him. Personally I love old Norse, Saxon, and Germanic names. Good ol’ two-syllable ones like Conrad and Dunstan and Harold and Lindon and Larkan and Morna and— yeah you get it. A name doesn’t have to be ‘weird’ to qualify as different and intriguing. Cultural matching is super important, but even then you don’t need the weird ones to make them sufficient. Study languages that belong to similar cultures and dissect the names to their roots and up again. You can simplify just about any name without taking away its root meaning, regardless of the founding language.

    And when you do need a bit more of a ‘weird’ name, still don’t go for the silent letters or skimp on the vowels— that’s Wales’s job. 😛 The weirdest name I’ve used to date is Trevelian. It’s beautiful and has plenty of character, but the word structure is normal and you can see at a glance how it’s said.

    So yeah. Basically, I agree.

    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1610

    @dragon-snapper The is a name site where you can search for names from different places. If you need to look up names…

    Ambassador of the Kingdom of Allore
    Writing a Catwing Christmas that is as madder as the hatter.

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