Naming your characters and locations

Results 1 to 13 of 13
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Joshawott

Thread: Naming your characters and locations

  1. #1
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,998
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Naming your characters and locations

    So, obviously, when you create a character or an important place, you've gotta name them. But how do you choose the perfect names for your characters and locations? Where do you get your inspiration from? There's lots of ways to do this, from using the meaning of a name to naming one after an already existing favorite character. I've picked the names of my original characters in all kinds of ways. For example, much of the cast of my Fire Emblem fic has real name origins (and aren't just randomly picked names lol).

    My personal favorite character in the story, Bryan, has multiple origins for his name. Though, mainly because he also has a middle and last name. But for the sake of spoilers, I'll only explain his first name. Originally, I named him Bryan because at the time, I was thinking of my cousin, Brian, and the fact that that's my favorite name for a boy, only spelled with a Y instead of an I. So, that's where Bryan came from when I first named him. When I saw the meaning of the name sometime later, I discovered that it fit Bryan even more perfectly than before. The name Bryan means "strong one," which Bryan most definitely is. He's like the definition of strength when it comes to using a lance.

    Another, but different example is Marc, the green horse knight of the story, as well as Magali, Francois, Armelle, Eric, Natalie, and I think a couple of characters I haven't yet introduced as well. What do all these characters' names have in common? They're French! I love the French language and a lot of French names, so I used several. In addition, the name Marc also means "rebellious," which Marc somewhat is in a way. lol

    Yet another different example is Rothgar and Cato. Both of their names were taken from pieces of writing that I enjoyed or found interesting. Rothgar is from the name Hrothgar, which is the name of that king in the epic poem Beowulf (which some characters in actual FE games take their names from as well, actually. Such as, well, Beowulf lol). I took off the H cause I like the name better without it. But while Hrothgar is a king, so is Rothgar. As for Cato, his name is from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar play, the only play of his that I actually liked at all (so far), from the characters Cato and Young Cato.

    Lastly, Olivia, Fin (set to appear soon), and Eliot are yet another example. I named them after characters in my favorite show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, lol. I just spelled Eliot with only one L instead of two because I learned there's already an existing FE character named Elliot. :P

    Oh, and another character I have that will appear in the future is named for my favorite character out of the Nancy Drew book series. Not gonna reveal who though, hehe.

    As for places, the country of Astryn is a good example. Many places and characters from/in it, as well as the name of the country itself, have names that are related to stuff in outer space. Medann (the capital) ~ Andromeda Galaxy, Fort Mercue ~ Mercury, Astryn ~ astral (meaning "star"), House Novat ~ nova/supernova, and more. Also, three nobles named Laris, Canus, and Tavon have names all relating to stars. Laris ~ Polaris, the North Star, Canus ~ Canus Major/Minor (star constellations. Great Dog and Little Dog. I love dogs too!), and Tavon is Novat spelled backwards and a supernova is an exploding star. I'm not actually that fascinated by space itself, just the names of stuff in it. lol Oh, also, there are a couple rivers named after Venus and Neptune. Venu and Nepta, I believe I called them. I'd have to look at the right chapter again, lol.

    Oh, a funny example, Fort Hector in Cilae. I named it after an actual FE character, lol. One of the lords in FE7. Fort Hector is old, run down, and filthy. I don't like Hector himself. :P

    I know there are some other places with meanings behind their names, but I can't recall them at the moment. I'd have to look them up again. xP

    As for my Zelda fic, Kelli's name is from the fact that the name means "warrior woman," which Kelli most certainly is. Plus, the name just fit her anyway. Judo is named because judo is a form of martial arts, and Judo does know a little martial arts, but there's an actual in-story tale about how he got his name too lol. Plus, I like it as a name anyway.

  2. #2
    NiGHTS,Reala,Jackle Dream-boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Gender
    Genderless
    Location
    Nightopia
    Posts
    296
    Blog Entries
    50

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Well some of my characters names are inspired from something. One example: Clone. Because of the abilities I gave him.
    Lynxx. Well that's just from the animal. I just added an extra x.
    Locations are mostly inspired from the real locations in reality. I just might actually use the real locations for some of my characters and think of my own for the others.

  3. #3
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Pokemon Stadium
    Posts
    5,587
    Blog Entries
    44

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Google Translate is my friend--although if I'm writing a parallel Pokeworld (which I do a LOT), I will use the cities' and towns' foreign names or meanings of the real names for their fantasy counterparts. Japanese names (and some foreign names that sound Japanese) also tend to appear a lot as well, in honor of Pokemon's Japanese origins.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  4. #4
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,592
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    I tend to name characters after my friends time and time again (in fact, Ameena is the name of seven characters throughout all of my projects. Seven.)

    When it comes time to choose a new name for a character, I generally tend to lift things that interest me at the time. One of my characters' names was lifted from Kim Bauer from 24. Her hometown was also lifted from a district name from 24. Another one of my characters has the surname Maddison, which I blatantly stole when I was watching Billy Maddison. When I honestly can't think of anything, I open up my Big List of Boy and Girl Names™ and ask it to give me a random name. When it comes to nicknaming Pokemon, I do a cross between D&D naming conventions and what nationality the character would be.

    When it comes to naming towns, states, nations and regions, I tend to go with the D&D route. Adjective-noun or adjective-verb (Blackwood Grove, Crestfall, Ambervale).

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  5. #5
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,998
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Ah, I forgot, I've named a few characters after friends as well. Janz the raven laguz in my FE fic was named after my ex (his last name is Janz), for example. Bryan's future son, a character who will be in the sequel, is named after my co-author, who is a great friend. I also intend to name a character Jay after another good friend of mine.

    Oh, and my favorite example is Wencelis, another king in my FE fic. His name is from a Christmas carol lol. "Good King Wenceslas" to be exact. I like the song and I altered the spelling and pronunciation of it a bit. I love a lot of Christmas carols in general though. :D

  6. #6
    Who am I? Joshawott's Avatar Forum Head
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    10,986
    Blog Entries
    15
    Follow Joshawott On Twitter
    Follow Joshawott on Tumblr Visit Joshawott's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Depending on the character, I look for a name that has a meaning that either suits them perfectly, or completely contrasts with them. I very, very rarely give a character a name for the hell of it.

  7. #7
    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Aboard the Hikokyu II
    Posts
    2,270
    Blog Entries
    28

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    With towns, cities, ships, etc. I think about the name and make it meaningful.

    Characters just get arbitrary names.
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

  8. #8
    Never alone <3 Elphie jasonwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    following my compass
    Posts
    10,286
    Blog Entries
    30

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    two methods. altering real names of locations, so that only I know it was based on another place, and my names for people are jsut normal names. why do they need a super fancy name?

  9. #9
    Good Bad Bug Glitchipedia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Knight Pokémon University
    Posts
    2,470
    Blog Entries
    30
    Add Glitchipedia on Facebook

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    I've flip-flopped when it comes to giving my characters names. A few examples, all of them RP characters:

    • Colin Francis Harry Pierino "Twilight" Sonan:
      • "Twilite" was the name I gave to my Diamond Version file, to contrast with the NPC "Dawn" (I swear I knew nothing about the books/movies at the time).
      • "Sonan" is a corruption of "sundown".
      • "Colin" was originally arbitrary, but later became meaningful as a corruption of "clone".
      • The three middle names are from Francis "Frank" Sinatra, Harry "Bing" Crosby and Pierino "Perry" Como.

    • Joan Teresa "Joanie" Aimes-Fulquard:
      • "Joanie" was originally a reference to Hide in Plain Sight's character Jonny Walker, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • "Aimes" was originally a reference to DarkDreams' character Akuji Amara, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • "Teresa" is arbitrary.
      • "Fulquard" is a reference to Audrey Fulquard from the 1960 movie The Little Shop of Horrors, as well as the 1982 stage musical and 1986 musical film.

    • Colleen Sophia Angelyn Marie "Collie" Calloway:
      • "Colleen"/"Collie" was originally a reference to Colin Sonan, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • "Calloway" was originally a reference to Spool's character Calvin Dersen, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • The three middle names are those of The Andrews Sisters, as a parallel to Colin's middle names.

    • Andromeda Persephone "Annie" Jameson:
      • "Annie" was originally a reference to Rider's character Andrew Strickland, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations. "Andromeda" came later when it came down to a choice between that and "Annabelle"—since I already had a character named Bella, the choice was obvious.
      • "Jameson" was originally a reference to Hide in Plain Sight's character James Dalton, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • "Persephone" was added to continue the theme started by "Andromeda".

    • Isabella Evangeline "Bella" Austin:
      • "Bella" was originally a joking reference to Opti's character Edward Cirno, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations. It was eventually expanded to "Isabella" in the interest of excessive detail.
      • "Austin" was originally a reference to Soramimi's character Aurelie Kaltberg, who she was assigned to torment in early characterizations.
      • "Evangeline" is arbitrary.

    • Wyatt DeForest Sonan:
      • "Sonan" is from Colin Sonan, the character's adopted son.
      • "Wyatt" is oh so arbitrary.
      • "DeForest" is a reference to DeForest Kelly, who played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on Star Trek.

    • Icira Witherflame:
      • Originally conceived in an unreleased fanfic as Misty's evil clone, the name "Icie Witherflame" was meant to be the opposite of "Misty Waterflower". "Icie" was eventually expanded to "Icira" to make it sound eviler.

    • Douglas Fogelberg; Eliza DiMaggio; Emerson Blackfield:
      • All arbitrary.

    • Pamella Tumlin:
      • Anagram of "Mantel, pallium", the German and Latin words, respectively, for "cloak".

    • Dash McCoil:
      • Anagram of "Dolch, sicam", the German and Latin words, respectively, for "dagger".

    Last edited by Glitchipedia; 21st September 2012 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Forgot to boldface something.

    YouTube projects advertised are in early development and subject to change.

  10. #10
    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    979
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Mostly I just pick names that spring to mind when I envision the character. Some people scoff at the idea that anyone could look like their name, but I think it totally makes sense. I tend to look more at how a name feels when I say it out loud and the kind of memories, emotions, and general mental state that it brings to mind rather than what it means or where it came from. I sometimes change this in fantasy stories, but that method is the way I think. It certainly makes learning foreign languages easier. Like I don't hear "verde" and think "Oh, that means green." I hear "verde" and think "Oh, that's the color of grass and leaves and sometimes rivers." But I digress...

    An example: "Criss"
    It just flows off the tongue, and I think it's a very pretty name for a girl. It's an odd spelling (and she's an odd person), and it could also be a boy's name and she's fairly tomboyish. (For anyone who's reading my fic, the next bit's a significant spoiler, if somewhat vague)


    Another example: "Keith"
    It sounds stoic, stubborn, and curious, though not outgoing. It's an simple yet semi-uncommon name for a simple yet semi-uncommon character.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this approach didn't work for everyone, it's a little deep. I guess you could just say that I make up random names on the spot, but I like to think I have reasons as to why they fit the character.

    Unpredictable - Fan Fic
    * * * * *
    Find me on Soundcloud

  11. #11
    Unova's #1 Yancy fan Seizon Senryaku's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Summoner's Rift
    Posts
    697
    Blog Entries
    16
    Follow Seizon Senryaku On Twitter

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    I think giving people names based on the meaning of that name is a bit silly, really. Your personality and character traits aren't determined at birth; there's no way parents are going to look at a newborn child and decide that he's going to grow up to be proud, or strong, or sneaky, or brave, so they give them a name they like or a name they feel will suit. This is what I did with Ren in CG, incidentally. While most people assume the name is Japanese - and therefore really incongruous in the Western setting - it's actually a shortened form of Lauren, the name of his maternal grandmother. His mum had been wanting a girl to name after her own mother, but she had to make do.

    The exception to this, of course, is characters who are specifically created to fulfill a purpose and named by their creators. Mewtwo is so named because he is a clone of Mew. One of the characters in an original piece I wrote is named Bianca, which is Italian for 'white' or, more particularly, 'blank'. This is significant because she is actually a robot with an advanced AI - a blank slate, if you will. Other than cases like this, though, naming characters for their traits is somewhat tiresome.

    As for places . . . well, it depends on the world. In the Pokemon world, I use canon place names or make up names that follow the established naming conventions, like Firebark Town and Ashcroft City. For sci-fi novels set on foreign, yet Earth-like planets, names of places vary from the relatively normal - like Petrona and Lucrecia - to the quirky - like Buno and Linxx - to the plain silly - Gorggouga springs to mind. The important thing with names is to make sure that they fit the situation, the world and mood of the piece.
    The Atlantis Codex / Champion Game

    'A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever.' - William Shakespeare
    'Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.' - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    'When one life meets another life, something will be born.' - Un(k)own

  12. #12
    Secret Sword of Justice Kelleo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,998
    Add Kelleo on Facebook
    Visit Kelleo's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    Quote Originally Posted by Executive Archer View Post
    I think giving people names based on the meaning of that name is a bit silly, really. Your personality and character traits aren't determined at birth; there's no way parents are going to look at a newborn child and decide that he's going to grow up to be proud, or strong, or sneaky, or brave, so they give them a name they like or a name they feel will suit.
    This is why in the context of the actual story, Bryan's parents, for example, named him Bryan for a different reason: it was the name of the man that introduced them to one another. xP

  13. #13
    Skodwarde's Slave zakisrage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    392
    Blog Entries
    90

    Default Re: Naming your characters and locations

    I am into names, but I don't think meaning should be significant. We aren't always like what our names mean. For example, the name Agatha means "kind" (as in kind-hearted) in Greek. Yet most Agathas I've seen in pop culture (including Agatha in Pokemon) aren't exactly kind.

    I don't like giving characters super-common names. I do have a tendency to give them names that aren't exactly hip. But a lot of my friends have names like that. (One of my best friends is named Frank. He's only 17, though Frank is a name more associated with men over 50.)

    I don't really use Japanese names. It's boring, and they can get repetitive. Usually it's something that at least 10 anime characters have (like Sakura, though to be fair it is somewhat common on real-life Japanese people). Granted, it does show that people do know the diversity of Japanese names. That's where I also found out that Japanese names change in popularity quite often. For example, a lot of girls' names ending in -ko, such as Yoko, are considered to be middle-aged or old lady names in Japan at the moment (kind of like Betty or Doris). And some of the names are definitely unisex, though a lot of those are used more for one gender than the other. (A lot of cultures have that. In India, you can occasionally find men named Padma and women named Krishna, though they are more common in the reverse.)

    I try to be diverse with surnames. Usually in Pokemon fanfics, you only see Japanese or English surnames. That gets boring. My circle of friends is very multicultural, so I get a lot of inspiration from them. I have a Lebanese surname, and I'm guilty of using a lot of them in stories I write - especially ones starting with K, since that is the letter my surname starts with.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •