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Naming Fantasy Fiction Characters

NAMING
A good fantasy character name will be memorable, but not stick out and be intrusive to the plot. I never force myself into naming characters prematurely. I give them names that are relevant to their culture, gender, personality and sometimes-even jobs.

TITLES
You can give your characters any sort of title you like as a prefix or suffix to their name.
-      Mister, Missus, Master, Sir, Lord, Doctor
-      PHD, OBE, WHUFC, LSD

Though titles may not crop up often, they can useful for giving someone a platform only achievable from a title, which you can use to make them plunge off the edge of their ivory tower.

GIVEN
If you have different cultures in your world, it helps giving them different naming rules. You can give them different syllables count. One, two, three or more syllables make it easier to differentiate quickly between newly introduced characters.

Due to the constraints of the English language, having twenty-six characters is also useful. This is because some people may skim read, and seeing that Capital letter aids quick identification.

I estimate that in your life you can create one-thousand characters maximum. It is likely to be much less than that. My personal goal is seven hundred.

FAMILY
Most family names come from job titles or heraldry. My name is Jim Mc. Mc means son of, therefore I am son of a Mc. There are many common job title surnames in existence, examples of which are Butcher, Baker, Tailor and many more.

NICKNAME
Some characters may need nicknames if their name is lengthy. Some characters may have more than one nickname given to them by different people. I would stick to one frequently used name though.

REASON
I like giving my characters names with meanings. A useful tool for this is baby-naming websites. ‘behindthename.com’ is a personal favourite but there are lots. This applies to family and first names.

This gives them layers of symbolism. Be wary of this method though, otherwise every professor would be Doctor Wiseman, and every criminal, Max Slaughter, or even worse, Mr. Baker, the baker.

Subtlety is the key when naming. Readers should not laugh at the names silliness, unless that is your intention.

Happy Creations!

More Information: ChartsPersonality, Appearance, Conflicts, Plot

Jim M