Writing Advice: Naming in Fantasy

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I see a lot of discussion/questions regarding original names in writing (specifically in Fantasy) so I've decided to post about how I do it. 


As an (almost) lifelong tabletop RPG player/DM, I've had to come up with a LOT of names on the fly. I started out using name generators and then combining various names to create original sounding ones with the same syllabic nature as the creature intended (for example, there are great generators out there for different species of Fantasy - orcs, elves, dwarves, etc.). Here's an example I'll do right now:


I choose two Elven names I like the sounds of (using the generator from this website: https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com ).


Azariah and Yaereene. These aren't necessarily names I like, but they have aspects I like - syllables. I might come up with something like Azareene. Not a fan of starting a name with "Yae" but one could do Yaeriah.


Through this methodology, I discovered it wasn't about creating pronounceable names... it's about using pronounceable syllables. Since I figured that out, I have yet to return to a name generator for D&D (for writing I've never used one). I follow key rules when naming something. How does it look and how does it sound? You want your names to be both cool and original.


Some people say they create names by mashing on their keyboard and then rearranging shit around. I do that (sort of) but with syllables. I'll have a specific sound in my head, so I'll start from there and then work out of that.


Let's go through a few names so you get what I'm saying, and then I'll post a larger selection of the types of names I've created using this method.


For the first example I'll start with a syllable I want to use. This time we'll say "Jar". "Jar" is a strong syllable, and though I don't attribute "meanings" to my character's names, I often have an innate sense of the sound and what I want it to reflect. "Jar" is also pleasing to look at and easy to pronounce. Let's combine "Jar" with other easy to pronounce syllables.


Jarven, Jarvis, Jarvey, Jarkoth, Jarvein, Jardeth, Jarlyn, etc. Sometimes you'll end up creating real names - Jarvis, in particular (I find I often "invent" real names, but sometimes I still use them... because I like how they sound or look, though typically I prefer to use original ones).


One can even create more complex, lengthier/complicated names, while keeping them super pronounceable as demonstrated here:


Jarvindakoth, Jarvulandar, Jarlyngodar, etc. I'm not a fan of lengthier names, myself, and I don't think any of these are particularly engaging examples, but you see my point. When combining syllables that are easy to pronounce, even lengthier names are super easy to pronounce. And that's, at the end of the day, what's most important to me as a writer - I want people to be able to (even if they pronounce them incorrectly) pronounce the name without feeling like it's a chore to do.


So we've seen what we can do with "Jar". Let's try a different syllable, maybe one that begins with a vowel, "Oli" and "Olli".


Olivia would probably be many people's first thought. Olivian, Olivianth, Ollister, Olliden, Ollikor, Olista. Not sure about some of these, but you can see the evolution of the strategy.


And one more syllable. Let's do "Tau". 
Tauth, Tauk, Taumori, Tause, Taudin, Taulin, etc.


Here's a list of some of my names (compiled from both first and last names) I've created with the same process. Perhaps this strategy, or this list, will give you some inspiration or help. I know that names can sometimes be tricky.


Edelbrock, Seradal, Scayde, Everic, Villic, Jaspard, Alyst, Velturo, Bartlesby, Savakkis, Korran, Adavir, Hyrel, Enebrial, Jaylena, Kalixa, Sungoa, Chardaine.


Hopefully this post can assist somebody out there!