As a writer, gamer, and a lover of high fantasy, mythology, and cultural exploration, I have many influences on the worlds created for my fiction. From the lush green farmlands of the Low Countries, to the multi-faceted world of Tamriel, and the beautiful cinematic traditions of Indiathe modern writer is blessed with a plethora of material to create immersive experiences, dynamic characters, and themes that span the human (and inhuman) experience.
But, there are a few good old standbys that help me create memorable, enchanting, or haunting names for the stories I create and I’m happy to share them with the readers of the SFF Seven blog.
Real World History and Geography
A couple of my books are based on real places and people--with alterations and omissions where necessary, of course. I called the Netherlands home for a couple of years, and during that time the names of colleagues, strangers, and places would show up in my work. I combed through tables of names from the 17th and 18th centuries to find unique ones that encapsulated the nature of my characters--with the hope that none of my Dutch friends would ever read my well-intentioned butchering.
The small seaside towns, mist covered winding roads, tiny local restaurants, and weather-worn landmarks were also based on places I visited during my time there as I tried to weave in the haunting mystery of the Dutch countryside at night into the tale.
I’ve even had whole characters whose arcs, personalities, and motivations were spawned from a name that anchored itself in my mind for one reason or another.