Hi all! This week's topic at the SFF Seven is Naming Resources: Our top 3 sources for choosing names of characters, places, etc. I'll get right to it.
- My brain: The old noodle is my #1 resource. Names are weird for me, because I almost always hear them in dialogue in my head, or a character will say the name of a place I didn't know going unto the drafting process. When I was building City of Ruin, I typed up to the point that I needed a temple name, and that chapter's POV character, the Prince of the East, provided what I needed: Min-Thuret. I needed a city name too, and as the Prince of the East was leaving Min-Thuret's Rite Hall, he called the city Quezira. And thus, that part of the world was born. It's as difficult and simple as that.
- Fantasy Name Generator: Sometimes I get stuck, and FNG can help stir my brain. There are so many options on this site though that it can be overwhelming for me, so I don't usually stay long. Instead, I read through a few list generations and let sounds guide me. I keep a naming list for each book so that I don't begin too many names with the same letter or sound.
- Old name registries: You can Google just about anything, including old church/parish registries, travel logs, and common surnames of any particular time and place. When I'm writing historical fantasy, I use these methods so that the names are historically accurate.
Bonus: Behind the Name. This is a great website for historical naming and just to peruse to get your brain working on a name. It provides the etymology and history of first names.
I hope this helps!! Good luck and happy writing!