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Aphra
January 28th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Hi everyone,

I have two male characters who I need to name. They're from a roughly medieval period, but its a fairytale kind of world. I have a prince and his cousin. I like the name Sebastien for the prince, but if anyone can suggest some names for me that would be great. (The prince is tall, golden haired and blue eyed, very intelligent and is young but has fought in battles for his father. His cousin is witty with a dry sense of humour, 18 and dark haired, with intense blue eyes and pale skin, if that helps.) Any ideas?

Aphra

G W Pickle
January 28th, 2007, 07:31 PM
Aphra, you wrote
I have two male characters who I need to name. They're from a roughly medieval period, but its a fairytale kind of world. I have a prince and his cousin. I like the name Sebastien for the prince, but if anyone can suggest some names for me that would be great. (The prince is tall, golden haired and blue eyed, very intelligent and is young but has fought in battles for his father. His cousin is witty with a dry sense of humour, 18 and dark haired, with intense blue eyes and pale skin, if that helps.) Any ideas?

Aphra:

For the prince I'd suggest:Kjell, Tor, Morten, Sven, Soren, or Sigurd.
The cousin I'd suggest: Stefano, Jantje, Dirk, Manfred, Leopold, or Robers.
I got the names from Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon. A great source book. I never write with out it handy.

G W Pickle:D

choppy
January 29th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Hi Aphra, welcome to the forums.

Naming characters is always a little bit of a stubling block for me. Something you might want to try is to use the names themselves to characterize your characters. Think about each character. What single quality radiates from each? What qualities do you hope will change about them in the telling of your tale?

For example, let's take your prince. You describe him:
- tall
- golden haired blue eyed
- very intelligent
- young
- has fought in battles for his father

Okay, I'll toss out the physical stuff. That leaves us with:
- very intelligent
- has fought in battles for his father

What do you mean by intelligent? Is he a walking encyclopedia? Is he good at math? Or does he have street smarts? Is he cunning in battle? Or is he one of those people who technically have a high IQ, but don't ever do anything with it?

When he fought in battles for his father - how did it go? I notice that you didn't say "alongside his father." Does he resent his father for this? Also, he didn't fight for justice, or freedom (or real estate or religion) - or did he? Is he so loyal that he has blind allegiance?

So let's say (for argument) that he has blind allegiance to his father, who (also for argument) is not fighting for any good reason. This gives the character room to grow. What quality does this character start out with?
Blind Allegiance

Build a name from here.
You might want to tryhttp://babelfish.altavista.com/.

Translating "blind allegiance" from English to Spanish gives:
lealtad oculta

Translating back to English I get:
hidden loyalty

hmmmm....

You could look up the etymology of these words too:
http://www.etymonline.com/
blind gives:
O.E. blind "blind," probably sharing with blend a P.Gmc. base *blindaz, from PIE base *bhlendh- "to glimmer indistinctly, to mix, confuse" (cf. Lith. blendzas "blind," blesti "to become dark"). The original sense, not of "sightless," but of "confused," perhaps underlies such phrases as blind alley. The verb is O.E. blendan, influenced in M.E. by the adj.

I'm drawn to:
- Blesti
- Blendzas
- Blindaz

From allegiance I get:
1399, from Anglo-Fr. legaunce "loyalty of a liege-man to his lord," from O.Fr. legeance, from liege (see liege); erroneously associated with L. ligare "to bind;" corrupted in spelling by confusion with the now-obsolete legal term allegeance "alleviation." General fig. sense of "recognition of claims to respect or duty" is attested from 1732.

I'm drawn to:
- Ligare
- Liege

You can use these as a basis on which to build:
- Ligar Blest
- Blindaz (Daz)
- Oculta
- Leotad (maybe too close to leotard)
- Leothad (Thad), Leopald

Etc...

Bree
February 20th, 2007, 07:00 AM
hey

I always find it hard to choose names for my characters, so I always use this website:

http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/

it's fantasy names, alot are very odd but I've taken most of my characters' names from it.

another thing I do sometimes is find a name of a person or place and play about with it. For example I just came up with the name of a place in my story by changing the C in Cavan to a D. :) Hence Davan Valley was born.

OH I have another site, I found it the other day. It's more ordinary names, but it has some different ones. You can also type in a name to find it's meaning or type in a meaning to find a suitable name. :D very useful :P

I hope this helps a bit :)

AgentRustyBones
February 20th, 2007, 07:29 PM
I would recommend that you take a look at your world, and the cultures that you have placed in it, and devise a naming system of your own that is unique to your world--both for places and people.

The importance of using a good system for coming up with names cannot be stressed enough, especially in Fantasy.

The name you give a character will tell the readers (whether you want to or not) something about how much thought you have put into building a viable, believable world. If you just pick names at random, with little thought to cultural implications, you rob the reader of one more tool to use to get a feel for the place that you have built for them to explore and get to know.

Each race, culture and nationality in your world should have a rational naming system for their own group. A human raised by dwarves might not be given a true dwarven name, but he'll likely have a dwarven nickname.

Websites and dictionaries can be useful tools, but the most important thing is to have a firm idea of the world that you are building and to put some time into developing that. Once you do that, the names will come to you pretty easily.

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

Mock
February 20th, 2007, 09:42 PM
If your world is at all remotely similar to that of ancient Rome or Greece, then I'd give the prince a Greek/Roman name. I find that they're great for royalty and that stuff.

Marcus, Lucius, Caius, Drusus, Spurius, Septimius, Strabo, Tiro, Alastor, Alcides, you name it. I strongly suggest that you check out www.behindthename.com. It's a tremendous source for historical names. You name it; they got it. I think they even have Esperanto, haha.

TheGhost
February 20th, 2007, 10:28 PM
I had a fun time making up names for two book-length manuscripts (and I'm eventually going to get around to two more, once I get this real life thing out of the way).

My story has lots of characters in a handful of cultures. Wanting to make the names culturally distinct, I copied a bunch of city / town names from a single country and then changed letters and syllables until I got names I liked. For some sources I used Malaysia, Latvia, and Turkey, but there are plenty of others out there, of course.

Here's a good online resource if you want to try.

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/mapcenter/map.aspx