Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post

Can you tell us anything about what The Dark Sea Annals will be about? Sounds veeery interesting...

How did you come up with the names for your characters? (the Door Within in particular) Do they have meanings or are they just random syllables that sound fantasy-ish?
Hi, Ivy

Sorry I took so long to respond. I can't tell you much about the Dark Sea Annals because I'm not yet under contract. But I can tell you it will be my largest and most creative work. I'm really delving deep into worldbuilding, creating cultures, histories, fantastic settings, and tons of creatures to inhabit it all. I've outlined 7 books so far and the plot looks good.

As far as fantasy names go, I draw them from all over the place. Sometimes I take bits of several friends names and mess with them to see if they sound like something. Other times I research Norse or Celtic names for things. I have a couple of general guidelines when creating names for fantasy creations:

1. The name should fit the character. By this I mean I need to find a name that sounds like or hints at meaning. Nock and Bolt are archers. Mallik sounds like Mallet, and he wields, you guessed it, a big hammer.

2. Names should be pronounceable. I know, I know, it's fantasy, right? But still, ridiculous names with awkward apostrophes all over the place just bog the reader down. You can get great-sounding fantasy names and still have them obey English rules of pronunciation. Bek'ur'dalphian is just too much of a mouthful. My fantasy names sound otherworldly but you can still sound them out: Aidan, Gwenne, Valithor, Boldoak, etc.

3. Names should fit the culture or race of your creation. If you have a civilization of mountain-dwellers, and they speak in a dialect with a more guttural sound, then create rough, consonant heavy names.

4. I also like names that match the character's bent. If a character is a villain, I like to give them sinister names---BUT I don't want them to be obvious. Paragor, Kearn, Rucifel--all sound evil. Think of Darth Vader, the Sith, Mordor, Sauron--great names.

What are some of your favorite fantasy names?