How do you guys come up with fantasy names?

ave36

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I can only tell you what you shouldn't do. Try to avoid consonant-on-consonant contact. Compose your names out of syllables rather than individual letters.

Names like Midna dont roll off the tongue as well as Midina.
Sometimes consonant stacking is required. In my example, it is present in Ruritanian names to give them that "Germanic" flavor, and in Dark Elven names to make them sound more evil and menacing. However, you are right in that it should be avoided for plot important characters. In my game, the most often encountered Ruritanians are named Melle von Ruritania (party member), Roxanne von Ruritania (important NPC) and Solomon von Cid (party member, the airship engineer of the game). Little or no Schs and Tschs here, and easily pronounced. The most often encountered Dark Elf is named Lady Veyturi, similarly no "evil" Rz's and Rzh's that are often encountered in Dark Elven,
 
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PsychicToaster

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I'd suggest some minor constructed language use to drop the "von". I get what you're going for, but Germanic flavor is not the same thing as just tearing a word out of German. Come up with a particle of your own ^^.

I use Vulgarlang to create my own constructed languages, and from there a "naming language". I'm not Tolkien, I never will be, and I don't plan on even trying to reproduce his style. But a naming language can help to give some unique flavor to a fantasy culture, produce consistent sounds in NPC and place names, and it's a ton of fun. It's a bit tough at first but eventually it gets easier.

I may never need to use "pai kaho niol dio iotroi in pai mil" but hey. I have the words.
Which loosely means "the man sent a message to the group" gestures at the RPG Maker community
 
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ave36

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I do not use real conlangs for the humans of Terra Firma. Ruritanian is pretty much just German. I use Earth languages to show that humans are humans, they are familiar and their cultures mundane. The nonhumans, on the other hand, really do have conlangs to accentuate their otherness.
 

Tai_MT

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Mostly, I just slap syllables together unless I've invented my own naming convention.

For a book I've been trying to write for over 10 years, I invented an entire language where each syllable of the language has 2 or 3 meanings, depending on what other syllables are slapped together for a word.

The Main Character's Name is "Fireldake". Roughly translated it means "Forged In Flame". It is a pun his parents came up with since he is their first child. Basically, his parents playing around with the language. Anyway, "Fir" (pronounced Feer) translates to "built, constructed, created, forged". "El" (pronounced, well... El...) is a connector that loosely means "of, the, from, with, because of". "Da" (pronounced Dah) translates to "Flame, Fire, Heat, Burn, Cook" depending on what syllable comes directly after it. The last syllable is almost always the "descriptor" of the entire word. In this case, "Ke" (pronounced Kay) refers to "Metal". So, a literal translation is "Forged of Heat Metal". But, the literal translation doesn't make much sense. Instead, the meaning of those words/phrases together has a more precise meaning based on the cultural context. Namely, "Heat Metal" or "Fire Metal" or "Cook Metal" or "Burn Metal" or "Flame Metal" is just understood to essentially mean you are talking about Forging Metal. So, it chooses the meaning of the first syllable as "Forging" since we're heating metal. The connector then means "Forged With Heat", but can also be "Forged In Flame", or "Forged because of Flame" or whatever else. The translation is chosen as "Forged In Flame" as it is more dignified than what his parents meant. Which, as a play on words goes, is simply "Forged In Heat". The characters are anthropomorphic wolves. So "Forged In Heat" has slightly amusing connotations about the time of year he was conceived, while also being a "strong name" in that forging with just heat and no fire is very difficult to do and creates some of the strongest weapons in the village he's from.

It's a long explanation, but I spent a long time building an entire language and rules for it (including giving each syllable a definite meaning if at the end of a word or a myriad of meanings when placed anywhere else except the end).

For quicker names, I tend to just slap syllables together and see if they sound good... or use regular real world naming conventions.

For example: "Starlight Cascade Castle". It's a matriarchal society, so all their naming conventions are very descriptive or "pretty sounding". Most are often poetic. Names of people there are fairly "Anglo-Saxon" sounding, however.

An example of just slapping syllables together: "Frelia Kingdom" or "Kingdom of Kasha". We also have "Tevris" and "Enria".

Then, I sometimes just do things to amuse myself.

"Talgras Plains". Sound it out, the joke is lame, but it's there.

I spent an entire game naming my characters sort of like "Talgras" there. Every single character except one, has a strange name like that. The one character just gives each one a "nickname" that sounds like a Modern English name. The example is "Tevris", which he just names the guy "Travis". "Kellah" becomes "Kelly". "Cerroh" becomes "Cyril". "Zakry" becomes "Zachary". "Chian" becomes "Sharon". Etcetera.

It's not too difficult to make fantasy names. You just have to make sure they sort of "roll off the tongue" or "roll off the brain" so that your audience will easily remember them. If they look "busy" or "complicated", your audience won't remember them very well, or care to learn them. For example, an audience wouldn't probably bother learning "Fireldake" from above. Probably think in their head "Fire Drake" or something similar when they see how busy the name actually is. But, that's sort of a way to remember the name as well. The audience can assign an easy nickname to help remember the character.

Just my two cents.
 

kaukusaki

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I can only tell you what you shouldn't do. Try to avoid consonant-on-consonant contact. Compose your names out of syllables rather than individual letters.

Names like Midna dont roll off the tongue as well as Midina.
I guess it depends on your base language and how difficult it would be to enunciate? Or how many languages you know and refer to for pronunciation?
To me Midna rolls easier than Midina. Lol preferences I suppose.

I know 5 languages my sister knows 13. I tend to fall on Japanese style enuciation and my sister tends to use German. We get into heated arguments how words are supposed be enunciated lol

If consonant-on-consonant contact bugs you, then glottal stops might really throw you for a loop lol. Everyone enunciates differently.
 

Tai_MT

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I know 5 languages my sister knows 13. I tend to fall on Japanese style enuciation and my sister tends to use German. We get into heated arguments how words are supposed be enunciated lol
I honestly didn't know there was such a thing. I honestly just "imitate" enunciation of other languages. I use the words the way I've heard them spoken. Same inflection, tone, enunciation.

Though, I don't speak languages "fluently" except for American English. So, I probably don't have my own "spin" on the languages like anyone fluent would.

After all, I speak American English as if I'm a Southerner (I'm from the North where the language has less slang and cut offs of words, and it's also enunciated fairly clearly. I use a lot of words that cut off the g in -ing endings, say "yup" a lot, use contractions where possible, even ones that don't exist, say 'ya'll', and generally speak fairly quickly). It's half mumble, half perfect enunciation. This is because I'm fairly lazy at talking and just speak.

I'm kind of curious if that would translate to other languages if I were fluent in them.
 

arekpowalan

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Mythical names usually can be traced for their origins and aren't just coming from nowhere. Tolkien, for example, based most of the things in his novel from Norse mythology. The allegory to Norse myth is also related to the themes of the original myth and how he portrayed his characters: the determined humans and holy elves that engage in the world ending battles with Jotun-looking monsters despite the impossible odds.

Many fictional character names have underlying meanings tied to the game's themes and narratives. Protagonists usually have common names because they are everymen or audience surrogate, while other characters tend to signify certain meanings. For example, in the two romance JRPGs game, the main heroine, "Lufia" came from an old Anglo-Saxon word that means "love". Meanwhile, "Luna" came from Lunar and "Lucia" means "light", directing at both characters' association with moon and holy goddesses in modern myths.
 

trouble time

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I just use metal refrences.
 

durrrrrrrrrr

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If I like the sound of a name, I use it. Also the name could reference something to have deeper meaning.
 

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