Before I actually started writing my first novel, I did what all writers should do and defined my characters and the locations, etc. I decided that I wanted to use names which would be different enough to indicate their other-world origin but not so different as to be a problem. There are many name generators on the internet, expecially for fantasy writing but everyday and historical novels are also well catered for.
A short list for fantasy name generators is:-
- Fantasy Name Generator by Samuel Stoddard, lots of choice here
- A directory of character name generators
- More adventurous? Try the language construction kit.
- This blog aggregates a number of language construction blogs
One of the features with yWriter5, which is the software I am using to write the novel, is a digital speech engine. Maybe a little eccentric but hearing the words I have written, read out aloud by even a machine is quite different. And does give some idea of the need for punctuation.
But in this context, the speech engine is having difficulty with some of my fantasy names. I will, as requested by a friend on Facebook, be including a pronunciation list so it shouldn't be a problem, But the fact that the speech engine is having problems may indicate one or two rethinks.
Just a couple of issues:
- The protagonist Eadwyne is pronounced (by me) as Ee-ad-win; and has a slightly welsh sound to it. However the maching reads it as Eeed-wine, A very straange sound to my ears
- I have a character called Dinbar, for some reason it is read as 'bar. I.e no first syllable at all
- Taienge has two syllables as far as I am concerned (Tie-enge); but the machine insists on one, Tynge