Problems with names again


I have a friend who was an author, he traditionally published two books, pre- kindle then gave up, which is a great shame because they were great books. A while ago he was castigating me about my choice of names for my books. I do find thinking of names for my book hard. I started off by pulling names from a Tutor name web site. I then started using friend’s names and then in desperation I asked on Face book if anyone wants me to use their name. I ended up with Nigel and Adrian that way. Both are minor characters Adrian dies, Nigel appears in part two. He might have a bigger part in book two or that’s appears in book two and a bigger in book three depending on how I go with it.

Anyway, this friend of mine, let’s call him Rakr-hifyw destroyer of words, thinks Nigel is not a suitable name for a fantasy fiction and should use more traditional ones like Epoc the Mighty. Personally, I hate books with names I have no idea how to pronounce or just sound plain silly. After all, this is a world I have created so I wanted normal ones.

What do you think, will it make a difference?

Judging by some of the comments I don’t think I have made my self clear. I’m not planning on changing the names. I just was interested to know what people thought about names in fantasy books. My friends comments didn’t upset me just got me thinking about the whole subject. Nigel is safe for now, unless he he is wiped out of existence by an edit.


18 thoughts on “Problems with names again

      1. I never had any intention of changing my names, I like the names in my book. The post is about what people think about names in fantasy books. I mentioned my book because that’s one one of the reasons I blog, to promote it. Being a novice I sought advice from more experienced writers, some of which I have followed some I haven’t. For example in my first draft my main character was too much the victim of events rather than the instigator. I have taken that on board and now I think have a better book. I was also advised by the same person not to have too many speak in the same scene. I’ve ignored that because In a couple of scenes I needed to have lots of apposing views. In any job / hobby I think it’s important to take advice and use what works otherwise how do you ever grow and improve?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes I agree the more the more you right the better you become, which was also some very good advise I got from more experienced writes. I don’t know what I have done to offend you so much that you feel the need to be so unpleasant about my work. I don’t think I will be following your advise to give up as I’m not ready because I used the wrong word on a comment I wrote on my phone while lying in bed. I will continue to listen to constructive criticism about my work and use the ones that help me improve. Not all of use are born with your talent that we don’t need the help of others.


      3. Go with attacking my spelling, an easy target as I’m dyslexic. You didn’t bother answering comment so I am still none the wiser how I’ve offended you. I’ll just assume you’re this unpleasant for fun. I’m not going to reply in kind I have better thinks to spend my time on. Goodbye.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You obviously don’t know what dyslexia is. Is called word blindness for a reason, if the spell check doesn’t pick it up then it looks fine to me. If I had to make sure every comment was o.k. then it would takes weeks to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Eric, you created the book and you get to name the characters. This is the time to please yourself! If you try to please other people, all you will have is a muddle. The was an old Aesop fable about a man and boy riding a donkey. Due to other people’s comments, the man ended up carrying the donkey! Much better to go with what flows from you! Do the writing the way you desire, and your passion will be appreciated by the readers.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. My book is replete with names the reader is probably unclear on how to pronounce. I think you might hate my book. The main characters are Angsmar and Petra. Originally it was going to be set in ancient Germany but one of the rewrites changed the planet. All of the names came from Behind the Names website Ancient German selection.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure I wouldn’t hate it after all a good story trumps everything. I would be sad if we all used the same types of names in our books. I just find it hard to pronounce a lot of names hence with my book I went for easy ones. I’m still not 100% sure with some of the Harry Potter names and it’s my favorite series.


  3. Your friend sounds really sensible and you should listen to his advice. If you are creating a fantasy world (unless it is meant to be comedy) you are expecting your readers to suspend disbelief and be drawn into this other, more exotic world. Using ordinary names will only jar the reader back into the real world. Basically in a world full of wonder and imagination calling, someone Nigel or Adrian runs the risk of sounding ridiculous.
    The names you create don’t have to be unpronouncable or stupid sounding. You can actually take an ordinary name and change it slightly giving it an exotic but still familiar air. So, missing the middle A out of Adrian makes it Adrin. Nigel is harder to do. You can change the spelling to Nyjil or something but frankly it’s still going to sound like Nigel.

    Long live Rakr-hifyw Destroyer of Words!

    Which happens to be my middle name. What are the chances?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Eric, A friend of mine was Dyslexic. We had a strategy when writing together, she wrote & I checked grammar & spelling. Understand checking comments for spelling would be too time consuming. Write away! Your book needs a good friend with copy editing experience to check spelling, etc. Books are in a different category than blog comments! Your character names are great. Fantasy characters have different, interesting names. 💛 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you your comment really touch me. I have been keeping away from my blog for a few weeks to help manage my high stress levels, mainly due to work. It didn’t help when somebody posted some fairly mean comments. However I’m feeling much more positive now and plan to work on it this week end with the first post going up the following Saturday. So you can look forward to more drivel to read. Thanks again, your comment has really given me a boost.


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