I can fully admit that one of my favourite things about being a fantasy author is coming up with names. Naming towns, lands and bodies of water is interesting, but my favourites are inns, pubs, and characters.
How I come up with these things is something I have been asked a few times. Melarandra is something which came to me in a dream. I went to bed with this novel flitting about my head, and when I woke up, I had a name for my world. Character names are a little different. Some are names I have heard, others are plays on names of people I know. For example; Elizanne is the name of someone I knew in my youth. Koral is a play on my daughters name. (and I love that it worked out seeing as I gave her water abilities. That actually wasn’t planned.)
It’s kind of weird how somethings come into being within my world. I will be writing, and realise that a character needs to be introduced. They have an outline, a backstory and a sex, but a lot of the time no name. As I progress with this character, the name pops into my head. Other times, I have a name and need to come up with something amazing to do with it. One thing you cannot ever do is waste a cool name!
When it comes to inns and pubs, this is a little different. What stands out most is where is this place situated. What kind of city, town, village? Is it in the middle of nowhere? Who are the people who frequent it? All of these play a part in the name. With the Star Dancer Inn, I built the city around it. I knew it was going to make an appearance in Malena, so I had to get things right.
I’m looking forward to book 5. Yes I am on book 4, but 5 is going to show more different towns and villages in Lungast, and that means more places to eat, and play. It is so much fun figuring all of this out.
So if you hear an unusual name, write it down. You never know when you might need to use it!