Writing Books/names


hello, i have real trouble with thinking up names for people, places and things. Is there any advice you can give me.

thanks in advance


Well... "things"?  Most things have their own names already, or are you inventing new things?

Places... ditto.  Are you creating fictitious places, and if so, in what setting?  If you're creating a fictional town in Kansas, you wouldn't want to use the same naming technique as if you were inventing a fictional village in 8th century England.

People... again, a lot depends on your setting (both time and place).  If you're writing in a particular time period, make sure you choose names appropriate to the time.  Names should also be evocative, bringing to mind something you want the reader to think of.  The name "Chris," for example...  Well, could be male or female, so there's ambiguity there.  The beginning sound is a "k" sound, which is "hard."  However, the ending is an "s" sound, which is soft.  So there's a balance, there.  The name is short, only one syllable, which can give the impression of simplicity.  However, we also know it's probably not a full name, but short for something else.  (Underlying complexity?)  And that tells us that this person prefers to go by the shorter name, meaning he/she isn't a formal type.

See how it works?  Now think of your characters and what you'd like to convey.

Hope that helps.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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