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Thread: Fantasy Last Names
May 3rd, 2013 10:04 PM #1
Fantasy Last Names
This is something I've always been terrible at; surnames.
I'm looking for uncommon, classic-sounding names. Or just anything you an think of.
Last names I currently have:
If you need first names to help, here's a few:
OctaviaI'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.
May 5th, 2013 07:10 PM #3
Erm, Bump?I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.
May 6th, 2013 03:15 PM #5Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
- Europa ;)
Fantasy last names, you say? Fantasy names are tricky--surnames especially. Before you get too caught up, though, think hard about if you need surnames in your world. If you're writing fantasy set chiefly/partially in the real-world, then all your (human) characters will probably have last names. If you're writing alternate-world, though, you might want to think harder about it: Is this the sort of world where they'd need last names? Would they use career names (builder, fletcher, fisher)? Would last names denote anything special? Sometimes you may just want to knock a modifier onto the end--that's how last names developed (at least if you judge based off of my Limited Naming Knowledge). John of the Forest needs to be able to tell the difference between himself and John the Butcher. Depending on how far along your world is on the technological scale, these appellations may or may not have evolved into full-fledged surnames, and you'll want to name appropriately. Most if not all of your surnames should probably be recognizable as having evolved from something. (And if you have any constructed languages, now's the time to use them. But I don't. So I can't talk about that.)
Something else to consider is how surnames could contribute to setting. In Jill Williamson's Blood of Kings trilogy, last names that are animals denote someone as being a "stray." I can't think of any more examples off the back of my head, but keep it in the back of your mind as you're naming and see if something crops up.
Here is a list of surnames by real-world ethnicity. (It would help to keep to one or two similar ones to give them all the same sound, but that's advice I always ignore, so take it with a grain of salt.) Some specific ones I think might fit your world?
Cecil (which, come to think of it, would also work quite well as a first name)
Most importantly, though, have fun with it. Names don't make or break your story--story does. Feel free to totally ignore everything I've said. I tend to overthink these things, and I toss my overthinkings out here for you all to muse on. What matters most is that you have fun writing.
Last edited by akky3210; May 6th, 2013 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Bolded the link to make it clearer.Hi there. My pen name is Diana (or akky, whichever you prefer).
I'm here to find names for characters, not babies, though I do love working with kids.
"Sometimes all you get is twenty pages, but you've got to make the best of it"--my mother
If you need help with fantasy names, I'm your gal!
Current WiPs: *Sometimes Falling Stars*
May 6th, 2013 06:50 PM #7
Yeah, I definitely need surnames. I've got the world all outlined and everything, I'm just dreadful at coming up with last names, haha. It's kind of a sci-fi setting.
I like the suggestion of having the names denote something particular about a character; I'm already doing that quite heavily with first names (Well, in my mind it's obvious...) but I'll definitely see what I can come up with on that front. I really like the suggestions of Kendrick, Maddox, and Yates. They're perfect!
And @stargirl, Myers is good.I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.
May 6th, 2013 05:23 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2013