My Methodology for Creating Character Names
A Reviewer’s Critique of My Fantasy Story Names
I was reading a review on Amazon of my fantasy story, Moon drale, and the reviewer’s response to my choice of story names fascinated me. Now I will grant that I come up with some “interesting” fantasy realm names, and when creating character names I always presume my readers are brainy enough to deal with them. But perhaps I’m the one who is not brainy enough! Anyway, here is some viewer input. I’ll start with the positive. We all need encouragement now and then (smile).
One reviewer gave the book five stars and wrote, “Excellent story. I thought I had all the characters figured out, but I was wrong. It kept me on my toes.”
The reviewer who had a hissy fit about the names also appeared to have trouble with the length of the book, but then, the length of a book is simply the length of the book. Here is what he wrote:
This isn’t really a short story but it certainly isn’t a full length novel. It’s kind of a novelette and as such it’s difficult to really create characters or explain situations in much detail. Nevertheless Mr. Edgell does a fairly decent job creating sympathetic characters and drawing the reader into the storyline. I cared enough about the main character to follow along until the end.
The big issue here and what seems to be this author’s Achille’s heel is goofy name choices. Stringing a bunch of consonants together or generating an 8 to 10 character mess does not automatically create an interesting or mysterious alien sounding name for a person or a place. And writing words backwards is just sheer laziness. Keerc Elttab? Keerc Enip? Seriously? And why is there an East Yorel and a Yorel Tsae?
The name issue wasn’t as bad in this book as another from the same author which was so abominable as to be unreadable but it was getting close.
Overall I enjoy the writing of Mr. Edgell and I’ll be looking for more of his work but I sincerely hope he outgrows this ridiculous labeling difficulty.
Well AaronzDad, unless my memory is faulty to the extreme, and although you may not believe it, when I was creating character names I had no idea any of the words mentioned spelled something else backward until you wrote your review. Spelling words backward was not my name making method. [An added note: It does look like my memory was faulty and I must have spelled names backward. Wrote the first draft many years ago. Oh, well!] Thank you for the review, and I apologize for tormenting you with my name choices.