Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
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[Insert Name]

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but we have still got to call it something.

Illustration for article titled [Insert Name]

This week I am preparing to make my first attempt at taking part in Thursday Tales and I've found myself with a problem, a common one.

How the heck to I name people?

This is a difficult enough question in writing as it is, but it takes on a different form when you're working in Science Fiction and Fantasy, where you don't necessarily have to just attach names to characters, but entire naming conventions to worlds and cultures. I know each writer has their own way, they might think long about the roots of names and how they come into being and get corrupted over time, they might borrow from history or they might just throw together bits and pieces until they have a collection of syllables that just suit someone.


For a while I was probably just plain over-thinking with my own approach, trying to give all of my characters literal names, plants, animals, objects, attributes, but it's hard to stop that kind of method from feeling forced, and ending up with a bunch of characters with frankly stupid names (when you're considering having a character named Scissors it's probably time for a re-think).

So now, I am left with this...

[Insert name] looked up towards the thick branch hanging over them, cocking his head to the side in contemplation of it. The stick man jumped beside him, slapping at the bark with his hand, which made a reassuringly short thick sound.

"Best I can do, seems strong though." He looked down to [Insert name] "You want to try?"

[Insert name] eyed his companion with suspicion, and looked down towards the two wooden pegs digging into the soft ground beneath him.

"Really?" He replied, with a tone of deep disappointment.

"Oh for goodness sake I don't mean you jump, I mean I'll lift you!"


[Insert name] looked around, fruitlessly, as if he hoped a better plan might suddenly just emerge from the landscape, or perhaps at least a ladder. He'd gotten quite used to his new lower perspective on the world, and he wasn't too keen to exchange it for being shoved into a tree by a probable lunatic.



So, open channel, how should I apprach this? How do you approach this? And what writers do you think have managed to get it right?

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