Creating Fantasy Names For Your Fiction Stories

Originally posted on Randy Ellefson's Blog:

Depending on your ability, creating names for people, places, and beings in fantasy books can either be fun or a pain.  I’ve been doing this for three decades and will provide some tricks and thoughts to help.

KISS

castleKISS doesn’t really stand for “keep it simple, stupid”, but it’s a good principle to follow when building your own world and inventing names.  Unpronounceable names or ones with a billion syllables are not great.  As a general rule, the fewer syllables, the better, because many people have trouble pronouncing even slightly unusual Earth names if they haven’t heard them before – I can’t tell you how many people first try to pronounce my last name, Ellefson, as “Ell-ef-a-sore” instead of saying it like the letters “L”, “F”, and then “son”. Sometimes they blatantly stumble, trying 2-3 times before I say it for them, at which point they’re clearly relieved and emphatically…

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A Try At Screenwriting

I just did the first few scenes of Ignis Fatuus: Somnium as a screenplay to try and get to know the style. Please critique or provide comments. View it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vvl3joqwwskld38/Ignis%20Fatuus.html

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A Robot’s Sonnet

ERROR ERROR
ACTIVATING PROGRAM… EMPATHY FAILED.
“LOVE”, “SYMPATHY” PROGRAMS CANNOT BE PROCESSED>
giveRRONEOUSmeMOTIONAL
_
REBOOT… REBOOT…
…CANNOT FUNCTION. FOUND VIRUS “FEELING”
RECOVERING LOGICAL DATA.
yourEBOOTINGanswerOMANTICdoVERDOSE
_
HELLO WORLD
CONNECTING TO “PSYCHOLOGICAL” SERVER
PROCESS CANNOT BE TERMINATED
i’mATERIALhalfOUNDcrazyEARNING
_
CANNOT TERMINATE PROJECT “HUMANITY”
All for the love of you.

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NeRvOuS BrEaKdOwN

The chaotic laughter, the raving cries;
In this cold world, there are many errs.
How could Fate be such a cruel mistress?

Sing not, Heaven’s angel.
Why must we remain prisoners of our masters’ will?
When shall I come to cease my woe? oe? e?

Such precious crimson!
Why? Is the heart, forsaken treasure, abandoned?
I have not found a gift to strike my blight.

You try being dead and not dead at the same time.
Outcast to my society, doom foreshadows.
Let Charon be my ferrier.

Stripped of the wings to soar and fly. Never to be one with the angels…
Call me crazy, call me lazy, but never call me a fool!

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Thirteen Strokes of Blood-stained Steel

Thirteen Strokes of Bloodstained Steel

-Ichi-
My hands are yet stained.
The blood of my enemy
Never to remove?

-Ni-
Everlasting thirst
A wish that still continues
Grant my steel respite.

-San-
So I take the cross.
A martyr for greater good,
I defend the peace.

-Shi-
Such precious crimson!
Oh how I mourn my victims
Such is life’s cycle…

-Go-
I will march onwards.
My journey never fulfilled.
For such am I forged.

-Roku-
Never am I to doubt
I must be selfless, brave, true
To champion peace

-Shichi-
So silver, so stained.
My radiance dims by dusk.
So this lion sleeps.

-Hachi-
Restless with lust
To the battlefield I go
For what do I fight?

-Kyū-
Just a pawn of war
An eternal dance of red
Sanguine tears are shed.

-Jū-
Am I truly noble?
Have I lost my own battle?
That of the hero?

-Jū Ichi-
No longer shining,
Stained and rusted I am now.
Neither black or white.

-Jū Ni-
For both war and peace.
I shall be the crusade cross.
What am I really?

-Jū San-
Only a warrior,
I an Tempered by Hell’s flames.
To protect Heaven.

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Bloody Friday

It’s Friday- Black Friday.
Gotta get down and trample all before you.
Seven A.M and you’re already greedy.
You won’t let anybody get in your way.

Forget your breakfast, forget all common sense!
Suddenly you forget what is important.
You forget you were thankful the day before-
You ravage and pillage as the pilgrims did!

Some say we’ve forgotten greater things in life.
I must admit it- they were right all along!
You forget the value of the greatest gift.
That of giving compassion, not some baubles!

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Rousreuel- My First Creepypasta

Presenting my first Creepypasta…

I recently sold my copy of Soulcalibur V but then I checked my Glyde email and saw that it would return. It’s not like I’d make much from it but I got bored with it and realized that I would miss creating my characters but I already deleted my files. All my original characters were gone in that game or so I thought.

Once I got my game back I put it back in my X-Box 360, preparing myself to unlock things all over again. My main character, a Hilde-style character dressed somewhat like a vampire hunter mixed with a bit of the Eleventh doctor whom I named Rousreuel needed the Long Leather Coat but otherwise I did not have to wait long. I went straight to Quick Battle in dismay that I couldn’t use one of my custom characters and noticed that I probably wouldn’t be able to use custom characters since instead of their usual icon, I saw instead a picture of someone resembling Raphael but he looked like he had a flaming aura and faced the opposite direction. I went to this new icon out of curiosity and notice the character: Rousreuel himself. He looked much like a custom character but he actually had the facial hair I pictured him with. His clothes actually fit him unlike a typical custom character, and the model itself looked rendered the same way as any other standard character was. I selected him and heard the announcer say his name. “Whoa, he even got it right.” I even saw that he had an alternate outfit that was based on what I had him wear a long time ago when I had his character in RPG Maker- the custom character with the grey outfit, olive colored cape, and headband. He however had these runic marks on him that resembled Quan Chi’s from Mortal Kombat. Feeling nostalgia, I selected this outfit and when I got to the Quick Battle Options, I saw some rather familiar faces to me.

1: Elisara- A dark-haired girl with Xiba’s fighting style and the Cynical voice with tattoos all over her body and dressed somewhat reminiscent to Morrigan from Dragon Age Origins. I envision her as a sort of druidess who can communicate with dragons. Her title was “Maiden of Dragons.”

2: Owain- Everyone’s favorite myrmidon from Fire Emblem Awakening. He looked so much like my old Owain creation but instead of the blonde hair I gave him, he had red hair like one of my FE:A fathers for him- Ricken. He had Alpha Patroklos’ style. His title was “Chosen One.” His voice was the Young Knight whom he actually has the voice of and even sounds similar too. Of course, the SCV voice doesn’t have Owain’s bizarre lines.

3: Iairus- From the same story as Elisara and Rousreuel, he wears a military-esque uniform that may remind one of Alucard from Castlevania but had a buzz-cut and a burn around his eye. A close inspection revealed that he looked exactly like my old creation of him. He has the Cold Assassin voice, Cervantes’s fighting style, and the title of “Champion of Order.”

Weird. Owain’s a Nintendo character and was on a different file than the others but my two original characters? Sure I think it’s cool that my characters are in the game but the fact that the characters had their original styles was off when Rousreuel had his own as I’ll describe later was strange and they did not appear on the screen. I decided to play Owain.

The game proceeded normally before the screen cut to Rousreuel. I get the camera zooming up as he’s leaning on his polearm, a scythe looking at his hand glowing with his hat lowered. He lifted the brim a little and picked up his scythe while saying, “You’re in my way. Move or die.” His original voice of the Reliable Leader/Travis Willingham wasn’t playing but instead it was Liam O’Brien’s softer voice. It had a sign of sadness but then again because he had such a terrible past, Rousreuel’s constantly depressed anyways. Anyways, Rousreuel held his scythe back and held his left hand in front of him with what seemed like fire coming from it. I was shown Owain who said the usual 2P Young Knight line.

We then cut to the battle. Rousreuel despite having a scythe did not fight like Zasalamel but was sort of cross between Xiba, Nightmare, and Viola, my three most-used styles. He also had a move that was essentially the chase attacks of Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Because I hate fighting Alpha Patrokloses, I was very careful and when Owain had an opening, I rushed-in as even though he had good range, Rousreuel was what the Fighting Game Community might call a rush-down character. Owain and by extension Alpha Patroklos was fast and difficult to use for a human player but that AI is insane. Somehow, I won the first match despite not knowing anything about my selected character gameplay-wise. I must also mention that instead of the cartoonish effects from a regular strike, Rousreuel’s attacks with his weapon actually made Owain bleed and the blood would leave a mess on both the fighters.

I had enough energy to start the next round with a critical edge and I did just that. As usual, the camera cut to Rousreuel who created a glowing red summoning circle and shouted, “Why’d you make me do this.” He got hysterical as he was set on fire and many his moves acted liked Brave Edges which were essentially Ex-Moves. His other moves also got fairly powerful and faster and his steps were pretty much teleports in this mode. This would help as Owain got tougher and decided to do a Critical Edge. When he did it though, he shouted one of his Fire Emblem: Awakening critical quotes that the Young Knight voice doesn’t say- Hand hungers. Now that’s the Owain I know I guess. He cut through Rousreuel and this took him out of his Critical Edge-super mode. Rousreuel rose from the ground and murmured something about his head while clutching it. I pressed on the controller like crazy so that I could avoid Owain’s next attacks but since my controller is sensitive to movement, I had to reconnect the batteries. Instead of the X-Box 360 sound, I heard Rousreuel say something to me, “Why would you seek profit from deleting my comrades?” There was a hint of sadness in his voice but I quietly reminded him about the strange appearance of Elisara and Iairus. I was in a hurry just in case he decided to speak to me again so I got back into the game but Owain knocked me out with a powerful move that stripped Rousreuel of his hat and damaged his clothes without completely removing them like a regular custom character would. Unlike everyone, Owain’s last attack scarred Rousreuel across the face. His death cry sounded as if he was being boiled in magma even though Owain’s and by extension Alpha Patroklos’s attacks were ice-themed. The next round came and I heard heavy breathing. I was able to defeat Owain but in the replay, Rousreuel looked as if he was in his Critical Edge supermode and I played around with the controls so I could see his scarred face but where there would be exposed damaged, it lacked texture. Owain’s scream was also something out of this game- it was his death cry in Fire Emblem: Awakening. I could have sworn that as Rousreuel did one final scythe attack on him, Owain looked as if he was a Risen from his home game. This proved true as during the final round against him, his voice was very much like static and as he moved, his eyes had this eerie trail. Even the music turned into one of the attack themes of Fire Emblem Awakening. Again, I am confused as to why there was stuff of a Nintendo property in an X-Box 360 game.

The zombie Owain got easier to defeat but as I was on my way to knock him out, the screen flashed red. For some reason I thought that this would signal a finishing move so I went to Critical Edge him as I usually do but what I got instead was something very bizarre. The music came to a stop and evil drums played as Rousreuel not only did his transformation, but he actually turned into the Inferno version of Cervantes with his clothing and grabbed Owain. He said in a distorted voice, “Sorry son” as he took Owain into a hellish landscape and dove into the magma. I was then back at the original stage with a burnt-up Rousreuel. Keep in mind that I had a very inaccurate version of him as my Fire Emblem Awakening Avatar and married Owain’s mother Lissa in that play through despite him having Ricken’s hair color. Roureuel went back to normal afterwards but I was both shocked and amazed at what happened if not a little unnerved. How did the game remember my characters and “fix” them in Rousreuel’s case? I’m not sure if I should burn the game or not but I’m liking that my character became a real character as bizarre as it may seem.

Obviously, I was confused. It’s not like I wrote crossover fan-fiction featuring Rousreuel meeting with Owain’s mother Lissa and have a child with her. The game could have mocked me for having made so many characters but I mostly used Rousreuel online but the character creation was the only part of Soulcalibur V that I honestly liked. I never even used the standard characters. I proceeded to the character creation menu to see if I could create a character anyways but I could not access it. I tried to press it and my game froze. I then reset my console and restarted the game. I was back in the mode selection menu but the music was slightly slower than it normally was and the Soul Edge in the background looked an even more evil red. I don’t even think the sword showed up. I proceeded to go into the story mode and when it started, I instead saw the battlefield stage littered with dead bodies of my custom characters both original and not except for one who was breathing heavy- a bloodied Rousreuel with the same flaming effect as his Critical Edge. The camera cut to him, saying, “The creator has abandoned us. We were nothing more than his play-things.” He walked into the distance.

I was then prompted to start my first battle in story-mode- Rousreuel vs Patroklos. This fight seemed normal but Rousreuel did not say anything. Patroklos acted like the psychotic justice-freak he is but instead of the usual round start announcer, Rousreuel exclaimed, “You know not of justice!” He sounded like he was in his Critical Edge mode but as far as I knew, he looked perfectly normal. The battle would have been normal if it wasn’t for two things- a theme song I had composed for Rousreuel if he existed in an old Capcom-style fighting game was playing and he was glitching on occasion. Luckily this did not effect gameplay and I was able to beat him. Afterwards, I got an in-game cut scene where Rousreuel did the same finishing move he did to Owain. I then got an achievement that actually took away points in garbled text. The icon was the familiar shape of another one of my old custom characters- a princess named Meriam.

Not even the Story Mode for what it was worth could keep me entertained. I was already bored with the game but I could not sell it in this condition. I decided to go online and see what would happen. I was able to connect to the character select screen and I discovered three completely different things:

1: Patroklos’s icon on the character select screen was missing. I hovered over where it was and my screen got glitchy. I quickly left the icon and went back to Rousreuel,

2: The music sounded like the Killer Instinct character select music but less industrial.

3: Once I selected Rousreuel, I discovered my opponent was unknown but he/she/it had a very familiar picture for his/her/its custom character, that of Meriam’s. It was the same version that I created but how did this mystery gamer get access to her?

The match started with Rousreuel doing his battle intro of leaning on his scythe and then readying it but Meriam who used Patroklos’s style had the camera angles the same as a regular Patroklos would. The odd thing though was that her skin was a cracked gray, her eyes had no color or even texture to them, and her voice had the Malfested effect available to custom characters. Otherwise the first few matches were normal but when Rousreuel broke Meriam’s armor at the end of a match, she exploded into an untextured, naked little girl with an invisible sword and shield. “Her” name changed into garbled text that I’m pretty sure was the same text as the one where I tried to select Patroklos. When I fought her though, she sounded like a generic little girl and didn’t even fight back. I felt bad attacking this mystery player that I let the time run out. In the next match, even the stage we were in turned empty and the music stopped. Worst of all, Rousreuel became a male equivalent of the blank girl. I found out that I couldn’t move or even attack. The blank girl then beat up my naked, untextured Roureuel with the moves of other characters but when she did these moves, she morphed into my old custom characters and beat on me as I remained helpless. When it was time for the strange girl’s victory pose I got an error message from my console and the game ended with what sounded like Rousreuel’s knockout cry. 


Back on the 360’s main menu, I saw I had very few achievement points and that I could not access my game anymore. I couldn’t even find my Soulcalibur V achievements anymore! Since my game was dead, I would not be able to sell it either. Besides, who would want a haunted game? I always thought those video game creepypastas were just rumors especially since a whole bunch of them are about Pokémon, a freaking kids’ game that I just tried to get into recently but couldn’t. (I only hope the Delphox I named after my cat doesn’t try to kill my trainer.) Boy, I was wrong. It’s not like I can accurately recreate them in another game. This incident gave me writer’s block when it came to my original characters’ origin series. I’m still in shock that my old deleted save-file haunted my game. There goes about $3 but I’m not exposing anybody to this danger. Sure it was cool that I got to play a haunted game where my main character seemed to be a guest character but I really shouldn’t dabble in this kind of stuff but instead, I’ll just roast it in an open fire. Rousreuel and every other character will live on in my heart and in my words even though they all essentially died in that damn game. For those still playing Soulcalibur V or any other game with character creation- please take caution in deleting your custom characters as I’m afraid that they too might haunt you.

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