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.


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:

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A Robot’s Sonnet

All for the love of you.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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I myself hate it, such excess in the end only prove to be trivial.
Why must they take all the fun out of it? 
Why can’t I enjoy something I want to feel passion towards?
Everyone’s going on to share their wisdom, leaving me in the dust.

Eyes drenched not in sorrow from the need of intellect, but in awe from wonder!
Hands grasping a sword with the blood of my enemies upon me!
My hair standing on it’s ends, not knowing what comes next.
Why can’t we just enjoy it without the pretense?

Longing for not the sword of war nor the scholar’s pen.
Instead, a quill; that of the most magnificent bird only in legends.
Written with ichor only of the most sanguine passion.

Does there have to be a meaning in everything?
Why must we murder, try to demonize a god?
I can no long partake in burning him at the stake, his head facing the Earth!

Perhaps these are words of wisdom,
Even so, why drain it of the love, the joy put into it?
Call me crazy, call me lazy, but never call me a fool! 
For what purpose are we to trudge through this drudgery? 

No longer can I wait! No longer can I bear patience!
I hate literature but I know no other way to speak my insanity,
It is not research, it is an adventure I want to last; an adventure I want to remember.
Maybe I’ll learn something; maybe not. Even so, I just want to enjoy it.

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