Thursday, October 22, 2009

Those Long Names

Started 28; 49,781 word count

Writing Tip: I remember getting very irritated when I read some of my son's fantasy books. What is the use of having a name like N'brt'caeultf'putfieuo? I'd end up reading "N" whenever I saw the name. I determined never to subject my readers to such folly. Thus, I came up with Dar, Kale, Leetu Bends, Wizard Fenworth, and . . . mmm? Those tumanhofers just had to have long names. But the names are phonetic. The new one in The Wandering Artist is Graddenmitersay. It looks hard but it isn't.
I suggest when you make up a fantasy name, to make it easy to read. Irritating the reader is never a good move.


  1. Very good advice Mrs. Paul. Thanks!

  2. In one of my stories, I have three dwarves: Cranjellywart, Gilgunnypox, and Downwhiffinspit. Too fun!

  3. Names of tumanhoffers--need long names to match long beings. But it works sometimes!

  4. I think the names you create are really cool, Mrs. Paul! And like you, when I make up names, I spell them the way they sound. It really does make reading them easier.

  5. I am reading Dragon's Knight and the tumanhoffer names are easy to pronounce, as you say, but also they are funny and add to the personality of the character. I appreciate the effort you make to create easy to pronounce/remember names.
    A pet peeve of mine is when an author starts all the names with one letter - soon we forget who Wayne, Will, and Walt are and care even less. I call it alphabetic discrimmination and I want to say to the author, "Hey, give the other 25 a chance!"

  6. I agree with you on the alphabet discrimination. At book-signings, some of the readers will pronounce the tumanhofer names with great relish. It reminds me of saying antidisestablishmentarianism when I was a kid. Or Supercalifragilisticexpealidoutious!