Still working on The Dark Tide and names

I need to revise “The Dark Tide,” and one of the problems I have with the original story is about names.

“The Dark Tide” is fantasy, and that is a genre devoured by names.

There are two reasons for this: fantasy generally has a lot of characters who each need a name, and those names tend to be made up, often by means of naming rules.

I have a hard time thinking of names for my characters. No matter what genre I’m writing, I tend to use names I’m familiar with, such as Mike, Kevin, Tanya, and Lizzie. Those names are great, but I usually want my characters to have some diversity.

In fantasy, there are often special creatures who aren’t human, but who require important-sounding names, and can’t be given the kinds of names people give their pets.

What’s in a name?

A lot or nothing.

In a thriller or a romance, a name is just a way to know who somebody is. It’s a label. This is Ricky, a detective in Wounded Bride. This is Cathy, the main character’s lover.

In some stories, the names may come with meaning.

Many of the characters in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series seem to be named according to their personalities and come across as being quite stereotyped.

The dragons in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern series all have names that end with the letters “th.”

There are other fantasy stories where the characters’ names just sound “dungeon and dragony” in some way that I can’t define.

The names in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series fit the characters perfectly, without feeling stereotyped.

In contrast, I struggle to think of names or rules to make them. There are birds in “The Dark Tide,” and they need names. I’ll come up with something eventually, and when I do, I’ll post the story on this website.

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