Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby aryus » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:17 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:So this was my big project today. Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October. This one is to teach the Seven Point Plot, but with my Secret modifications! Let me know what you think. Going to send this over to post to the site soon, probably tonight. Cheers!


Sounds awesome Wulf. The story in this class description is great. Can't wait to put its lessons to work.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:29 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:So this was my big project today. Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October. This one is to teach the Seven Point Plot, but with my Secret modifications! Let me know what you think. Going to send this over to post to the site soon, probably tonight. Cheers!


Love the class description!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby crlisle » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:40 am

Wulf Moon wrote:So this was my big project today. Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October. This one is to teach the Seven Point Plot, but with my Secret modifications! Let me know what you think. Going to send this over to post to the site soon, probably tonight. Cheers!


This is exciting and intriguing. You can count on me to take your new class.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:06 pm

Doing another writing sprint with Pete at 11 AM JST. Join on gmail hangouts, if you like. Or join in spirit. Spirits are cool.

Also, I wanted to say congrats to SwiftPotato. Another publication! Cossmass! You are indeed, Swift. I suspect you'll be in F&SF before long.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:10 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October.
THE SECRETS OF A HOWLING GOOD PLOT



This looks really good, Wulf! Do you have a link?
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:14 pm

oishisushi911 wrote:Doing another writing sprint with Pete at 11 AM JST. Join on gmail hangouts, if you like. Or join in spirit. Spirits are cool.

Also, I wanted to say congrats to SwiftPotato. Another publication! Cossmass! You are indeed, Swift. I suspect you'll be in F&SF before long.


Aw, thanks! I'm super excited about Cossmass, especially the story they took. I've got a soft spot for that one. :)
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:50 am

Henckel wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:Here's the copy on a new class for Fyrelite Online in October.
THE SECRETS OF A HOWLING GOOD PLOT



This looks really good, Wulf! Do you have a link?


First, I congratulated Leah about her Cossmass sale on my FB page, but I need to make sure she is applauded here as well. WELL DONE, CHALLENGE BEASTIE! YOU MAKE US PROUD!

Next, thank you all for the nice comments about my master class, HOW TO WRITE A WINNING STORY THAT TAKES THE GOLD! A wonderful day together, talking about our desire to write prizewinning stories, and what essential elements must go in to make their engines ROAR. I've been invited to teach the same course at Fyrecon Online this November. I was told three immediately enrolled when registration opened! It's going to sell out again! Don't forget, my master class came with registration to Fyrecon Online in November. You will be able to access the Zoom panels at that event (just not the master classes, of course)! You are in!

AND, as you know, I'm teaching a new course at Fyrelite Online on October 3rd (also includes registration to Fyrecon Online in November). THE SECRETS OF A HOWLING GOOD PLOT. Henckel (and anyone else curious), here's the link to find out more, and to register, if you dare...

https://www.fyrecon.com/master-classes/ ... -workshop/
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:35 pm

Thanks, Moon! Real excited about Cossmass, I love the story they took. This was another one that was just under 6k, for reference!

And congrats on being asked to teach two more courses! Those folks must really like you... ;)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:27 pm

Swift Potato, reporting in as per blood oath for Volume 37 Challenge, I finished the KYD FLASH PROMPT for FIRST MORNING WITHOUT STARS for the month of July, 2020.

By the way, CONGRATULATIONS on your sale to CossMass. I'd never heard of them before you mentioned it. They seem like a great place to send stories to, and I'm glad yours found a home there. They only publish three times a year.

Best, as always,

Retro
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:15 am

Got you down, Retro! And thank you! :)
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:38 pm

Swift knows, but just for public accountability, I wrote at least 2 short stories of 3000 words and submitted to WotF and elsewhere. I've written one already that might be my Q4, but I plan to write at least one more. I'm almost done with the first draft of my scifi novel, as well, and am still querying my YA Fantasy (to no avail). Last Quarter of the Volume! Bring your best!

I'm friends with many of you on Facebook, but I wanted to share some good news with the challenge beasties - I sold a story for professional rates yesterday. I can't talk about details yet, per publisher request, but it's very exciting to have sold a third story. Keep on keeping on!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:50 pm

RSchibler wrote: I sold a story for professional rates yesterday.


Woo! Hoo! Congrats!!!!!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:53 am

Congrats on the sale, Becky!!! Super happy for you! :)

Happy Monday again, challenge beasties! Today's Monday prompt is: WANDERING PRISON.
R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby zeeteebeez » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:36 am

Congrats to both Leah and Becky on their recent successes!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby empressed » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:05 am

RSchibler wrote:Swift knows, but just for public accountability, I wrote at least 2 short stories of 3000 words and submitted to WotF and elsewhere. I've written one already that might be my Q4, but I plan to write at least one more. I'm almost done with the first draft of my scifi novel, as well, and am still querying my YA Fantasy (to no avail). Last Quarter of the Volume! Bring your best!

I'm friends with many of you on Facebook, but I wanted to share some good news with the challenge beasties - I sold a story for professional rates yesterday. I can't talk about details yet, per publisher request, but it's very exciting to have sold a third story. Keep on keeping on!


Congratulations!! Woot!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby storysinger » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:46 am

Congratulations Becky on the sale wotf010 .
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:49 am

Wowzers Becky, that is great news! GRATS wotf010
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:49 pm

RSchibler wrote:Swift knows, but just for public accountability, I wrote at least 2 short stories of 3000 words and submitted to WotF and elsewhere. I've written one already that might be my Q4, but I plan to write at least one more. I'm almost done with the first draft of my scifi novel, as well, and am still querying my YA Fantasy (to no avail). Last Quarter of the Volume! Bring your best!

I'm friends with many of you on Facebook, but I wanted to share some good news with the challenge beasties - I sold a story for professional rates yesterday. I can't talk about details yet, per publisher request, but it's very exciting to have sold a third story. Keep on keeping on!


Great news, Becky. Like others, you're a trailblazer in this pack, proving application of the system works. Keep up the good work!

I might add I also know that you are doing something I do as well. I put the money I earn from writing back into my writing. Whether it's workshops, writer cons, writing books, or equipment, it all goes back in to help my development toward reaching the next level. I commend you for that.

Well done!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:16 pm

Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRET #44: A Rose by Any Other Name Is Not Just as Sweet
Copyright 2020 by Wulf Moon. All Rights Reserved.

Shakespeare had it wrong. Oh, his metaphor was brilliant. It didn't matter what hated clan or house she came from; Juliet would be the same charming girl Romeo had fallen in love with no matter what tag she used in her gaming guild. But what if Shakespeare had named her Drz'dddgvzbtk? Rashqhashjzkna-ha-ha-ha? Billie Bobbess? Her fame in literature would be diminished because household names need to roll off the tongue. They need to match the character they represent, and people need to be able to speak them. Both in their minds, and from their lips. Fortunately, Shakespeare chose the perfect name for the only daughter of Lord Capulet, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Maybe you have a friend that can write as good as Shakespeare. Maybe she's even been published. Maybe her current story is truly brilliant. Maybe she asked you to read it and you love everything in it, save for this one thing ... she thought it would be sweet to give her major character an unpronounceable name.

I get it. We're writers. We make—erm—stuff up. We invent worlds, we create beasts, and yes, from the dust of earth we fashion a body and blow into it the breath of life and bring forth the living soul. We are miracle makers. And then we take our miracle and name it Solazy'me'ear't'w'rkd. The reader opens your story, sees your dashing heroine swinging from a rope off the yardarm, brandishing her cutlass, crying out to her bloodthirsty pirates, "Chicken dinner with glazed carrots and creme brulee for dessert to the man that takes their captain alive!" And then, the shocker. This greatest line in the history of literature gets destroyed by Solazy'me'ear't'w'rkd said. <insert scratching vinyl record sound here>

Full stop! The reader backs up. You see their lips move, sounding it out. They put their lips back in drive and try to move forward. They slide into the ditch again. They put their mind into four-wheel drive and back up and take another run at it. Still unnavigable. Do they proceed? The dashing heroine did appear to be able to cook a mean chicken dinner, and your reader does love creme brulee when the top gets that hard caramelization and they get to break it with their spoon and dig into all that creamy vanilla goodness. So they assign her the name Solazy and try not to get stuck in the rut every time they see her referred to in the rest of the story.

Alas, in the next paragraph, they discover the heroine's ship is named Me'uthr'pi-rat-ship'eeza'mer'saydeez, and the reader throws the book against the wall, forever robbed of their creme brulee reward they so eagerly anticipated.

Why is it some aspiring writers (and a few famous ones) think unpronounceable words are so cool? I haven't a clue. Even if they provide a secret decoder ring at the back of the book with all the pronunciations to their unintelligible words, I'm not buying. Readers need characters and places with names they can easily hang a hat on. They like complex plots with surprise twists. They DO NOT like convoluted tongue twisters that their minds and lips can't sound out.

Here's why. Names have meaning. Names have power. Look up names in baby naming lists and you will see symbolism and history in every name. How about Michael? A household name. It comes from the Hebrew name Mikha'el, and it's actually a given name associated with the challenge "Who is like God?" It is also the name of the chief of the angelic armies, Michael the Archangel. We associate the name, even subconsciously, with righteous power.

How about Hannibal? Also easy to pronounce. Also associated with a divinity, Baal, a god at enmity with the Hebrew god. This was the Canaanite "Rider of the Clouds" that brought rain to Canaan's crops and fertility to his worshippers through rituals involving licentious temple acts. In Phoenician, Hannibal means "Grace of Baal." You may not recognize that name at first, but I'll bet you've heard of Beelzebub. Its origin comes from the name Baal-Zebub, the deity worshipped in the Philistine city of Ekron. Today, we associate that name as the chief of the fallen angels. You see, the name Hannibal has a bit of the devil built within it.

Thomas Harris chose it as the name of his fictional cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter. Like Juliet, it's also a household name, but for vastly different reasons. Also note the author's choice in surname. Lecter sounds the same as the word lector, which subtly drapes the name with intelligence—a lector is a reader of scripture in church services, or an academic that lectures at a university. The author undoubtedly fashioned his character's surname to subtly cue the reader on the level of Hannibal Lecter's intelligence. At the same time--and with the economy of the same simple surname--the author also cued up a subliminal message of perversion. Lector and lecher are not far removed, and I am certain Harris counted on our brains making the association, even if our subconscious chose not to spell it out for us.

Still on the fence? Still holding vowelless Lrd Brgvzldcktkx tight to your chest? Do you think J.K. Rowling put much thought into the names of her characters? <Using my best Mr. Rogers' voice> "Can you say Harry Potter? I knew you could." How easy that name rolls off the tongue. Harry Potter. It's a good thing Rowling didn't call him by his proper name Harold—much too stiff for the portrayal of an orphaned boy living under his aunt and uncle's stairs. But it is the hypocorism—ahem, nickname—of the personal name we all know as Harold. Harold is derived from the Old English name Hereweald, a union of the Germanic elements here "army" and weald "power, brightness." Do you think that's by chance? You'd have to ask Jo Rowling, but I doubt it, even if it was the subconscious offering it to her as a gift. Here's what she said about her name choices in a Q&A session in a Boston school in 1999:

"Q: How do you come up with names?

A: Some I make up. Some mean something. Dumbledore is olde English for bumblebee. I thought I made up Hogwarts, but recently a friend said, 'Remember we saw lilies in Kew gardens (a garden in London.)' Apparently there are lilies there called Hogwarts. I'd forgotten!"—Transcribed from the video recording: "The Magical World of JK Rowling."

What did she say about her names? "Some mean something." That was the understatement of the century. When you look at the names of her characters, it's obvious Rowling put a tremendous amount of creative thought into them. Pomona Sprout over Hogwarts' Herbology Department? Argus Filch as Hogwarts' seedy caretaker? Bellatrix Lestrange, the mad practitioner of the dark arts from the Black family tree? The prim and immaculately dressed Narcissa Malfoy? How about her son, Draco Malfoy? Draco is Latin for serpent, from the House of—wait for it—Slitherin. It should come as no surprise that every bad apple in her world's history comes from the House of Slitherin. Do you get any vibes off a name like Severus Snape? Rowling recognized that names have power. They hold meaning. And because she took care to make them easy to pronounce, easy to remember, and then stuffed them with context, Harry Potter and a host of her characters are now household names.

Listen to what one of my favorite authors, Terry Brooks, said about names in his book SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS:

"...NAMES ARE IMPORTANT. You would think this would be obvious, but I find more often than not that it isn't. Maybe part of the problem comes from not understanding what it is that names should do—because they should definitely do more than act as convenient labels. This is true not only of names of characters, but of places and things, as well. Names should serve two very specific ends. They should feel right for the type of story being told, and they should suggest something about the person, place, or thing they are attached to.

"I am acutely aware of this because of the type of fiction I write. In fantasy, where whole worlds are created from scratch, the writer has to give the reader a sense of both differentness and similarity. Readers have to be able to get a handle on what an imaginary world is like, which means they have to be able to recognize how it resembles our own and at the same time understand why it doesn't. In taste, touch, look, and feel, in language and societal structure, in geography and weather, in any way the writer looks at his own world, he will have to look at his imaginary one. I submit that it all begins with the names you use.

"Even in contemporary fiction, I find that names are important. If a name doesn't feel right, it can bother a reader all the way through the book. The sound of a name, the way it looks on the written page, and the connections we make with it both consciously and subconsciously all play a part in how we feel about it....You can avoid the lazy writer's approach to slapping something on without giving it any real thought."

Terry Brooks keeps lists of names to use in his stories. So do I. Terry keeps his list on him wherever he goes. I do not, but it's good advice, and it reveals how serious he believes this issue to be. The names you choose for your characters and creatures and worlds must have meaning and relevance. They need to be easy to pronounce. Your readers will use them as filing tags. If your character names are easy to pronounce and, although fictional, hold resonance in the world we live in, they'll stick in the minds of your judges, editors, and most importantly, your readers. They'll even be able to, oh, I don't know, actually be able to pronounce them. They'll have the ability to use their tongues to tell others about them. Maybe enough to make them household names.

May the light through yonder window break. It is the East, and meaningful names in your story are the sun!


ASSIGNMENT:

1. Keep a Name Notebook. Carry it on you. Watch for interesting names in the books you read, in histories, in street signs, in town, river, and lake designations. My Super Secret name source? Movie credits. They are loaded with interesting names and combinations. WRITE THEM DOWN. Become a collector of names and their meanings. Use them in your stories.

2. Check the names in your existing stories. Are they easy to read, easy to sound out, or did you think it was cool to create an alien language without vowels? Do you know why we can't pronounce ancient Hebrew? THEY DIDN'T USE VOWELS, AND THE GUYS THAT KNEW HOW TO SAY THOSE WORDS ARE ALL DEAD. Make it easy to remember yours. Change out those lazy names you plucked from a hat. Your readers and editors and judges will thank you. Maybe with publication and an award. If you're fortunate, maybe one of those characters will become so popular, they'll even become a household name. Like Wulf Moon. wotf013
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Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Henckel » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:26 pm

Solid advice. Thanks Wulf!
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(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Retropianoplayer » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:06 pm

Speaking of brilliant character NAMES and choices by J.K. Rowling, here's a shout-out to Taylor Swift's latest album, undoubtedly her best. Taylor Swift wrote music and lyrics for these. The music is addictive; the lyrics are poetry on steroids. With songs called 'Exile,' 'Cardigan,' and 'The Last Great American Dynasty,' imagine magnificent poetry melded to catchy, upbeat tunes, and you can't help but LOVE this album, regardless if anyone is a Taylor Swift fan or not.

Again, the TITLES (song names) for each are wonderful; when you see the video of her playing a moss-covered piano in a beautiful forest near a waterfalls, then she falls into the rapids clutching the grand piano as life preserver, and she steps through the piano lid and retrieves a cardigan, it's genius.

Watch her win an award for this one.

Best,

Retro
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:48 pm

Retropianoplayer wrote:Speaking of brilliant character NAMES and choices by J.K. Rowling, here's a shout-out to Taylor Swift's latest album, undoubtedly her best. Taylor Swift wrote music and lyrics for these. The music is addictive; the lyrics are poetry on steroids. With songs called 'Exile,' 'Cardigan,' and 'The Last Great American Dynasty,' imagine magnificent poetry melded to catchy, upbeat tunes, and you can't help but LOVE this album, regardless if anyone is a Taylor Swift fan or not.

Again, the TITLES (song names) for each are wonderful; when you see the video of her playing a moss-covered piano in a beautiful forest near a waterfalls, then she falls into the rapids clutching the grand piano as life preserver, and she steps through the piano lid and retrieves a cardigan, it's genius.

Watch her win an award for this one.

Best,

Retro


Great minds think alike, Retro! I both listened to and watched the lyrics on Vevo yesterday! Her poetry was so good, I wrote down a page front to back of writing prompts from it! (I'll be updating our list, Leah. Look out! :) The melodies were so mellow and peaceful compared to her pop stuff. An amazing accomplishment, night and day difference from her other work. She leveled up on this one--I heard the heavens open and stardust rain down and a +10 inspiration baby grand dropped from the sky!

Thanks for sharing. Now get back to checking those names, challenge beasties! Careful choices! Look up their etymology! There should be a reason for the names you choose to place or create in your stories. They should seem effortless on the surface, but the deeper you go down the rabbit hole, the better they will be.

Cheers!

Beastmaster Moon
Wulf Moon http://driftweave.com
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/wulfmoon
Critter Awards: Wulf Moon BEST AUTHOR 2019; "Super-Duper Moongirl" BEST SF&F STORY 2019.
Tangent 2020 Recommended: "Muzik Man" https://amzn.to/313KGJf

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby RSchibler » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:23 pm

I put a lot of research into my character names and choose them carefully... Sometimes. Sometimes I pick the first thing that comes to mind, that rolls off the tongue - but Wulf is right, I've often changed them later to something more meaningful. I stick to two or three syllables (prefer two!) and pronunciation that works well with the common tongue. In my first story that sold, the protagonist is named Bethany, but she goes by Bethy (two syllables!). The story is heavy in biblical symbolism, and Bethany is the town where Lazarus came back from the dead, which works well for the story.

That being said, I will say that "The Uplift War" by David Brin is an example where there are a number of protagonists whose names are utterly unpronounceable. There's a very good reason for this, built into the fabric of the story. IIRC the book opens with these characters. It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it, but every time I came to those names my brain blipped. Eventually I came to see them as symbols, almost pictures, instead of something I tried to "read". It took a while, though. Unless there's a very good reason for those names, as in Brin's story, why make the reader's life harder?

Great write-up, Wulf!
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:45 pm

RSchibler wrote:I put a lot of research into my character names and choose them carefully... Sometimes. Sometimes I pick the first thing that comes to mind, that rolls off the tongue - but Wulf is right, I've often changed them later to something more meaningful. I stick to two or three syllables (prefer two!) and pronunciation that works well with the common tongue. In my first story that sold, the protagonist is named Bethany, but she goes by Bethy (two syllables!). The story is heavy in biblical symbolism, and Bethany is the town where Lazarus came back from the dead, which works well for the story.

That being said, I will say that "The Uplift War" by David Brin is an example where there are a number of protagonists whose names are utterly unpronounceable. There's a very good reason for this, built into the fabric of the story. IIRC the book opens with these characters. It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it, but every time I came to those names my brain blipped. Eventually I came to see them as symbols, almost pictures, instead of something I tried to "read". It took a while, though. Unless there's a very good reason for those names, as in Brin's story, why make the reader's life harder?

Great write-up, Wulf!


Bethany has deep symbolic connotations, Becky. Great choice, and if you wish to soften her up or young her up, Bethy works nicely. As for David Brin's work, there are exceptions to every rule. I was thinking about Tolkien as I wrote this piece--he invented an entire language, complete with his own letters and diacritics! But when he got to his characters, they did have names you could easily pronounce. Sometimes too easily--many of his dwarf names rhymed and sounded much like the other. Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fíli, Kíli, Dori, Nori, Óin, Glóin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur. Great for reading to a child, I suppose, they'd love the rhyming and meter. But it drove me crazy trying to keep track of them all. He kept it up in LotR as well. Aragorn son of Arathorn comes to mind. There were many more, but it's 1 a.m. and my mind is shutting down. Point is, if you have a big cast, please make the names sound different. Assign a different first letter to each one's name if you can. It helps readers keep everyone straight.

Glad you enjoyed!

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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby Peter Glen » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:13 am

Thanks for the informative write, Wulf. I have already added a name to my new names diary.
BTW, possible inspiration for J.K. Rowling's naming of Harry Potter --> see Monty Python's 'Science Fiction' sketch ;)
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:40 am

Thanks for the latest secret. Naming is certainly important. Depends on the book's audience as well...

How do you feel about characters named Jack or John? For me, it's an immediate turn-off, as it looks like lazy Hollywood unwilling to move forward and present diversity among characters due to certain industry challenges, but I suppose I come from a background with a plethora of names. I always found it lazy when fantasy writers refuse to present us with interesting names. It's been great to see Sanderson's fantasy series have such diverse names that fit well into linguistic patterns that fit each culture within that unique story world.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby AjZach » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:30 am

Wulf Moon wrote:
Bethany has deep symbolic connotations, Becky. Great choice, and if you wish to soften her up or young her up, Bethy works nicely. As for David Brin's work, there are exceptions to every rule. I was thinking about Tolkien as I wrote this piece--he invented an entire language, complete with his own letters and diacritics! But when he got to his characters, they did have names you could easily pronounce. Sometimes too easily--many of his dwarf names rhymed and sounded much like the other. Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fíli, Kíli, Dori, Nori, Óin, Glóin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur. Great for reading to a child, I suppose, they'd love the rhyming and meter. But it drove me crazy trying to keep track of them all. He kept it up in LotR as well. Aragorn son of Arathorn comes to mind. There were many more, but it's 1 a.m. and my mind is shutting down. Point is, if you have a big cast, please make the names sound different. Assign a different first letter to each one's name if you can. It helps readers keep everyone straight.

Glad you enjoyed!

All the beast,

Beastmaster Moon


Tolkien didn't make up his own dwarf names, he took them from the list of the dwarves from the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. He had a lot of inspiration from Norse Mythology, even the name, Middle Earth. Maybe he should have made the dwarves names more varied, but they did mean something.

Interestingly, Gandalf is also on that list, I wonder why he chose that for a wizard instead.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby SwiftPotato » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:58 am

This naming thing came at an excellent time...the story I'm finishing up now has some very interestingly named characters (pronounceable single-syllable words, I promise!). I feel like those names definitely helped signal something about the world those characters are living in.
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby CCrawford » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:51 am

Thanks for the post on names!

I like to look up meanings of any name I use and/or choose names with thematic meaning or create names based on words in another language that also fits the culture/vibe of my world. Sometimes I make up a name based on sounds/aesthetics and then look it up and realize it actually means something that makes sense for my story. This has happened multiple times and it's always a bit surprising! But perhaps my subconscious at work. I try to stick with that same sound/similar naming pattern for all important characters in the story. I really like knowing that the names mean something, even though no one else may ever notice.

Actually, we did the same for naming our kids! But I like to do it with my characters, too. :)
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Re: Wulf Moon's SUPER SECRETS Workshop & Challenge!

Postby oishisushi911 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:02 pm

SwiftPotato wrote:This naming thing came at an excellent time...the story I'm finishing up now has some very interestingly named characters (pronounceable single-syllable words, I promise!). I feel like those names definitely helped signal something about the world those characters are living in.


Regarding Sanderson, again, but I imagine other writers have done this too, he used all single syllable names for members of a thief gang (Clubs, Breeze, etc.), and it worked pretty well to set them off from the other story groups.
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