Do you Know these odd names

Names are important for writers. Would Voltemort have sounded as evil if he’d been named Bob Jones? What if Darth Vader had been called Joe Vader? Or Scarlett O’hara Molly Jane? Sometimes it’s hard to find the right name for your characters.

On the other hand, some sports teams’ nicknames can be really wild. Such as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the baseball Southern League? Or the Florence Y’alls in the baseball Frontier League. Do you really want to root for a team called the Nuts? The Modesto Nuts in the California League. More to come.

In speculative fiction, we have to come up with name that are different, yet pronounceable, so we can’t just string a series of consonants together. You don’t want to stumble over names when you’re doing a reading. With alien characters, you want the name to sound alien; don’t use ordinary human names.

One of my fellow writers in my critique group, which has been shut down for a year, insisted on using the name ‘Gore’ for his humanoid alien. We didn’t realize until three pages in that he actually was an alien. I kept thinking of the Vice President.

Sometimes you can find a name by happenstance. My character, Roroy, happened that way. I was planning to call him Rory, but accidently typed in an ‘o’. Oh, I said, that’s even better.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

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