If you have followed my website for any length of time, you are by now aware that I like using Reddit to get my article ideas. I search reddit for questions and then I answer them, here, though not often on Reddit. While I post answers here on my website daily, often 3 or more a day, I only post answers on Reddit once, maybe twice, a week, if that often. I dislike the toxic vibes of Reddit comment sections and so avoid dealing with them, by writing up very long comments and then NOT posting the comment on Reddit, but rather instead posting it here for you. my readers, because I know you guys are not toxic. And so, that is what this page is, yet again, today. I have found a question on reddit and I am going to answer it here instead of answering it o Reddit. Enjoy!
Today, let's do something a little bit different. Starting last week of July 2023, I have been testing out ChatGPT on my website. Today, let's see what ChatGPT has to say about this Reddit post.
I'm going to start out by answering the post myself, and then afterwards, I am going to paste the question into ChatGPT and see how similar or different AI's answer is from mine.
Don't know if this is the kind of advice you are looking for or not, but, I will tell you what I do and perhaps it'll give you some ideas for what you can do?
My system for naming things is stupidly simple: I just call it whatever it is.
If you look at the names of places in my novels and short stories, it's pretty easy to see how I come up with names:
* **Silent Moor** = a vast salt marsh (aka a moor), where no one lives, and the only sound is the wind and birds. *(It's also the real world Scarborough March in Maine, you can actually visit it.)*
* **Fire Mountain** = a volcano
* **Mt. DemonTooth** = the tallest mountain in the world, which is white with snow, and it tall and pointy, shaped a lot like a fang
* **The Mushroom Forest** = A vast swampy forest where giant mushrooms grow.
* **[The Giant Caterpiller](https://www.reddit.com/r/SilentMoor/comments/y7m0xn/magictober_2022day_2_magical_monsterbeast/)** = A caterpillar. It's huge. It grows to the size of blue whales.
* **The Swamp of Death** = It’s a swamp. A lot of people have died there. A swamp where Kelpies live and kill and eat travelers foolish enough to walk through it at night.
* **The God Forsaken City** = a city that is rife with crime, gangs, and black market dealers
* **Crystal Cave** = A big cave that has lots of crystals growing on it's walls
* **Fairy Wine** = A bright green wine, made by Faeries. It causes hallucinations when drunk by Humans.
* **Fairy Cakes** = Cakes made by Faeries.
* **The Glass Forest aka BabbaYagga's Glass Forest** = It's a Forest. The trees are made of glass. BabbaYagga lives there. And I didn't create this one. It literally comes straight out of the Babba Yagga aka Hansel and Gretel folktale, which stated Hansel and Gretel found BabbaYagga's chicken footed gingerbread house situated in a glass forest.
* **The River Boat Man Woman** = A mysterious hooded character, who shows up in the series from time to time. No one knows if it is a man or a woman. They drive a river boat and take other characters across the river.
* **BoomFuzzy's Gingerbread House** = It's a house. It's made out of gingerbread. A character named BoomFuzzy lives there.
* **[BoomFuzzy the Unicorn, Lich King of Fire Mountain](https://www.reddit.com/r/SilentMoor/comments/y7jub0/magictober_2022day_1_villain_to_mages_or_a/)** = A Kelpie. Often mistaken for a Unicorn. He's a Lich. He's also the King of the Realm of Fae. He lives on Fire Mountain. Awh, look at the cute FUZZY little Shetland pony, can I keep him? BOOM, he eats you.
* **The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley** = A character who has a reputation for eating Elves. He lives in Pepper Valley.
* **GhoulSpawn** = A character who is the only son of The Ghoul King aka he is the spawn of The Ghoul, thus his name is GhoulSpawn.
* **The Pink Necromancer** = He's a necromancer. He always wears pink. He is also a silk weaver and silk merchant, who specializes in weaving enchanted pink silk, and sewing it into enchanted magic items which can aid in communication with the dead. He's also the main character.
* **The Sacred Pink JellyFish** = A tiny pink JellyFish, thousands of years old, believed to be immortal, whom has mind boggling mega OP god powers and is capable of destroying entire solar systems with nothing but the words: "I wish..." She crawled up the nose of The Pink Necromancer and now lives burrowed in his brain.
* **The Cult of The Sacred Pink JellyFish** = A cult led by Squid Headed aliens from Neptune's Moon. They worship The Sacred Pink JellyFish and believe she is the Mother God, the creator of all life.
* **Pepper Valley** = A big valley. Lots of wild peppermint plants grow there. Lots of wild peppers grow there. Lots of wild peppercorn grows there.
* **The Twighlight Manor** = A haunted manor house built by Faeries. It can only be seen by Humans at twilight each night. The rest of the day/night it can not be seen by Human eyes.
I call a thing, whatever it is.
Yeah. I just name stuff by what they look like or what they have.
My world exists for a series of books to be written about it and set within it. This means that readers are well going to read it.
* Readers want to enjoy the story.
* Readers do not want to be confused by gibberish nonsense words they can not pronounce.
* Readers get frustrated by authors who try to be clever and big brained.
* Readers don't care about the world and what things are named.
* Readers care about the main character and his well being.
* Readers WILL stop reading, not finish, and refuse to buy further books from the author in question, if the names of characters and places are too difficult to pronounce; meaning if you plan to make an income from your books, you are shooting yourself in the foot every time you make up a newly invented word which doesn't exist in the real world.
* I write Romance, yes, obviously it's Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, seeing how there are Faeries and monsters and such in the names mentioned above, but it's still capital R, Romance first and foremost, regardless of the Fantasy setting. And let's face it, Romance readers like simple things, simple names, because they want to relax while reading in bed or reading on the beach… they do NOT want a book which jarrs them with nonsensical gibberish sounding names.
* I write Gay Furry/Poly Yaoi/Gay Harem Romance, which caters to a very small, but very specific hair fetish niche, and a readers in this niche are more concerned with descriptions of fluffy fur, gleaming horns, fluttery wings, and shinning cloven hooves, then they are trying to figure out what the fuck Blibertyfloorbpglooppebick means. A character with a simple name like Mark, Bob, or Wade, gets more reader love than characters named Fizbanbubbernicker, Moljortyipsnierka, or Lajhkiellaia. Readers want simple names that they can stash away unobtrusively in the back of the mind, not names that bring them out of immersion and force them to spend twenty minutes trying to figure out how the fuck to pronounce it.
* Readers want to flow through the story without breaking immersion.
*(continued because I ran out of room)*
Every time a word shows up which the reader does not know, immersion is broken while they stop reading to try to figure out how to pronounce the new word.
Even though my main character is an Elf and he and the other characters only speak Elvish, my readers are Humans who can only read English.
Real world languages usually are just calling a thing a thing. For example the word Mississippi means "big muddy river". Thus the phrase "The Mississippi River" is literally "The Big Muddy River River". If you start looking at real world maps, you will quickly find that names of places are not actual names, but rather just a descriptor of a thing, calling that thing, exactly whatever it is.
So, my readers are made aware that the main character is speaking in a language not English:
>>>Quaraun stopped walking.
>>> "Look at that," the old Elf said in Elvish to his companions.
A phrase such as that, shows up in the first paragraph on the first page, alerting the reader, right out the gate, that everything in this story is happening from an Elf's perspective and conversations are happening in the Elf language, so obviously place names are going to be Elvish as well. But everything is translated into English for the sake of the reader, including names of places.
In other words, I want readers to be so immersed in the story that they feel like they are the ones walking through my world. And don't want to break that immersion by slapping them in the face with a wet fish.
And that is exactly what conlang does to readers. They are reading along, then suddenly SLAP the big floppy wet fish of a gibbering word they can't pronounce hits them in the face and they are rudely pulled out of the story, staring at this word and asking themselves: "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" They put the book down to see if the word is in the dictionary. But being a made up word, it's not, so now the reader is confused and frustrated and immersion is gone.
Yes, I created three different conlangs and had fun doing it. But my readers are not Star Trek fans devoted to learning Klingon. My readers are people who speak English, read English, and want to be entertained by a good story, not frustrated by illkygfgj jhgc rewfgkk hgfcjh tewsgu jhgvdffh.
But, I live in Maine, and set my books in Maine and so I think Maine is great for getting names.
I straight up just use Maine towns unchanged.
Hope Cemetery in Wells, Maine is where I get a ton of names for characters too. Old Maine names from the 1600s are wonderful.
My books are set in the Maritime. Pretty much every town from Ivujivik, Quebec to Old Orchard Beach, Maine has appeared **[in my world](https://amzn.to/3SaH9k2)** at one point or another. If you're local you probably know me, everyone does, *(I'm EelKat on most places outside of Reddit)* or **[my rhinestoned Volvo or my neon pink motorhome.](https://www.eelkat.com/images/eelkat-marcy-no-hurry-dazz-razz.jpg)**
And if you ask why Maine? Why not some other state?
Every story I write is set in Maine, I write it on location. Like a lot are set in Rapid Ray's or The Golden Rooster, both in Saco, and I'm there in the diner eating garden omelets while I write.
The bulk of the Quaraun books actually take place in Pepperell Square in Saco, Maine, but it's called Pepper Valley in the books. I mentioned Pepper Valley above, remember? It's a real place. You can actually visit it. It's just called Pepperell Mill Valley in real life. Name slightly changed for the books. But yeah, if you start comparing the names of my places to names if real Maine towns, you start to see a lot of similarities.
Reimaging Maine towns as 40th century zombie infested wastelands is awesome fun. I love basing all my books off of Maine and using weird Maine town names. Maine is great for inspiration.
But if you look at Maine place names you start to realize they are stupidly simple. Old Orchard Beach for example is a beach with an apple orchard on it. Cranberry Cove is a cove where cranberries grow. Yeah, Mainers ain't too original with naming towns.
But, you don't have to pick Maine. The only reason I use Maine is because I live in Maine and it's easy for me to drive to the town and see it in person and get a feel for what it's really like before I write about it. You can do the same thing for any state or any region, no matter where you live. If you live in California, take inspiration from towns in California that you can visit, walk through. If you live in Japan, pick towns in Japan.
The point is, you don't have to look too far from your own backyard, to find inspiration when it comes to naming things or getting story ideas.
So wherever you live, it's going to be a great source of inspiration. All you have to do is go outside and walk around your neighborhood looking at street names, business names, names on mailboxes. Stop into a local gas station and get a local road map, look at the names of campgrounds and rivers and ponds in your area.
Just hop in your car and drive up and down local streets and local towns, pay attention to names on street signs, buildings, businesses, drive through cemeteries, write down any interesting names you see. I do this every week, and my dog loves it. He gets to go on car tides, he gets to walk on new streets, pee on new posts, bark at new dogs… we have loads of fun doing this every week.
**The tl;dr of it is this: Why bring the reader out of immersion by saying the foreign language word Mississippi, when you can translate that word to its English meaning The Big Muddy River? And now the reader is not confused by a word they don't understand and they get a description of what the river looks like at the same time.**
Well, that’s my way of thinking at least. So, no overthinking of names from me. I just call it whatever it is. Hey look, there’s a big mountain, well, now that’s it’s name Big Mountain. I’d rather spend more time on the fun stuff, like the cultures and magic system, than waste time trying to think up names, so I’m all for overly simplified names.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your project!
What do you want to become?
What did you do today to step closer to that goal?
Whatever you do, be your best at it!
And remember to have yourself a great and wonderfully glorious day!
Evil men go out of their way to try to drive a person to suicide.
Are you an evil man?
Are you sure you're not?
How many people have YOUR hate filled words killed?
Next time you go to do a mean thing to a fellow human, stop and really think about the consequences of your actions.
Did you ever notice how every one has a story to tell about me, yet not one of them ever speaks the truth?
What lies has YOUR gossiping tongue spread about me?
Did you know...
October 16, 2006, bomb blew up my house because of YOUR lies.
August 8, 2013, the house which replaced the one the bomb blew up, was driven over by a backhoe.
November 14, 2013, my 8 month old infant son was murdered because of your lies.
November 14, 2013, I was beaten up, paralized for 5 months, spent 18 weeks relearning to walk, I'm now crippled for the rest of my life, because of YOUR lies.
Are you proud of what you have done?
Enjoy your eternity in Hell. You earned it. You've certainly worked hard for it.
If you have any information about any of these events, please call FBI Agent Andy Drewer at 207-774-9322