World building is great fun, but it’s not always simple. Creating fantasy place names that are easy to read and flow off the tongue can be a challenge, and there is a trope, of sorts, that fantasy names are hard to read and impossible to pronounce.
In all my writing, I try my best to make names for settlements, countries, creatures, and everything else, that anyone can pronounce. I don’t use accents for one simple reason: I struggled to understand them in school.
Apostrophes are considered overdone in fantasy names, and they can make words a mouthful. I (currently) only use them in the names of dragons, which is to do with their naming conventions, and there’s only one in each name. No G’nim’iws’odil type names in my work.
But how can we create natural sounding fantasy place names without being experts in language?
I personally take the approach of using what already exists. Earth is a big place with over 7,000 languages spoken at the time of writing. These have been developed over thousands of years and have beautiful sounds, so why not make use of them?
Below are my 5 simple steps to create fantasy place names using existing languages as a base.Continue reading“5 Simple Steps to Create Fantasy Place Names”