A Quick Guide to Crafting Names and Nomenclatures in Science Fiction
Novice writers may view writing as a process of balancing plots and characters. However, it is more than that. There are so many things to consider, including the names and nomenclatures. You may have an amazing world and a fantastic story brewing with unique characters, people, places, and things. But all of it will be pointless if you do not carefully think about the names and nomenclatures.
Names are vital. Names have power. Names and nomenclatures are crucial to a story, especially in science fiction writing. As humans, names help us identify people, animals, objects, everything. Every single name for such conjures a picture in our minds within seconds. Naming conventions in writing are even more important. Often authors are creating new worlds, names, languages, and such. But, bear in mind that authors do not use names and nomenclatures for the sake of identification. These help you and readers connect with a character, setting, and world. They help you explore new lands and depths in your mind. And a low-grade name can destroy the overall immersion experience of readers.
This may put an additional burden on your shoulders, but crafting names and nomenclatures doesn’t need to be difficult, and this article will prove it to you. This will be a quick guide to make coming up with names and nomenclatures in your next novel a little easier.
Creating Names at Random
Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Jay Gatsby, Hannibal Lecter, and Count Dracula: are just a few examples of memorable character names in books. Upon hearing these names, surely the books that feature these characters will immediately pop into mind. Galleons, howler, foe-glass, and probity probe are also nomenclatures that Harry Potter readers would immediately recognize. The aforementioned names and nomenclatures prove that a strong identifier will positively impact your book.
Most writers would seek the help of name generators found online. Although they are highly recommended, it is still best to take matters into your own hands. You can utilize the names in the name generator and mix and match names until you’ve crafted believable and fitting identifiers for people, places, and things in your story. Moreover, you can come up with names by stringing letters and words together, as long as they are still pronounceable and easy to remember. Nonsensical words can actually seem sensible in many stories. In fact, it is truly up to you if you’ll follow your instincts to name generating that suits your story best.
Borrowing Names and Nomenclatures
It’s not uncommon that authors borrow names and words for their stories. They may utilize history and current naming conventions. For example, Rick Badman borrows common American names such as Dick Thurman and Kate. He also borrowed common words and combined them to create another term, such as flying cars, flywheel-powered electric cars, and starship Aremulac. The latter name uses a method of connecting a random word with a borrowed one. The point is, when coming up with names for your sci-fi story, you can go mash together well-known names to create a nomenclature with real meaning. Authors do use a technique to make the names their own by adding up a little bit of spice to the names and terminologies.
There are 6,500 languages in the world today, not including the dead languages and dialects. There are also obscure languages or classical languages such as Latin, greek, proto-indo-European ready for you to utilize. This offers plenty of naming opportunities for you. It is still worth considering borrowing words from the many languages out there when crafting names for your sci-fi story. You can research through books and on the internet these languages. However, when it comes to naming, you do have to be careful when introducing foreign and new words to your readers. Bear in mind that going overboard with your naming can destroy your reader’s connection to the character, object, setting, world, even your overall story. For instance, your story focuses on a virtual world, and you’ll borrow from the Finnish language to name that virtual world as dream land. The Finnish word of dream is unelma, and land is maa. Now, you combine the two, and you’ll end up with the word unelmaa.
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you borrow names originating from other words or languages because readers will have very little idea of the origin of that word. You can build your own internal logic on the names and nomenclatures you’ve created.