On Fantasy Names

Anonymous asked “The names of my characters are pretty normal and not the type of names you usually see in the fantasy genre. Is that okay or should I change them before I start writing?”

To be honest, I don’t think names are a make-it-or-break-it aspect for most readers, unless the name is painfully hard to remember or pronounce. Normal names are generally pretty safe, but I think it also says something about the world you’ve written. 

Normal names will make people assume the story is set the real world. The Game of Thrones series does a particularly good job with names. The characters all have names that are for the most part familiar sounding, they are reminiscent of names that actually exist – sometimes, they are regular names and just spelled a little differently.  Normal names can exist in alternate world high fantasy, but from my experience, they tend not to. 

All-in-all, I think it’s really up to you. Generally, I like normal names – they’re easy to pronounce and to remember. Normal names can feel like a good fit at times, I won’t argue that. So, really it’s whether you feel that these names fit into your story and the world you’ve created as well as they could. 

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