Fantasy novels, as opposed to Realistic novels, have more to offer in the way of creativity and choice in naming. It is both a wonderful gift and a burden. You have to balance choosing a name that suits your “world” with the need to appeal to modern tastes. With this example, modern taste is paramount.
Her real name is Arianna
She wakes up with amnesia lying next to teenage boy pulled from our world named Colum. She is dressed like someone from a noble family. Since she can’t remember her name, he lists several names that he could call her. He offers a few very American names before they find something that doesn’t sound so foreign to her.
Other characters: A seer named Omena
I need a name that an American teenage boy would think of that sounds beautiful and elegant.
Even though the writer uses the exotic sounding name Omena for the seer, the girl’s “real name” in her world is Arianna, a name that is not even unusual and that fits modern style to a T. I knew that whatever name I chose as an alternate name for her should not be more fanciful or exotic than the name the writer chose, although I think the names I offered were on par with Arianna.
Since the name would be something chosen by a contemporary teen, I started my search the same way I would if it were for a Contemporary novel, at the Social Security Administration’s Popular Baby Names site. I searched for the top 1000 names for birth year 1992. I found Arianna on this list, along with a number of other names that were BEAUTIFUL and ELEGANT.
The names I put on my starter list I looked up on Namipedia to check for any bad associations and for how how a teenage boy might know the name. I then shortened my list and put in suggestions before sending it to the writer.
- Alexandria: He learned about the ancient library at Alexandria in school
- Rhiannon: His parents like the song by Fleetwood Mac
- Cassandra: Maybe a girl at his school that she looks like
- Angelica: He thinks she looks like an angel
- Aurora: Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty
The writer chose Aurora, and wrote to say: “I’ll need to work out how he would know the name of a Disney Princess, since I think he’s an only child, but that will just help boost my word count.”