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Your search for the tag 'character names' yielded 13 results

  • 1

    Interview: Dec 12th, 2000

    CNN Chat (Verbatim)

    MengLor

    Where do you come up with the original spelling of the names of the characters?

    Robert Jordan

    Some of them come out of myths and legends. And others come because the sound is somewhat familiar, or because I like the sound of the name.

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  • 2

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

    Question

    A question about how Jordan came up with his names.

    Robert Jordan

    Nynaeve is the name of the nymph who in some versions of the Arthur Legend, imprisoned Merlin. Amyrlin is of course a play on Merlin, as is Thom Merrilin, a play on Merlin, and Rand al'Thor is a play on Arthur, as well as on Thor, but then so is Arthur Hawkwing a play on Arthur, because as I said before it's not a retelling of the myths... As things are done by in the myth, in the legend, if things were done by one man, were actually in both done by several perhaps and had become inflated in time.

    But the names come from everywhere. I read the ... in the New York Times, or the London Times, or something mis-seen on the street, I see, I catch a sign from the corner of my eye, and I misread a word on the sign because I only see it out of the corner of my eyes. And I jot it down, because it sounded like a good name.

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  • 3

    Interview: Feb 28th, 2011

    staircasewit ()

    I really enjoy your books, and I can only think of one question at the moment, perhaps I'll come back with more.

    I suppose my question is about how you name your characters. I've been reading WoT and notice some similarities, for example Cenn, and Sarene, and Shalon (different spelling, but they probably sound the same). Is it purely by accident that you have characters with similar names, or is it a homage to a recent master of the fantasy genre? Or is it just that with RJ's 2000+ names, it's impossible to escape some overlap? :) So I guess I'm curious about how you name your characters in general (and even places. Urithiru is an awesome name.)

    Thanks for your time, and your books!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I ended up with a lot of unconscious similarities in Kings as I was working on it for such an extended period of time. Cenn wasn't actually intentional. (At least, I don't think so; sometimes, it's hard to remember back to which names pop out intentionally and which do not.) The eyebrows of the Thaylens were, however, an intentional homage, as is the name of the mountains by where Szeth's people live.

    There is going to be some overlap. Sarene is a great example of this; I'm pretty sure that one is just coincidence, though I'd lay odds on Cenn being an unconscious influence.

    Some of the names in the book were constructed quite intentionally to fit linguistic paradigms of the setting. Urithiru, for example, is a palindrome—which are holy in the Alethi and Veden tongues. Some names, like Shallan, are intentionally one letter off of a holy word—as to not sound too arrogant. (Shallash would be the holy word; nobility will often change one letter to create a child's name to evoke the holy term, but not be blasphemous.)

    With many, I just go for the right feel. I've worked these names over for years and years at this point. Dalinar's name has been set in place for a good ten years or so, but Kaladin used to be named Merin and Szeth used to be named Jek. (The first changed because I didn't like it; the second changed because the linguistics of the Shin people changed and I needed a name that better fit.)

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  • 4

    Interview: Jan, 2012

    Karasi (Reddit.com)

    I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit.com)

    Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 1)

    There are a couple of interesting things about this chapter. First off, it didn't originally start with Raoden waking up. When I first wrote the book, I threw Raoden directly into the city, line one. That original line was: "It wasn't until Raoden heard the gate swing closed behind him, booming with a shocking sound of finality, that he realized he had been damned."

    While this line worked pretty well, I found I had to do an extended flashback showing him waking up and frightening the maid, etc. In the end, I realized that this was a bulky construction that didn't really speed the novel up—but rather slowed it down. So, I rewrote the first scene to have Raoden waking up, seeing Elantris, and then realizing he'd been taken by the Shaod.

    My books tend to have what are called 'steep learning curves.' In other words, they take a little getting used to. Fantasy in general has a steep learning curve, and I don't tend to write very standard fantasies—I like to push the genre a little bit, introducing strange settings and irregular magic systems. Because of this, I have to be very careful at the beginnings of my books not to overwhelm the reader. This book was a good example—taking it a little easier, giving the reader a more cautious ease into Elantris, proved the better route.

    Happily, I eventually managed to preserve the original line with its catchy feel. I don't usually do things like this—I don't believe in the standard 'hook' idea. However, when I was thinking about this book, the first lines of the first three chapters were some of the first things that occurred to me. These three lines became the foundation for how I characterized the separate viewpoints, and they were part of what drew me to writing the book in the first place. If you go through and read them, I think they each have a little bit of zip, and hopefully invoke a sense of curiosity. These three lines introduce each character and one of their primary conflicts, and do it in a simple, clear way.

    Maintaining this feel with the new first scene was important to me, even though it could be argued that the first line of chapter one is a bit of POV error. I'm revealing information that the viewpoint character doesn't yet know. I avoid these, but in this case, I felt that cohesion was more important than strict POV, right here.

    I also did a second massive cut just after Raoden was thrown into the city. If you read the earlier draft, you'll see that he struggles with what has happened to him a bit more. There's even a brief section where he thinks about Ien and some of the Seon's words of wisdom. I cut these sections because they just slowed the book too much. I figured Raoden's shorter soul-searching at the beginning, where he quickly comes to the decision to 'look damnation in the face,' helped the story move along. Again, I worry about my beginnings—perhaps too much—because they have a history of dragging just a bit. By pushing Raoden into walking through the city, I kept the pacing up.

    Everything else in this chapter pretty much stayed the same. In the original draft, Galladon was actually named Galerion. I made the change because the name 'Galerion' just didn't fit the eventual linguistic style I devised for Duladel. Again, I didn't do as much planning for this book as I now for books I write now, and I just kind of let the names and cultures develop as I wrote. In the end, Galerion's culture out-developed his name. I figured that the main Dula in the book needed to have a Dula-sounding name. Interestingly, Moshe—my editor—independently decided that he really didn't like Galerion's name. When I made the suggested change, he was very pleased. Originally, he didn't like Raoden's name either—but this came, mostly, because he had trouble pronouncing it. I actually really like the name, but understand that it can be difficult if you don't understand the Aonic language. Remember—two hard vowel sounds formed by the Aon, every other vowel is soft. RAY-OH-den. (Read the pronunciation guide for more.)

    Galladon/Galerion originally spoke with a much stronger dialect in this chapter. However, these dribbled off after the first few chapters, and I decided I didn't want him to be quite as difficult to understand. So, I went back and cut them. You'll notice, however, that Galladon still hits the dialect pretty hard in this first chapter.

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  • 6

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    Seolin is an interesting character to me. Not because he really does anything distinctive—but because of how he developed. His name was "Saorn" in the original draft, by the way. I think I changed this because it was too close to "Daorn." People also confused it with Shaod. I'm not certain if the new one fixes that problem, but it does feel a little more distinctive to me.

    Regardless, Seolin is one of those characters who grew out of nothing to have a strangely large part in the plot. Again, I realize that he's not all that original as a character. However, his dedication—and the way Raoden came to rely on him—wasn't something I intended when planning the book. While I don't believe in the whole 'Books surprise their authors' concept, I do enjoy the discovery of writing. Seolin is one of the characters 'discovered' in this way, and I am very pleased with him.

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  • 7

    Interview: Jul 29th, 2006

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dockson, by the way, got his nickname before his real name. I wanted to call a character Dox, for some odd reason. The name just came into my head and stuck. And, I figured that this book would be one where everyone would have nicknames, so I started playing around with Dox until I got Dockson to be the main name.

    Of course, because of that, I established that 'son' could end names. Therefore, we get other names in this linguistic paradigm—such Ferson in the second book, or Franson in book three. (Both of those names came from friends of mine.)

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  • 8

    Interview: Jul 29th, 2006

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 13)

    Apparently, both the names "Elend" and "Straff" are words in German. I certainly didn't intend that, though I did try to make the names have a similar feel, since they're father and son. It's funny how often we fantasy writers come up with words that actually mean something in another language.

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  • 9

    Interview: Jul 9th, 2012

    Phillip Carroll

    But here are the questions that I asked my buddies to send in here. My daughter actually—I'll ask her question first in case we run out of time—Waxillian? Why Waxillian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, that's a great question. The thing about Waxillian's name is, a lot of people don't like it. I actually love it, but that happens a lot in my books; I'll do something I love that I kind of know other people are going to be annoyed by. The Wax books came, actually....as I was designing the books, I was figuring the characters, and the pun Wax and Wayne struck me, and I thought, "I can't do that; that's too lame a pun." But the characters adopted those name before I could even do anything about it, and I actually tried changing the names, and it didn't work. You know how sometimes, organically, it just happens, and you're like, "I gotta go with this." And so I didn't want to actually just named them Wax and Wayne; I wanted Wax to be short for something, and it fits very well into the Mistborn universe, because all the characters tend to have nicknames that—you know, there was Clubs and Ham and Breeze in the last series—and I wanted a name that fit with that, and so Wax worked really well, but I wanted it to be short for something, and so I started looking at period names, things like William that worked and I actually ended up picking Waxillian because it also has a metallurgic sound and I figured names in this culture in the Mistborn world where metals are so important to the magic, you might have people named after metals; you might have names that sound like metals intentionally because of that resonance. At the end of the day I just really ended up liking it. It is a bizarre name.

    Phillip Carroll

    Thank you.

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  • 10

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Question

    So, you already spoke to how daunting taking over the Wheel of Time is, and what an extensive series it is. One of the most impressive and interesting things to me in it is there's more than, I believe, 1700 named characters.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you already spoke to how daunting taking over the Wheel of Time is, and what an extensive series it is. One of the most impressive and interesting things to me in it is there's more than, I believe, 1700 named characters.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's 2500.

    Question

    2500. That's even more than I thought.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's crazy.

    Question

    What is a fantasy author—since you can't just look in the phone book or something to grab a name—how do you find your inspiration for names for characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the book I'm writing. For some of my books, I use interesting linguistic quirks that interest me. I've taken a number of linguistics classes, and so for instance, for Warbreaker I used just something simple like repeating consonant sounds, so we ended up with Vivenna and Susebron, to give a theme to some of the name. In Way of Kings, symmetry is holy, and so I use palindromes or one-letter-off palindromes as names, and that's where a lot of names came from in there.

    For Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan actually did look in the phonebook. The reason for this being is he wanted to harken to our world with the Wheel of Time, implying the Wheel of Time is perhaps our world in the future or in the past. And so he wanted names that felt like names of people you knew, but changed a little bit. And this is where things like "Thom" came from, spelled with an "H", or Mat, with you know, and all of this stuff.

    And so he would go through the phonebook looking for common names and tweak them. And so for Wheel of Time naming, I got lists of names. I just had fans' names, and I just used these names and tweaked them, in order to try and get the same style and feel of naming.

    One trick—if you're having trouble with this—that a lot of writers use, is they will pick a geographic area in our world, and they will base the names off of those geographic names. Like they'll say . . . I've used actually ancient Persian. I'm like, ancient Persian names, sure. And then I'll go and look at those and I will change them to fit my characters. But that way, everyone from the same region has a similar naming paradigm. So, there's all sorts of things that you can do.

    Question

    Thank you. That was the most informative explanation of naming I've heard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

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  • 11

    Interview: Sep 29th, 2013

    Lauren Zurchin

    [Tell us about] coming up with the names for the Epics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was really all right. I wouldn't say proud with regard to 'Steelheart', more ecstatic because I came up with the name very early on. And I'm like, "Oh, I hope no one has used this. I hope no one has used this." And then I went and looked and there were no major superheroes with that name listed on the various lists that I found. So I figure I'm pretty safe. But from going on there, finding names was really difficult. I wanted to do things that hadn't been used by any major Marvel or DC characters. And they have lots and lots and lots of characters—lots of them! And so, my instinct was if there's a Wikipedia article dedicated to this character, they're probably too big a character for me to use that name. And so, I spent most of the time either there, or there are resources on various fan sites that just list all the characters that I could search, just by names. And I would have a list of twelve names for a superhero or supervillain, and spend all this time trying to figure in, and all twelve would have been used, and I would have to go back to the drawing board and come up with twelve more, or something like that.

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