I've read in several threads that some people have difficulties finding fitting names for their characters (me included) — names seem to be such a minor thing, but it can actually be pretty hard to find the perfect name for a character or creature or species.
In this tutorial I list some of the criteria I use to find fitting names. Maybe my steps can be helpful for other people.
If you find mistakes or encounter problems, please let me know.
The tutorial includes information about how I choose fitting names for characters and some thoughts about different criteria like the sound of names, their meaning and catchiness.
Please excuse my poor English. I had to translate the whole thing and I hope you can understand my grammar.
includes: 1 × tutorial (750 px)
It includes the tutorial in higher resolution.
includes: 3 × tutorial (1000 px) + 1 × tutorial (750 px); English version
newest version: 1 / 07-14
Thank you. Yes, you're right; the meaning of a name changes and also associations connected to it (sometimes even how popular and frequently used a name is can already change its effect on listeners/readers). But this "evolved" meaning can be very vague and that's why I would always start with the original meaning and go from there.
Rick might not be a fitting name for a king, but its full version Richard (because the original words rihhi (rich) and harti (hard) still have the appropriate meaning and feel to them).
Thanks. The font for the continuous text is Permian Slab Serif and for the headlines and highlights it's FKneoz.
I think the meaning of letters goes back to the development of fonts and symbols as early images. That has more to do with typography and how letters are created and what their style and appearance tells about them.
In the end it's about how you want a name to be pronounced. Unfortunately, even in movies actors and writers don't always agree on the pronunciation and a name sometimes changes from scene to scene depending on who uses it. But in the end every reader or listener creates an own version of a name (for example if they've always pronounced a name in a particular way they probably won't change it even if the name is pronounced differently or if there's a really difficult name they pronounce it how they think it works best). You can only "suggest" a pronunciation, but people usually will pronounce it differently anyway.
No problem. I have the bad habit of needing a long time for some responses too
If you've been using a name for a long time in a particular way then it sometimes can be confusing or even shocking when you hear its "correct" pronunciation. This has happened to me more than once
Thanks, I'm happy if it's useful, although I don't know what process Tolkien uses.