‘So Where Do I Get the Funny Names?’ (2014)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) by [Lee Duigon]

My mother wasn’t the only one who was put off fantasy by the names of the characters. My wife felt that way, too–and a pretty odd way to feel, I thought, for someone who likes Russian novels.

Where do my Bell Mountain characters’ names come from?

So Where Do I Get the Funny Names?

Admit it–if you were reading a novel set in Japan, you’d expect the characters to have Japanese names. You wouldn’t expect them to be called Frank McGlothlin, Suzanne Jones, Reggie Smythe, etc., etc.

I need those funny names when I’m writing about the world of Bell Mountain. But I have tried to keep from going overboard with it.

‘What Turns You Off Fantasy?’ (2013)

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Do you shy away from Russian novels because you can’t even guess how to pronounce the characters’ names? Some people have that same problem with fantasy.

What Turns You Off Fantasy?

I don’t know that characters in fantasy novels have names that are any harder to believe in than the names of college presidents. Clostridia Whittington Farnsworthy–names like that. Don’t tell me “Aragorn” or “Corsus” is worse than that.

I am forced to admit that great steaming chunks of fantasy fiction are totally worthless. I don’t care so much about the names. It’s the stead downpour of cliches that puts me off.

But a fantasy that really works–Ah! Priceless!