NamesI was really apprehensive about calling the place Avalon. I knew that Avristar was an island like Avalon, but not Avalon. It had to be my island because if it was Avalon, then people would be all confused thinking about King Arthur, and my story had nothing to do with King Arthur.
My first instinct was to go to Tolkien. I didn't know how stereotypical that was back then. I grabbed the Tolkien dictionary and began naming things based on what was cool. The island became Istalindir, the provinces were Soronuume, Telumendil, Menelmakar, Alqualond and Nandaro.
I didn't do a lot with the land outside of Avristar, I just began writing. I had character names that literally came from my countless meditations, Kaliel and Krishani, Desaunius, Pux, and then I stole some more names from Tolkien for the rest, most notably, Atara, Istar and Mallorn.
It wasn't until 2010 that Sue Dawe told me about the whole Tolkien thing being unoriginal. She said I had an original story and that the Tolkien language was mucking it all up.
From that point, I went back to my guides. I suck at making up names so I worked with THE Kemplan (don’t laugh at me, I actually have a guide named Kemplan and he IS a librarian), and we worked out names for everything. I now have a notebook full of names, places and groups.
Istalindir became Avristar, the provinces became Evensess, Amersil, Araraema, Nandaro and Orlondir. The names didn't change much, Luinil because Luenelle, Melyanna became Melianna, but these are secondary characters that don't matter as much. Atara, Istar and Mallorn stayed the same because the names suited the characters so well.
Thankfully Kaliel and Krishani didn’t come from Tolkien, they came from meditation and so those names never had to change and in my opinion, they weren’t names I ever would change because they also suit who the characters are.
I didn’t go for common names because they’re too common. I tried to stay away from long names unless they had a nice ring to them. I tried to spell every name phonetically. Most of all I tried to make the names suit the character.
Tomorrow we move on from names to the landscape that can be found in Avristar.
If you missed part 1 go HERE