Part of writing fantasy is finding or coming up with fantasy words and names. You want something that looks out of this world, yet won’t make the reader stumble. I am more of the camp that believes less is better. I don’t want my readers pausing every couple paragraphs trying to figure out what that word is, or remember who that was because the name is so different, or needing a glossary at the end of the book for every creature, species, or person. I want it simple.
That being said, I still have creative or ancient words in my books. Recently I had someone ask me how to pronounce some of them. I told this person part of the magic of reading is you get to pronounce it the way you want to. However, I know some people like to know how the author pronounces it (even I am curious sometimes as to how the author would say that word).
So here is a short guide to some of the places, people, and races in the Follower of the Word series. Enjoy!
Nierne- Scribe from Thyra. Near Nee
Avonai- Capital city of the coastal country. A Von Aa (long “a” at end)
Azar- Capital city of Temanin Empire. A Zar
Tala- Ruling family of the Temanin Empire. Tal La
Palancar- Guard family for the rulers of the White City. Palan Car
Thyra- Capital of Kerre. Thy Ra
Kerre- Country to the far west. Cur
Eldarans- Race of people descended from the ancients ones who accompanied the Word to the Lands. El Dare Ans
Shadonae- Race of people of which there is little known, other than they are powerful and violent. Shad Don Aa (long “a”)
Mordra- Beings from the Unseen World. Also known as shadows or shadow wraiths. More Dra
That about covers the main cast of people and places. If there is a person or word I missed and you are curious, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll comment back on how I pronounce it 🙂
2 thoughts on “How Do You Say That?”
I’m one of the fantasy nerds that go all perfectionist about pronunciations. This makes me excited about your books. I’ve read Daughter of Light, and I hope I’m able to read the rest of the series some day. (There’s just so many books out there that I’ve been meaning to read…)
Is the long “a” sound in Avonai and Shadonae pronounced like in “tame” or like in “father”?
Do you mean that “Kerre” is pronounced like “koor”? Or is it the stander “er” sound?
I think “Palancar” is a frequently recurring name sound in fantasy. I’ve seen couple variations of it. What vowel is accented in your version? Is it PAL-an-car, Pal-AN-car, or Pal-an-CAR?
The way “ie” is pronounced like a long “e” is interesting to me. My gut instinct for a fantasy name is to pronounce “i” and “e” as separate vowels — “Nee-air-nee,” making a three-syllable word. I would put the accent on the middle syllable.
Were you going for any particular style with your phonetics/naming conventions? They look fairly standard for fantasy names, but they’re not quite the common English-like names. They’re definitely not Latin-like names. “Azar” and “Thyra” kind of give a little bit of a Mediterranean feel to the naming conventions. “Azar” kind of sounds Arabian and “Thyra” kind of sounds Greek. The vowel-heavy names all look vaguely Greek-ish, I think.
Anyways, sorry for rambling; don’t feel obligated to respond to all this nerdiness. It’s interesting.
No worries, I like the questions 🙂
1) Like tame.
2) Kerre, Like grrr except with a hard K.
3)The first one. PALancar.
4) I wish I could actually find where I found that name and see how it is really pronounced. Originally Nierne was from an island to the west, and Nierne means island to the west (where I got her name). Then she morphed into who she is now, but I kept the name.
5) Way, way back when I started writing, I used different meanings behind names sites to figure out names. So almost every name you find in my books has a meaning behind it. Maybe other writers do that too, hence why a lot of names are similar. As I progressed in my writing, I began using name generators instead. I also tried finding names that sounded similar to the real city or area I based my different countries on.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂