Every writer has different things they find difficult. For some, it may be creating believable dialogue. Others might have trouble with pacing. Many have a really difficult time coming up with a good ending. As for me, it’s coming up with good names.
How do I do it? Sometimes I borrow names from various books, games, and TV series I like. Though I generally save those for minor characters / locations as a sort of Easter egg for my audience. Other times, I choose names due to their meanings. Either the meaning of the word itself, or to bring to mind other similar characters. Most of the time though, I just make something up that I think sounds good. On a side note, when I make up names from scratch, I tend to end up with a lot that begin with the letter K. Not really sure why…
So what about some of the names in Aurora’s Nightmare? Here’s the history of a few of them.
Aurora Haeres: Aurora said her name in the original dream I had which inspired the story. Being a dream though, my memory on the exact spelling and pronunciation was a bit hazy. I went back and forth for a while between Aura and Aurora before settling on the later (I polled some friends and Aurora won). As for her last name… I actually can’t remember. I kind of think I just made it up and liked the sound. On the other hand, there actually is some meaning behind it (which I won’t get into to avoid giving away story elements).
Tristitia “Tia” Indago: Tia had a much smaller role in the original version of the story and, as such, I didn’t really come up with a name for her until I started working on the visual novel version, where she gets much more screen time. Her first name is derived from a word in a certain foreign language that has some relevance to her character (if you want to know which language, you’ll have to figure that out yourself). I think I made her last name up…but I might have derived it from a word in that same language. Either way, it was a few years ago and I just can’t remember for sure.
Ars Clavine: The name Ars is another derivative from that foreign language (I was having an especially difficult time with names that day, so I got to playing around with Google Translate for a while). Clavine, on the other hand, is made-up. I think I loosely based it off the name for the human race in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.
The Cat: Ok, nothing special here. The cat is a cat. There’s a reason it lacks a proper name, but that would be serious spoilers so you’ll just have to play the game to find out…