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How Mike (you) comes up with names (of places and/or people)

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  • How Mike (you) comes up with names (of places and/or people)

    I did a google search on this and looked through a few pages of the forum to see if this had been asked, if it has been asked and someone would be so kind as to post the link that'd be great.

    I specifically am curious as to whether the names of people and/or places in your novels usually have a specific meaning or symbolism to them hidden somewhere in the syllables perhaps or if they're more or less made to sound right according to your specifications and to reach a certain aesthetic effect.

    Also I'd like to know if within each specific story there is any correlation between the name of one town and name of the one next to it (or with one person and the next), and if so whether that is pretty much done off the cuff till you think it sounds right or if you do research into how places get their names and things of that nature (not that I'm particularly sure what nature that would be).

    Thanks for taking the time to read my question and everyone's questions here.
    "When the Eleatics denied motion, Diogenes, as everyone knows, came forward as an opponent. He literally did come forward, because he did not say a word but merely paced back and forth a few times, thereby assuming that he had sufficiently refuted them."
    - Sّren Kierkegaard

  • #2
    You've guessed right on most of the answers! Some names are simply internal jokes for myself, sometimes for myself and friends, reversing names or making angrams of them. Others work to a rough and ready logic of the geographical area I'm discussing. The Hawkmoon books have versions of current names, slightly 'Frenchified'. Corum takes his flavour from Gaelic. The Elric names work on the first kind -- lands made up but sharing common roots and suffixes. But in the end they all have to sound right, chime right stylistically.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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    • #3
      Very interesting, thanks for taking the time to answer.

      Also just to give you an update; if you did not surmise this, this is TheBrownMan, the dude working on the "Karmanal of Zert" song. You're very helpful moderator changed my name for me. It's obviously taken much longer than I expected it would to complete my demo, which is partially due to the fact that I haven't recorded my own stuff in years and forgot how tedious a process it is. But just so you know I am now finishing up the "Kull the King" drum track, and when that's done all the drums for the demo will be done and the bass, guitar, and vocals should come along a lot more swiftly since the basic foundation for each song is now laid down. I realize I've said this about whatever month it was every time I've mentioned this, but I'm remaining optimistic that I'll have everything done before February is out. It'll be a four song demo with one acoustic instrumental simply called "Sonata No. 1", and three heavy metal tracks: "Disingenuous Through Passivity", "Kull the King", and "Karmanal of Zert".

      Oh and by the way I've decided on a band name that would likely have never come about if not for your influence: Flux of Fate
      "When the Eleatics denied motion, Diogenes, as everyone knows, came forward as an opponent. He literally did come forward, because he did not say a word but merely paced back and forth a few times, thereby assuming that he had sufficiently refuted them."
      - Sّren Kierkegaard

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
        You've guessed right on most of the answers! Some names are simply internal jokes for myself, sometimes for myself and friends, reversing names or making angrams of them. Others work to a rough and ready logic of the geographical area I'm discussing. The Hawkmoon books have versions of current names, slightly 'Frenchified'. Corum takes his flavour from Gaelic. The Elric names work on the first kind -- lands made up but sharing common roots and suffixes. But in the end they all have to sound right, chime right stylistically.
        I found a sly dig-and-wink at JG Ballard "the weeping god" of Granbretan in Hawkmoon. I've no doubt he had a good laugh at it!
        sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

        Gold is the power of a man with a man
        And incense the power of man with God
        But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
        And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

        Nativity,
        by Peter Cape

        Comment


        • #5
          I think you'll find a parody of Ballard, probably beginning 'At dawn...' in THE JEWEL IN THE SKULL. Cawthorn's Ballard of a Whaler, a parody of JGB and me, was published in NW. Ballard was Not Amused. He rarely was by that sort of thing.

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah one of my favorite ideas from those books is how he used the names of places we know and altered them. Now I know they were "frenchified". And also that my favorite books, Swords, apparently get a lot of their names from Gaelic. Very interesting stuff. We're all very fortunate to have Mike here taking a look at our questions!
            "When the Eleatics denied motion, Diogenes, as everyone knows, came forward as an opponent. He literally did come forward, because he did not say a word but merely paced back and forth a few times, thereby assuming that he had sufficiently refuted them."
            - Sّren Kierkegaard

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
              I think you'll find a parody of Ballard, probably beginning 'At dawn...' in THE JEWEL IN THE SKULL. Cawthorn's Ballard of a Whaler, a parody of JGB and me, was published in NW. Ballard was Not Amused. He rarely was by that sort of thing.
              I'm sad to hear it. He always struck me as the supreme parodyist, but instead of taking aim at some piffling little writer, he took aim at the whole of society.

              I'll have to look out for Ballard of a Whaler - it sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy! Thanks!
              sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

              Gold is the power of a man with a man
              And incense the power of man with God
              But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
              And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

              Nativity,
              by Peter Cape

              Comment


              • #8
                After reading this post from Mike:

                Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                Forgive me if I don't answer your questions directly. I prefer not to over-explain or rationalise any of my fiction and was part of a movement in the 60s which was specifically aimed at allowing readers to provide their own imaginative dimension to a story. The Cornelius stories of course were specifically designed to allow readers to do that, but even the more straightforward fantasy romances contained elements of the same kind.
                In other words whatever you decide is going on, especially around the Family Cornelius, is what's going on. This is a co-operative project. I don't expect my readers to be passive or even uncritical. While I try to provide a well-constructed platform, it's one you can use as a springboard for your own imaginative excursions.
                We're all in this together could be a useful slogan. It's not for me to control your ideas or responses. It's for you to make use of them so that your own imagination flourishes. These are collaborations. Your best and favourite guesses are your answers. I used to say I wasn't in the business of creating crossword puzzles. I made, if you'll forgive the expression, crystal balls.

                I started wondering about something related to that post and this thread that I think Mr. M can answer quickly.

                Does this statement of your intent as a writer also go for the pronunciation of specific names? For example Corum, Elric, and Dorian Hawkmoon are all fairly straight forward but with names like Fhoi Myore (second Corum trilogy, I can think of a handful of ways to pronounce this that all seem equally plausible) or Yyrkoon (eerkoon or yeerkoon or?) or Kwll or Huon or Huillam (I could never decide with the latter two whether or not to make the "H" silent when reading) and myriad others did you have a specific pronunciation in mind that you hoped your readers would pick up on, or was the weird spellings part of the whole "force the reader to contribute to the story with their own imagination" concept?

                Sorry if this question is just the further beating of a dead horse. I much appreciate you answering our questions, thanks again for taking the time to read them!



                P.S.
                Since I was skimming my Runestaff books just now:
                Do you recall when you referenced a Granbretanian author named Tozer in The Mad God's Amulet whether or not that was a reference to the religious author A.W. Tozer? My dad has shown me some of his quotes (which are usually quite sensible) so I am curious.
                "When the Eleatics denied motion, Diogenes, as everyone knows, came forward as an opponent. He literally did come forward, because he did not say a word but merely paced back and forth a few times, thereby assuming that he had sufficiently refuted them."
                - Sّren Kierkegaard

                Comment


                • #9
                  Was that Tozer Vine ? I think that was a name I made up, but I could have done a bit of unconscious borrowing. And yes -- you pronounce the names however it suits you, just as people used to Frenchify or 'English' or Italianify names until relatively recently. I think I mentioned that my favourite, because it was so far removed from the original, was 'Leghorn' -- though 'Wipers' was pretty good, too! And we mustn't forget what we (Europeans) did to Indian, African and Native American names.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just always assumed that Rhyn and Cwwl, based on Welsh pronunciation, would have been said as Run and Cool. May not be right, but seemed easy to say and I just thought that was Mike spelling common words with uncommon ways.

                    (I like AWTozer. I tend to give him away as Christmas presents a lot. He`s pretty simple yet solid.)
                    "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                    --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                      A dy rhyn rhyn is a well known Welsh song, of course.
                      My mum raised me on those welsh classics!

                      I met her on a monday and my heart stood still
                      A dy rhyn rhy rhyn, a dy rhyn rhyn.
                      Somebody told me that her name was Jill
                      A dy rhyn rhyn rhyn, a dy rhun rhyn.
                      "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                      --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        The most popular dog's name in Wales? Rhyn Dhyn Dhyn!
                        Google ergo sum

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by L'Etranger View Post
                          The most popular dog's name in Wales? Rhyn Dhyn Dhyn!
                          *Facepalm* good one.
                          Thick as wind-blown leaves innumerable, since 1985

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