Naming the cities

I’ve been working on my world a little at a time. One of the most annoyingly difficult things to do was name all the important cities. Though I turned to my favorite name generator for some assistance when I got stuck, there were a few things I wanted to accomplish in naming the different cities scattered across Amroch.

For one, I wanted to ensure no two cities bore names that began with the same letter. Having too many names to keep track of is a common complaint in readers, and it’s one of the reasons it’s usually suggested that authors try to avoid having characters that share beginning letters. I have to admit that even I had trouble when reading the Wheel of Time–I can’t remember how many books it took me to stop confusing Caemlyn and Cairhien.

With casts as big as mine, it’s usually not feasible to do it, but I’m making a concentrated effort to conquer the problem in Spectrum Blade. It was surprisingly difficult, especially when another thing I wanted to do was establish naming conventions that would help each region stand apart. After all, Amroch was originally a number of smaller kingdoms that eventually allied and then merged. I wanted the cities to retain the flavor of their original version.

Some of the naming conventions came out fairly obvious, while others are a little more subtle. But I came up with as many names as I could and then tweaked them until they worked.

The most difficult name was Amrochan, the capital. I’ve already done the city-named-after-a-ruler thing in another series (*cough*Snakesblood Saga*cough*) so I didn’t want to default to it, but no matter what I tried, Amrochan just seemed to work. So it stayed, and the names all went on the map:

Map of Amroch from Spectrum Blade

I intend to revise the map a little to make the labels more legible, then I need to do the print-friendly version of the map, but I’m rather fond of this color layout and think it’s what I’ll use most online.

The more I get done, the more excited I am about finishing my current work-in-progress so I can get started on Spectrum Blade. But there’s still so much to do, both in world building and character development. Right now, I’m aiming to have Her Midnight Hunter completed by the end of September, but you can hear all about my weekly word counts and the progress I’m making on that project on my Facebook page.

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