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Amosathar

Finding the right name for a fictional town/city

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During a recent session of writing I found that I needed a name of a town. I thought of a few and they didn't really fit. I finally thought I found a name, but realized that it shares a name with a real place. So what I am wondering is do I ignore this fact and continue the story or should I try to find another name.

 

I also had another question separate from this one, is there a discord server or chat program that is used in conjunction with this website as a lot of the people on here seem like good people to get to know, but I find that a little harder through this type of platform. 

Edited by Amosathar
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If the real-life town is not a super famous one, I imagine it’s fine to use it. It would be a little odd to have a Chicago other than the real one, perhaps, but Carthages Damascuses and even Lebanons abound.

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Tolkien used Rohan, which is (or was) a region of France, and CS Lewis used Narnia, which was a town in Italy  (they've since changed their name to Narni).

 

Is it a fictional story based in a fictional world? If so, there's no reason why your world can't have a Paris, London or Washington. Who are we to tell some other world what to name their cities?

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Yeah, I agree that the only time it is going to be weird is if you pick a fairly unique real place but not have it be the actual real place.

 

If you want one that can be anywhere, pick Springfield. There are approximately 7 million towns named Springfield in the english speaking world.

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I'd be careful about using the name of a real town.  There are bound to be readers who know of the place and will think you're describing it all wrong.  That won't happen if you can say the town is in a particular state, like Wisconsin.  But people who live in Wisconsin will say there is no such town in their state and you should be better at research.  Are readers such sticklers for facts like this??

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7 hours ago, Amosathar said:

The name I was thinking of using is "Harmony Creek" for a small town full of beauty and friendly people

If you're not quite comfortable, perhaps just change the "creek" to another physical feature, like:

 

Harmony Bend

Harmony Brook

Harmony Woods

Harmony Bay

Harmony Cape

 

etc.

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Well I need to find a name that rolls of the tongue but sounds like a beautiful place, so I guess I'll need to think about it some more

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So I was talking to someone today and they suggested 2 town names I could use and I thought I was ask what people thought. The main town would be Daybreak and nearby town would be Night Falls

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On 9/26/2020 at 9:20 PM, carolinamtne said:

Is this why people write fantasy stories about made-up worlds?

Yes. Well, it's one of the reasons :D

4 hours ago, Amosathar said:

So I was talking to someone today and they suggested 2 town names I could use and I thought I was ask what people thought. The main town would be Daybreak and nearby town would be Night Falls

My only concern with these two would be that they instantly make me think they're set in a fantasy world. I like the suggestion made by @Thomas Davidsmeier about choosing a name that is really common. I feel like people will be less upset about you "describing it all wrong" then.

On 9/26/2020 at 8:10 AM, Amosathar said:

I also had another question separate from this one, is there a discord server or chat program that is used in conjunction with this website as a lot of the people on here seem like good people to get to know, but I find that a little harder through this type of platform.

I don't think there is. Maybe it's something to suggest (in the Support forums)? 

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Thank you for the observations @Claire Tucker. I am not really wanting to write a fantasy style book so I either stick with something Harmony Falls/Creek or keep brainstorming and try to come up with a good name that sounds realistic and not too fantasy sounding.

 

The reason the name of the town is so important is because the story revolves around the town and it's people so I want it to carry some sort of significance

Edited by Amosathar

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21 hours ago, Amosathar said:

 

The reason the name of the town is so important is because the story revolves around the town and it's people so I want it to carry some sort of significance

I totally understand. I try to do this with character names. It does get tricky. 

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Harmony Creek is a lovely name and perfectly innocuous. Perhaps your story will make the name so famous that people will be renaming their towns to reflect the peace and beauty of your fictional town!

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I think I talked about how they changed Quackenbush to Hackenbush in A Day at the Races. They were sued anyway.

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