As you know, I’m in the process of creating an entire galaxy of people, aliens, planets and weapons. In the midst of this, I have to create languages for different species, foods, etc. So far, I’ve begun a dictionary of sorts so I can keep track of each word. If the series becomes popular enough, I may publish the dictionary.
The most interesting challenge, though, is attempting to attach names to people which won’t come across as too human or ordinary. I was stressing myself out about this when a thought occurred to me. People on our planet have different dialects of speech, heritages, nationalities and traditions. Because of this, it’s acceptable for one man to be named John, and his neighbor, because of his heritage to be Zuriel (which is Hebrew for The Lord My Rock.) It’s perfectly natural to have a mixed bag of names.
Because I get to determine each solar system’s inhabitants, I will also build their heritage, customs and history. I’m even looking forward to the cultural differences that are inevitable. I might write a bar fight that starts with a misunderstanding and ends with drinks all around. Maybe.
Now, I won’t just pull all of this out of my head. All of it will have some basis in cultures on this earth. So far, I’m using the greek language to create a “standard” language. I have a fascination with ancient Greek history and mythology, so I figured, why not utilize their wonderful language. I look up a word, then change it into my language.
Some of the characters I’ve already introduced have histories in the making. Setch’s people are based a bit on Russia. Ingram’s are a mixture of American and French. Ingram’s friend and bodyguard, Tullius, comes from a different sector of the galaxy called, the Do’Rean sector. His people, the Pneum’Eth–which I adapted from the Greek word pneumatikos which means spiritual–are based on the six Iroquois tribes of North America. I added an additional tribe as each tribe has a sort of function to the whole of their race.
There will be human-like beings. I didn’t want the characters to be so alien that you the reader couldn’t relate. Ingram, Tullius, and a few others fit this bill. So it’s alright if their names are a bit human sounding.
So, I’m ok with my main character being named Ingram. If there are a few easy names, then that’s ok. After all, as long as each name resonates with the character, then that’s all that matters.