One Writer’s Journey

April 12, 2016

Place Names in Your Fiction

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:58 am
Tags: , , , ,

Borax Wagons, Death Valley, Desert, CaliforniaI’ve discovered another hurdle in writing fiction that is more than picture book length.  I’m having to come up with place names, place names and more place names.  To make it even more fun, this particular story is science fiction.  Not only am I naming towns and cities, I am naming planets.

The particular colony planet where my story is set focuses on mining (iron) and farming.  Southern Missouri contained historic iron mines and farms so a few names immediatly popped into my head.  Iron Mountain.  Ironton.  Piedmont.

But me being me, I want more than three choices so I turned to the theme lists that I recently found online.  Fortunately, I found both a farming and agriculture list and a mining list.

First, I worked with the mining list because my setting contains abandoned iron mines.  I have to admit that I wasn’t really impressed with their list but I’ve toured mines and my grandad was a ming engineer.  I came up with Ferrous Flats, Slag City, Pillar Point, and Clinker Canyon.


Next up was agriculture.  La Grange.  Angels Acres.  Pleantiful Pastures.  Something about my farming list just wasn’t clicking and then I realized that everythign I had come up with sounds like the name of a cemetery.  That’s just not going to cut it.

A lot of place names on earth are derived from the people’s home country.  New Athens.  New Mexico.  I don’t want to have New New Mexico or Newer Mexico but maybe New Branson, Springfield City, or Poplar Pastures.

Honestly, this may be harder than coming up with the actual plot.  Tell me again — why am I trying fiction?



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