How I FINALLY came up with the world’s name

Sometimes I have a lot of trouble creating a name or a title. Luckily, character names came to me easily enough, and I found a method for choosing good names for my locations. It is usually not that easy, however. Take the title of my first book for example. I still don’t have much of a clue what it should be called. I have the overall series name (FOTS. I won’t say what that stands for yet. That is a story for another day) and the name of all consecutive expected books, so I find it odd that this title still eludes me. It is a good thing I have a lot of patience for this stuff, at least. The naming of my world, or main continent, was an interesting journey. Here is how it went:

I thought and thought. Then thought some more. What should the name of the continent be? I accepted it would just have to be one of those things that would come to me out of the blue, the way it does for other names and titles. After all, sometimes it is even best to wait until the very end to make a title that fits effectively. But I had all of the nations’ names already made long ago, the characters too. So why is this so difficult? Just pick something that makes sense.

Then it hit me. What if there is no name? Think about it. The people of this world believe the landmass that they live on to be the only one. Their world…is THE world. No other lands have ever been known. So maybe the people living here never gave it a name, as there is no other place to distinguish it against. I thought of an extreme separate case to put this to the test. Imagine a world where humans, animals, and all plants live forever. Now let’s say there is no birth either, no new creatures enter the world. In a world such as this, would there be any concept of life? I don’t think so. Of course life exists, it is there. But with no beginning or no end to compare it to, existence would be inconceivable.

I kept moving down this train of thought. Okay, so I have an argument for there being no name, but I have names for each culture and the nations they have made. Here there is more than one nation, so names are obviously appropriate. So, would there be a name for the collection of nations? This is the question that led me to the chosen name. I wanted something to do with the number five, as although there are six mainland nations, five of them live on the continental landmass (the other on an island). There is a city in the centre of the continent which the five nations share. It’s construction was one result of the peace achieved during the events I mentioned a little bit in my RELIGION post. The city serves as a political headquarters for international relations. Anyway, since all five nations are arranged roughly in the shape of a pentagon, I decided the city should be called Penta. From that I chose the name of the continent, or the name of all nations collectively, as Pentia. Since I have pretty much decided there was no name in the past, ‘Pentia’ is a relatively new term to the world’s characters, created only around 500 years ago (the world itself, of course, is much older) when people first began thinking of there being ‘one world’ instead of each nation always being viewed as separate.

© 2013 FOTS Fantasy

11 comments

  1. Somehow I missed this one, but I understand exactly what you mean. Consider our own planet. Nobody really knows who named our planet Earth, and likely not anyone person did. Upon this subject, you’d think a group of “officials” would get together to formally make “Earth” the name of our planet.

    1. Very good point. It’s a somewhat fascinating subject, overall, but probably a question with no definitive answer since still we don’t know, as you noted.

      1. For Otherworlde, it depends on which age. The world has had multiple names.

        1. I like it when authors do that. It’s realistic that it would happen. It sort of falls into the category of history repeating itself over and over, each version is unique though at its core, the same. The name changes, but the need for a name is still there.
          For my own world, the sheer geographical isolation and lack of popularity/support for abstract thinking from scholars meant there was no name.

          1. I am most curious. Do you have any other methods of communication? Been meaning to ask that.

          2. There’s the contact email on the bottom for this site that would be best, I guess: FOTSproject@gmail.com

  2. I am absolutely in awe of your blog. I feel invested in your story through knowing the lengths you are taking to carefully manufacture an entire culture/world. Although I am yet to read a single paragraph of your novel, I want to sit back in a comfy chair and read it from cover to cover (probably twice, to ensure I haven’t missed anything). Keep up the good blogging. Seeing the work you’re putting in to the development of the bigger picture, I’m certain that your character development will be flawless and we will find a tale to which we can all relate.

    1. This may be the nicest thing I have ever read, and to see that it is directed to me…there are no words. For yourself, I am honest when I say that I can see you have a talent for writing. Please stick with it, I want to be able to buy a novel at the bookstore with your name on it someday!

      1. And I can honestly say the same to you. Your blog is a dedication of love to a world that never was – and yet I cannot wait to see that world when it is made whole in your story.

  3. I always struggle with names, recently my method is to take a phonebook out and flip through it until I find one that fits lol

    1. I’ve had a few odd methods myself for coming up with names. Can’t say that I’ve tried that one though haha.

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