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Ta-da! Estrelita’s new story at FanFiction.net!!

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Breath of Fire III official art on the characters. Swiped from Wikipedia.org.

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Title: Breath of Fire III: Of Gods and Dragons

Based on: Breath of Fire III (PSX Game)

Type: Fantasy / Adventure RPG

Length: Twenty-eight chapters, one prologue, one intermission, one epilogue

Short Summary: Dragons. Great beings the Goddess deemed evil, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the heart of the bravest man. But they are now extinct, for reasons unbeknown to us… except for the last Dragon. This is his story.

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Read it here.

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A Partial Summary on the Storyline of Breath of Fire III:

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The world is advancing. People have discovered a new source of energy. Chrysm crystals, formed by the fossilisation of bodies of magical beings.
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Magical beings such as the extinct Dragons.
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Dragons, great beings deemed evil by the Goddess, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the bravest man.
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No one knows why they are extinct now.
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Deep in the Dauna Mine, two people discover a dormant Dragon whelp in the highest quality chrysm crystal they have ever seen. By their manager’s orders, they regretfully shattered the crystal to free the Dragon.
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Only to discover it is still alive.

The Dragon whelp, frightened out of its wits, is captured, but escapes as its cage rolls off the train and onto a cliff.
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A half-tiger and a young boy, hunting in the forest, discover a small, shivering boy hidden under the bushes.
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A boy, whose name is Ryu, who remembers nothing but his name. With nowhere to go, the duo take him in as their family, as brothers passing their days peacefully.
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But apparently these peaceful days are not to last long.
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They are targeted by strong members of the black market, whose attacks are intended to kill the trio.
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Ryu survives, and leaves the area in search of his family.
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Only to meet the attackers who have separated him from his friends.
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They try to kill him once more.
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He is pushed beyond limits. Filled with determination to protect the princess who saved him once.
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Unconsciously, he draws on the power of his heritage.
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He is not human.
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The blood of a Dragon flows within him.
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And there, the story begins.
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My Views on this Game’s Story, a.k.a. Why Choose This for a Novelisation?

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Back in my younger days when I used to play games all day long, the PS1 was my trusty companion. On that console was the platform for most of my favourite games; Alundra, Brave Fencer Musashi, Tales of Destiny, Azure Dreams, Legend of Legaia, Legend of Mana, Legend of Dragoon, etc… and of course, Breath of Fire 3.
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I’ve always loved Dragons. You could say that, among all races, Dragons are my favourite races. Hence, I’ve never liked stories with all evil Dragons (so I never quite liked the portrayal of western Dragons… too evil for my liking), but prefer stories with Dragons as legendary beings, powerful beings that humans can’t match.
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Dragons, in my view, aren’t actually reptiles, but actually avians – same category as birds. They don’t always breathe fire, they can also spew ice, lightning, and other sort of things, depending on the element they are. Even humans in the magical world have at least an element that they’re pretty good at, right? Same with Dragons. Not all will shoot fire or even use breath attacks – some may be good at speedy flying and clawing, some may be slow but really strong. But, even though I like stories with Dragon riders / trainers and such, I prefer them to be a noble race on their own, that can talk as well as humans do.
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But I’m getting rather sidetracked… the topic is, why Breath of Fire 3?
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Of course, the main reason would be: DRAGONS!!
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But there’s also Breath of Fire 1, 2, 4 and 5, you’d argue.
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True. But Breath of Fire 3 is my favourite one among all the BoF games. It’s the first Breath of Fire game I’ve ever played, and therefore my attachment to BoF3 is always the strongest. That’s why I chose BoF3 as my novelisation topic.
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By now, you’d think that my head works in simple ways, right? xP
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Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading my novelisation! I post new chapters regularly, around Saturday 12pm (GMT+8) every week, so you don’t have to hang on the uncertainty of wondering when a new chapter will be up!
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Also… please review. I take anonymous reviews, too. xP

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~Estrelita Farr, happy with Breath of Fire III!

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Double post today! Though I’ve been editing this particular entry for a while. o_o
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All right, some of you may have some difficulties picking up HTML (your coding language for web pages) yet still want to play with text widgets. But no worries, there’s a simple tip here so you won’t have to fiddle with HTML too much with text widgets!

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The tip:
Use your “Write Post” feature to help generate the HTML codes you need for your text widget!

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A step-by-step guide:

  1. First, go to “Write Post” or “Write Page”, whichever you prefer.
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  2. Click the “Visual” tag, if it isn’t already in that mode.
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  3. Use it to type anything that you want in your text widget (links, pictures, etc), as you would with your posts/pages.
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  4. Click the “HTML” tag, so that you can see the HTML coding of what you’ve written.
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  5. Copy the whole HTML coding and paste it into your text widget.
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  6. Don’t forget to click “Change” and “Save” to save your changes!
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  7. Voila! Your very own custom-edited text widget!

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A step-by-step guide using pictures (click to enlarge):
(Comments are in red)

Text Widget Tip 1

Text Widget Tip 2

Text Widget Tip 3

Text Widget Tip 4

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The only problem I see with this method is that… well… you’d get an extra draft post/page in your Manage section, because of the autosave feature. xP
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It may be a simple trick, but hopefully it’ll help you WordPress bloggers out there. =D

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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Okay, so I haven’t posted for a while. Hey, I was busy, okay? xP
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Recently, a few days ago, MSN’s home page featured an article called Harry Pitts? The worst baby names of all time (link at the bottom of this post). I’ve this liking to reading Msn’s informational articles, and this article’s title intrigued me because I thought, “Hey, how bad can a name be?”
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Apparently I was pretty clueless.
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If you read that article, I’m sure you’d be pretty surprised as I was. I mean, imagine calling your child these names:
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  • Damya (try saying it slowly, or if you’re clueless, it has the same pronunciation as “Damn ya!”)
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  • Mayo Head (I’ve nothing against the last name… but adding to it with this? Geez, I pity the guy)
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  • naming after diseases (Fever, Cholera, Hysteria…)
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  • the seven sins (Greed, Pride, Envy… um, don’t you want your kids to follow the “good” rather than the “evil”?)
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And stuff like that. It’s not only limited to those, however, I’ve actually been to a page (can’t remember what kind of page it was) where it showed a couple with their newborn baby, with the name Sephiroth. Yes, that Sephiroth. The ever-so-popular villain from Final Fantasy VII. (I don’t mean it’s a silly name, as I’m not sure how the public would receive it, but at least it’s better than the other names up there.)
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While I admire the parents’ decision to give their children unique names, still… sometimes it’s pretty outrageous. Wouldn’t you feel angry having such a humiliating name that makes you the target of bullying/teasing most/all the time? Of course you would.
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Now, what does this have to do with character names?
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Well, the same thing happens with story writers and their characters’ names too. A lot of writers go “ZOMG I NEED A GREAT NAME FOR MY CHARACTER!!!1!!11!” (which isn’t necessarily bad, I do it myself too xP), but many others just go, “Ah, what the heck. It’s just a name.”
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Wrong!
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A character’s name would stick in the readers’ minds, often if it’s one of the main characters (good or bad). For this reason, the name needs to suit the character, as it’ll be his/her label for the readers. Of course, there’s also something called going overboard.
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So, let’s take a look at various categories that a character name should have!

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Tips to a Good Character Name!

With the help of two good character naming articles and my past experiences!
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There are many requirements that a name must fulfill before it’d stick out in a reader’s mind. No, no, I don’t mean “sticking out” as in it pokes the reader in the eye, more like “sticking out” so that the moment you mention the character’s name, s/he’d go, “Oh, I know! He’s the guy the protagonist hates a lot!”
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You want the readers to remember who each character is, right? So naming is the first step! (or second, or third, but who cares? xD)
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So these are some tips for a good first name (in no particular order):

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  • Tip 1: Are you comfortable with it?
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There’s nothing more irritating than selecting the name nonchalantly for your protagonist and you find out later that you didn’t like the name after all. Then, by the time you see a really good name for him/her, the name’s stuck in your head and the new one now doesn’t feel right!
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Yes, that happened to me before. I didn’t like the character name Hiro when I first created this protagonist for a story (which I now don’t plan to write), but I thought, “Ah, I’ll just think of a new name later and just use this first!). Then, some time later, I really wanted to change the name, but felt that all the good names no longer fit this guy, because the name Hiro got stuck!
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Yeah, it’s never fun that way. x(

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  • Tip 2: Does the name suit the character?
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Yep, you read it right. A name needs to suit the character.
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First thing is that the name should fit the race the character is part of, like giving an elf an elven name (example: Elvoríth), or giving a faerie a silvery name (example: Melodie Silvertoes).
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And for heaven’s sake, please don’t call your character Zork Vardüs when he’s a human, especially when the name suits a non-human (alien, orc, anything goes) more! Would you like to go around with that name too? No, right? xP
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Then the name should suit the character too. For example, if the setting of your story is medieval (with lords and ladies and the whatnot), I tend to associate a name like Deveroix (pronounced dair-ver-roy, I think) with an upper class guy. Or maybe it’s because I’ve an assassin character (double job as an upper class lord) called Keir Regis Deveroix. xP
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Try play around with names, and see if the name suits your character. =D

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  • Tip 3: Easy to spell, easy to pronounce
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All right, I admit. I made this mistake before. I once created a name that no one else seems to know how to pronounce… it ended with a -ceques.
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I mentioned in my story that -ceques is pronounced as “kiss” (the que is silent). Still, that name still baffles people… they always ask me; how the heck do you pronounce it?!
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(The problem with me was, I fell in love with the name, so I can’t take it off. T_T)
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When people are baffled with the names, they tend to stop each time they come across them. This, of course, disrupts the storyline flow (some), and some people would even get annoyed.
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So, the moral of this story is; don’t create names that are so very hard to pronounce/spell!

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  • Tip 4: Avoid common names
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“What? Not this name again!”
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Yep, that’s the kind of reaction you normally get from common names. How many stories in the world that has a character called Dan in the story? How many Sarahs and Janets and Patricks and Samanthas are there?
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Not to say that you can’t use these names, but… because these names are so common, they’re not very interesting, and sometimes readers feel bored when they see the same names over and over again.
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If you really want to use one of those commonly used names, you might want to change the spelling a bit. For example, instead of Sarah, maybe you can spell it as Sera. Instead of Chris, maybe a Krys or something.
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Though of course, don’t forget to follow tip #3 up there when you do change the spelling!

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  • Tip 5: Avoid similar-sounding names
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Imagine you have a hero and heroine called Kain and Jane. Or Alexander and Alexandra. Or two heroes called Craig and Greg.
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You might think, “Hey, they’re not so similar! Look, the spellings are different!” Or not. Many readers read “aloud” the stories in their minds, so when similar sounding names turn up, they might get confused between the two.

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  • Tip 6: Avoid androgynous names
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I’m serious. Imagine you have a character called Jamie. Let’s say you didn’t describe the character too well, so the readers though, “Okay, so this is a guy.” When you describe what she wore to go out on a date (a hot dress and 3-inch high heels, for example), the readers will exclaim very loudly, “ZOMG!!”
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It tends to be confusing, so this is one point to take note of.

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  • Tip 7: Avoid too many apostrophes
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In fantasy and sci-fi stories, sometimes you see names with apostrophes, i.e. T’iegel and Kh’svara (self-created names, muahaha!).
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Of course, when you have too many names with apostrophes, or too many apostrophes in one name, it does make the readers go mad. I mean, the occasional name with an apostrophe is fine, but when all names are like that, it’s infuriating. Not to mention some names may look rather unpronounceable.
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Imagine this: “Hi, my name is Ts’e Rog’ul Kh’svara’el.”
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Gosh, I can’t believe I even created such a name! =(

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Tips to a Good Character Surname!
With the help of two good character naming articles and my past experiences!
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Now that you know some tips on what to do and what to avoid for a first name, the tricky part is coming up with a last name that suits your first name. Of course, the last name still needs to follow all the tips given for first names above, and what I’m giving you here are more tips on creating full names, both first and last and the occasional middle names!

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  • Tip 1: Avoid rhyming first and last names
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Yep, really. You may think, “Gosh, you’re picky!!”
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Well, imagine a character called Aldin Rakin. Now pronounce it aloud. Doesn’t it sound a little funny? No? Try saying it with a beat, as though you’re singing. Still no? Now, try to pronounce hanky panky (no, it’s not a name!) a loud. Or hocus pocus. So you get the idea now?
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Names that rhyme tend to sound funny. If this was to be a real life name, it’ll often be a subject of teasing. Unless your story is supposed to be humourous, having a funny sounding name will only make the readers laugh and spoil the mood entirely. Imagine a romance scene where two characters are about to kiss, and the moment one character says out the other’s full name… well, you get the idea.
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If let’s say you have a first name called Nicolle and you have a last name called Shmole… well, Nicolle Shmole sounds rather… funny.
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And we wouldn’t want your story to be a laughingstock, right?

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  • Tip 2: Different number of syllabus for first and last names
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Now, what do I mean by this?
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As opposed to the previous example (Aldin Rakin… *snickers*), we should try to have different number of syllables for first and last names. For example, if the first name has two syllabi, like Rakin, try to have a last name with one, three or four (or more, if you want, but I think that’s going a bit overboard) syllabi, for example: Voromïr.
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So the name becomes Rakin Voromïr. Better than Aldin Rakin, right? xP
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Or, better yet, put in a middle name that has a different number of syllabi. Since we have a first name with two syllabi and a last name with three syllabi, let’s try a middle name with one syllabi. Like Aêr.
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Now it’s Rakin Aêr Voromïr. Better?
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Of course, I’m not so good with fantasy names like that, so let’s take a look at a normal modern name.
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Let’s say I’ve a character called Nicolle. Since it has two syllabi, let’s try (again) a trisyllabic name, like Karyssa. Okay, so two syllabi and three syllabi. So let’s try a monosyllabic name, like Rene.
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So now the name becomes Nicolle Rene Karyssa. Much better?
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Try it. It’s fun, sometimes. xP

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  • Tip 3: Combining words together
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That’s true; combining words often works for last names. That’s what I sometimes do when I’m at a loss for a surname. O_o
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For example, there’s this character I created for a role-play, and his name is Ziegraf. Following tip #2 (for last names) above, I gave him a trisyllabic last name (I like 2 to go with 3, don’t I? xP), and came up with Windslasher.
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It’s pretty easy, isn’t it? It’s just wind + slasher, and it still sounds just as nice. xD
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Of course, there are other ways to combine words together, use your imagination to do it! =D
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  • Tip 4: When all fails, refer, refer, and refer
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Yep, there are lots of references out there.
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For a start, there’s always the baby names book from your local bookstore. If you don’t want to spend money on a “little thing” like that, or if you simply don’t want to be seen buying such a book (my younger sister got a stare from a woman when she last bought a baby names book…), then there’s always online resources.
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There are lots of sites out there that helps with all kinds of names. Norse, Egyption, Korean, elven, you name it! Names are something that can be easily gotten online!
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Or, if the lists of names are too long for you, you can always go to an online name converter (you know, like English name to Japanese name converter) to convert any name into another language. Heck, I’ve even seen converters that lets you convert any name into Lord of the Rings names, such as Hobbit, Elven and Dwarven!
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So take a look around. There are plenty of references to look around, so get working!

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References:

  • Msn: Harry Pitts? The worst baby names of all time (link)
  • Street Directory: Creative Writing Tips – Does The Name You Chose Suit Your Character? (link)
  • Writing World: Name that Character! (link)

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