Odd or common name?

Question: I've been wondering for a while--with a fantasy in which there's a different world from ours, would it be better to have common or odd names? Common would be stuff like Sarah, Will, Jack, etc.

Odd would be like Legolas, Aragorn, or Hadrid. Which would be better?

Answer: There is no right or wrong answer here.

Some writers prefer to use common European names in a fantasy world that resembles Europe, or Europe in the past. (Of course, the names that were common in, say, Medieval Europe would sound quite strange today.)

You might also look at non-European cultures for inspiration - provided they make sense in your story world.

Some writers prefer names that distinguish one culture in the story world from another. For instance, choosing fantasy names for a fantasy race such as Elves.

And some writers take a middle path by taking common names that today's readers would find easy to pronounce but spelling them differently or changing a few of the consonant sounds.

In the end, you just have to choose names that resonate with you, that seem to fit your vision for your story world and that make sense in the context. Maybe you would find it weird to call your dwarf character Trixiemixie, but Bert feels right to you, even if it's a human name. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth's wife was actually called Gruoch, which sounds to me like a great name for a lady troll.

Best of luck.

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