JOY Log 002: Making a name | JOY - Development Log in Journals of Yesteryear Discussion Boards | World Anvil
Wed, Oct 11th 2023 06:54   Edited on Wed, Oct 11th 2023 06:59

JOY Log 002: Making a name

I've been pondering on this world for a couple of months now and have been thinking about how magic will work, the folk species I'd like to introduce, and the weird floaty islands and how I'll need to tackle things like water and supplies for any kind of sky-settlers.   But the thing that stumped me the most was what do I call this world?   I thought back to how I named Melior and it was fairly easy because I had a concept in mind: I wanted to have a worldbuilding project in which I would continuously improve on things. So after browsing different thesaurus sites I simply took the middle part of the word ameliorate - (to make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better) and used it for the name of my world.   All I had in mind for this new project was: "optimistic-leaning bright fantasy world where I can also get back into pixel art again!".   I wanted to learn from the successes AND mistakes of my past worldbuilding projects and decided to try a few approaches to see what stuck.  

Attempt 1: making a naming language

I was chatting with some friends in Discord and was encouraged by Evan Arix and Ynarkaelle to have a go at making a simple naming language. I've dabbled in conlangs before so it was a fun process and I now have something that I find useful for naming things in my world, like region names or mysterious floating rock material, but when it came to naming the setting I got stumped!   I almost named this project as Zendu, but given the visual inspirations for this world drawing heavily from The Legend of Zelda, I didn't want it too look or sound so similar given there's only two letters difference between the two xD
So - I'll be using Zendu as the name for my first region instead!  

Attempt 2: word jumbling

Back to the drawing board, I decided to make a list of words that I'd like to associate with my world (like: exploration, adventure, wonder, optimism) and started to rearrange their letters, spell them backwards, rearrange them again, and swap out some sounds.   Again, I got some interesting sounding names that I'll save for later, but nothing that really resonated with the project as a whole...  

Attempt 3: asking about other methods

I decided to ask my friends how they came up with names for their worldbuilding settings - some had used the approaches I'd tried, others had looked up translated words in foreign languages to use, and some people started with an acronym and then made words fit those letters.   There were also folks who had world-names for their project and people who had setting names or series names for their project (e.g. Tamriel vs The Elder Scrolls).
As I'd always previously named my projects after the world-name, I wanted to try something new this time and take a leaf out of my husband Naelin's book and make an inspiring name like Symbols of Power!   Feeling inspired, I tried the next method:  

Attempt 4: the acronym approach

This one just felt right.
I knew very little about what my world would be like, but I did know that it'd be bright fantasy! From my experiments earlier I had also figured out what I want my project name to be like:
  • it will sound like a series name
  • ideally it will not start with "The -" or end in frequently used endings like "-ia, -ea, -or, -ur, -is"
  • bonus points if it has a short and memorable acronym
  • it will evoke the feeling of a fantasy worldbuilding wiki
  • and maybe it will bring a smile to someone's face when they think of it :D
  • I went back to my list of associated words from earlier and landed on the acronym: JOY.
    It was a challenge to find the right word to fit for the last letter, but I think it fits perfectly!   Journals
    Yesteryear   Journals are the relation to wiki articles and how I'd like to visually present this world's CSS theme, and yesteryear (meaning a time in the past) reflects the lore and history that I'll get to uncover within this world to share with you :D
    When it all comes together, it's JOY - a feeling of great pleasure and happiness and the bright fantasy aspect of this world!   And that's the story of how this worldbuilding project got its name :D
    I'll be using it to inform my choice of naming for the followers of this world, too! Perhaps instead of "Followers", maybe it could be "Joyful Explorers" instead?   What do you think?
    Powered by World Anvil