So, I’ve got this superhero novel idea floating around in my head, and it’s a bit of a new territory for me. I’m an avid consumer of most types of superhero media, but I’ve never tried to write it before. It is different to both the contemporary and high fantasy I have written before, and the far future sci-fi. One particular issue I’m having is with NAMES.
This issue splits into two problems. The first is that so many of the good superhero names are taken, and there are so many superheroes that it would be easy to accidentally call a character something that’s already taken, and not realise it. I’m not sure how reliable my GoogleFu is on this matter, so I wanted to ask: do you know of any good resources for superhero names? Not so much name generators as lists of existing trademarked superhero names so that I can check anything I come up with.
The other thing is that I’d like to set my story in a city, but the only one I know well enough to feel confident writing about is not really metropolitan in character at all. So, in the grand tradition, I want to make up a city. But I want it to be a British one. A British city that sounds metropolitan. It’s quite easy to make up a British place name – pick a landmark or feature and add ford, chester, castor, castle, bridge, borough, ton or whathaveyou on the end. And there, you have a suitable sounding brand new… village name. Or maybe a sort of Ye Olde sounding cathedral city type object. Not really a sprawling metropolis.
So, it’s difficult. I thought I had a good one this morning, but now I’m not so sure. So here’s my second question: what makes for a good name for a metropolis? Here is a random sampling of names, both fictional and real: what’s working for them?
and, of course, Metropolis.
Answers on a postcard…