Thanks for the input guys.
Moleke, I have a pretty good sized library of the kinda weird stories I like to work on (I hesitate to say write since none are "finsihed" yet). I guess I'm just a tad paranoid because I know I didn't pay any attention in high school to anything that was outside the art room.
One of the hardest things for me is to make up believeable / interesting names of people and places (most of my first draft stories are set HERE or happen to SO AND SO). Today I picked up a gigantic Atlas of World History. it's full of political maps from all different eras throughout civilization who's names have been recorded and mapped. When I think up fake names on my own they always sound too fake, so for me this is a goldmine.
Xvart, I routinely break the 4 sentence rule, let him post the toe tale!
"The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
For names, you might even try things such as star names, variations on latin genus/species names (i.e. remove the "-us" kinds of things), or even words from other languages.
Names are good, but there is a rule I made which must not be transgressed -
"All characters must have a name, shortened name, or nickname which can be easily cried out during orgasm."
It sounds bad, but think about it - do you know *anyone* with a more than 3 syllable name who doesn't go by a short form, nickname, or middle name? Long, complicated names are a pain, and make it harder to keep track of the characters. My rule is 3 syllables, but most of my characters have 2-syllable names at most, and several have 1-syllable names (Kurt, Zach, Steve, etc).
\"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
--J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.
let him post the toe tale!
I must have had a sex-change operation somewhere along the way that I didn't notice...
"Give Me Back My Toe" was about a dead man having his toe severed and his blood drained into a ketchup bottle. The dead man walked around in a zombie-like manner saying [spooky voice] "Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive me back my blood!! Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiive me back my toe!!"
Well, that was pretty scary when you are 6 years old.
"Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome
Moleke, I don't want anybody having orgasms in my sword and sorcery tales... Especially not while yelling out for Zack Braff!
Actually I wanted ancient/obscure names because of the (imaginary) time periods I am interested in. I have an old Botanical Latin dictionary that may come in handy. Just the other day I realised that the massive appendix at the end of Tyson's annotated Three books of Occult Philosophy contains both a biographical and a geographical dictionary of philosophers, sorcerers and ancient sites insofar as related to cabalist magic up to about 1500 AD so that's a pretty good start.
There was a great cartoon on Fox Kids about 10 years ago called Mad Jack the Pirate, they had an episode where they stole a mummys toe and the mummy chased them around yelling in a Bill Cosby impersonation "Gieieive bee back bye toe!" The show would have done great on Adult Swim but it was on for kids at 9 am and they didn't get the jokes and impersonations. I taped every episode, I swear Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) is Mad Jack's voice over!