Where the names come from: Origin of Draakonor

A question I hear often is “where do the names come from?” Giving people, places, and things unique names is one of the more challenging aspects of writing fantasy. So, I thought that over the next few weeks I’d take a few of the names I’ve come up with and offer explanation.

Draak (rhymes with rock) is a word I borrowed from Dutch. It means dragon. And onor is the elvish word for heart—okay, I’m making that part up, but it sounded good, right? In truth, once I landed on Draak I was looking for a way to extend the word and Draakonor sort of rolled off my tongue.

Originally the series was called The Chronicle of the Dragon Heart, a reference to a legendary gem that is an integral part of the story. At the suggestion of a friend, I changed it to The Chronicle of the Dragon Shards, because the story is really about the broken shards of that gem I mentioned. The problem with both these names is that there are quite a few books and movies that use dragon heart in the title, and there is a video game that uses Dragonshard. So, it makes my series harder to find if you search for it online and allows for the possibility that my story might be confused with another.

Draakonor was one of several options I considered. What sealed the deal for me was when I did a quick Google search and came up with absolutely nothing. Finding a unique name for your book or series can be a difficult task, but is essential if you want your story to stand out in an increasingly crowded market place.


David E. Barber is a fantasy writer and author of A Way with Magic and The Fabled Beast of Elddon. David grew up in the Midwest, surviving childhood on a steady diet of fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, movies, and comics. Inspired by authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, and George R.R. Martin, he began writing stories of his own and is currently hard at work on an epic fantasy series. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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