For people, places both exact and general, I have always struggled with coming up with names. For the main Elven characters in my current project, I used a dictionary I found online, combining the known Elvish from Tolkein’s works, and did a bit of mixing, plus creating my own words based on a sound or similarity to the existing words.
With the humans of my tale, I took names I knew from old England, and changed the spelling of it a bit, to further give that old English feel. For places in the human kingdom, I simply gave names similar to areas around where I live, which for the most part, seem to follow the trend of being named after a natural landmark that existed when the town was first founded. Hence, names like Oakridge and Riverside.
Still, I am not all that great at coming up with names, especially when it comes to dealing with multiple different races of people within the story. They would all have their own culture, and their own way of naming things. So still, I have plenty of things and people to name, from Elvish to Dwarvish to Gnomish to Orcish; and so on.
Any tips from all you readers and writers out there?
On another note, not directly related to the title of this post, I have begun making a map of the world in my tale, and while my drawing skills are horrendous, I will at some time attempt to clean it up on the computer and make it look somewhat nice.