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Thread: Help with Naming Characters?
July 22nd, 2013 06:04 AM #1
Help with Naming Characters?
Hi berries! I am currently working on a novel/novella of some sort and am looking for names to go with my characters - and when I was thinking of people I could go to for help, nameberry came up first in my head!
The (very detailed, I know...) plot goes something like this: In a futuristic (or alternate) world, power was seized by an evil monster who could shapeshift into any form imaginable. He use this power to start a malignant dictatorship over the land of Sinoris. Sinoris is divided into 4 boroughs: the east borough, the west borough, the north borough, and the most powerful south borough. The leaders of each borough are named after where they are from (ie: Simon Westborough). Overpopulation has begun to threaten Sinoris and the evil king has taken a new liking of taking people from their homes, killing them brutally, and dumping their bloody corpses into the sea. He does everything for a twisted idea of a "perfect world". In the rich home of the Southboroughs, there lives a blind girl and her siblings/parents. Due to the technology of this world, her sight would have been able to be restored, but the blind girl decided she did not want to be operated on, and therefore retained her blindness. Once she is 14, she runs away from home - not because her parents treat her badly, but because she is bored. She takes her late grandfather's walking stick and a satchel of coins intending to sell the walking stick for money, but discovers a hidden power inside her from a wise man at the foot of the town square - she is the embodiment of the Earth spirit. (AN: there is only one Earth spirit and one Air spirit, no other 'spirits') Using her walking stick, she learns to utilize her powers to 'see' in a different way and to offensively ward off other people. Fast forward two years later. Turns out there is a prophecy about her and the embodiment of air. She is "captured" by a rogueish group of people - one of whom is man who claims to be the embodiment of air and claims to be a powerful Calathancer (or shapeshifter - like the king) They eventually fall in love, yadda yadda yadda. (I'll explain his backstory in his own little section because this is freaking long.) Their powers include "seeing" using their element, and gliding (flying for the air embodiment). After reading a book entitled "The Spirit of Icarus" they learn that each of them is a part of Icarus - one being the earthly part (the girl) and one being the heavenly, flying part (the guy). Using their own powers, they eventually destroy the king by sacrificing themselves so their group can harness the power of both spirits at once - the only way to overpower the king. It ends with the group giving the funeral rights to the two dead people, and watching two birds fly overhead, speculating that maybe their spirits are still on earth.
Whew, that was long.
Anyway, let's begin. For the king (evil, twisted, crazy/mad, and bloodthirsty), I really have no names. I am leaning towards a crazy/half made up name or a deceivingly "royal" name like Edmund or Charles that he would have adopted after becoming king.
For the Southborough girl, I have been thinking Emilia (with her older siblings being Nicola and Walter, and younger brother being Daniel) but I am unsure of the sibset's cohesive quality. Emilia is brave - sometimes to the point of being reckless, and selfless. She is also pessimistic, judgmental, and sometimes cruel. She has olive skin, dark hair which falls just past her shoulders, and glassy hazel eyes (If you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, they are somewhat like Toph's) She has a hard time recognizing that the feeling she feels for (insert guy's name here) is love. (on a side note, I'm thinking her parents names will be Reyna and Nico)
The air embodiment was an orphan and left the orphanage when he was 18 to explore - he was captured by the king's pirates and while in captivity, he realized his powers. He proceeded to kill the whole crew and escape, joining a group. I am leaning towards a French-but-not-really-French last name like Leblanc or Demont, and his first name something like Tristan or maybe something more European-sounding. He is smart, strategic, and easy-to-please. He is also resigned, cynical, and snarky. He has pale skin, blonde hair, and clear blue eyes. He's never believed in love at first sight but knows that his and (girl's) relationship is more than friendship.
Okay, now for the rest of the group.
Nurse/doctor: mother figure to everybody, grandmother of the Archer. Sweet, kind, but worries about everything. Female. Has grey hair and wears glasses.
Navigator: was captured by the king, but escaped. Steely, serious, but knows a lot and is probably the most knowledgeable of the group. Male. Has brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Swordsmen: triplet brothers - something manly. Very brave, in-sync, and good-looking. They are charismatic and all look to charm the Archer. One has blue eyes, one has green eyes, and one has grey eyes.
Cook: Cousin of the Swordsmen - a portly man with a passion for good food - melodramatic. He was an actor when he was younger. He has blonde hair and brown eyes.
- Has an apprentice who is skinny, African-American, and a great singer - very charming but shy.
Archer: Granddaughter of the doctor, a pretty girl who is a great archer and a fast runner. Somewhat tomboyish - but her name doesn't reflect that. Her parents died when she was little (Her parents are Eric [son of doctor] and Meredith) as well as her brother, Tobias "Toby". She has dark red hair and a medium skin tone. Has a crush on the cook's apprentice.
Thanks so much for the help!
on a final note: I would like some help with surnames as well for everybody - and the only person who needs a middle name is the Archer. Thanks again!
PS: Agh, the troubles of being a new berry. On other posts I've seen, names (like Danny) are all linked to a page. Is there an easier way to do that than just putting in links? Or am I just assuming things?
Last edited by issymforsythe; July 22nd, 2013 at 06:10 AM. Reason: I'm a new berry and also somewhat of a noob and had to ask another question.Issy M. Forsythe~just a girl looking out for the world~current favorites: Zelda True, Aurelia Ivy, Bellamy Pearl, Asher Icarus, Raiden Isaac, Vincent Kelsier (and counting)<3 Alex
July 22nd, 2013 07:59 AM #3
The names automatically link themselves Don't worry about it.
Anyway, firstly. If this is an alternate reality/different planet/world then my instinct is to give everyone names that are similar sounding to names here but distinct enough so that you understand that this isn't earth. Even in Suzanne Collins 'Hunger Games' the names (of the futuristic society) are mostly warped names Peeta - Peter, Haymitch - Hamish etc.
Since there are elements of the fantastical to your story I'd definitely be more inclined to go with an alternate reality/different planet/world rather than a dystopian future.
Taking what you have already I'd do:
Reyna and Nico Fine as they are. Just the right amount of odd.
Nicola: Nicayla (nick-ay-la)
Walter: Woltar (walter)
Emilia: Fine as it is. Or you could do Emilla.
Daniel: Danneil (da-neel)
You see? Mostly I looked at BehindtheName, typed in the base name and looked at it's variants throughout the world, then picked one I like and tweaked it a little more.~Boys~
★ August Eli Benedict ★ Bram ★ Casimir Mordecai ★ Edmond John Meirion ★ Gillon ★
★ Jory Leander ★ Julian Charles ★ Macsen ★ Vasiliy ★
★ Aira Rose ★ Arietta ★ Clover ★ Delphina ★ Eleni ★ Fiorella ★ Hester Isobel ★
★ Iris ★ Lilah ★ Merit ★ Sylvia ★
Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.
July 22nd, 2013 05:58 PM #5
I like all of the names you have so far, especially Reyna. I think Emilia is a good name for the blind girl, and Tristan Demort is a really, really good name for the embodiment air spirit (in my opinion).
Now on to the others:
Villain/King-perhaps something along the lines of Mordecai? I don't have a very good idea for this one...Byron might be a good one.
Nurse/healer-something grandmotherly, but slightly tough, like Mara or Della. Something one or two syllables. Tess would work, too.
Navigator- Ethan or Nicholas...no, never mind about Nicholas. Too close to Nicola. Umm... Fredrick?
Swordsmen- Gavriel/Gabriel, Wes, Trent, Keith, Brent, (and while we're at it with the -ent names, we may as well add Kent to the list), Clark (just don't use Clark and Kent, if you see what I mean) Charles. Any names from that list in any combination (although it might be kind of funny if they were named Trent, Brent, and Kent....your choice!)
Cook- Some warm and friendly name, with a side of the melodramatic....something like Jarrod or Gavin.
Cook's apprentice- hmmm...I don't know about this one. I'll think about it.
Archer- Seraphina nn Sera is my first and foremost thought.
I like your story idea, and I hope it works out. Specify how unusual you want your names to be, because if you want them to be more futuristic, like Lux or Nyx, I could probably give you a better list.“I read books when I was a kid, lots of books. Books always seemed like magic to me. They took you to the most amazing places. When I got older, I realized I couldn't find books that took me to all the places I wanted to go. To go to those places, I had to write some books myself.”
― Pat Murphy, The Wild Girls
"Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words – the words live on..."
― J. Michael Straczynski
July 23rd, 2013 12:22 AM #7
@renrose I do agree that I think my story would be better in an alternate universe. I was originally thinking that my "rebels" might have more 'earthly' names rather than semi-warped names - but I do think that for the nobility or high-class families, the warped names would be kind of cool - but I'm on the fence whether I would use names like Peeta and Haymitch from THG or futuristic names like Xyl or Lux. Currently I'm leaning towards futuristic names, though.
@stardust17 I kind of like Mordecai... Of your suggested names I like Mara, Gavin, and Seraphina nn Sera. For the rebels/group I was going to have names people could remember more easily - like Gavin, Kent, and whatnot - but for the nobility of Sinoris who work under the king, they would probably bear more futuristic names.Issy M. Forsythe~just a girl looking out for the world~current favorites: Zelda True, Aurelia Ivy, Bellamy Pearl, Asher Icarus, Raiden Isaac, Vincent Kelsier (and counting)<3 Alex
July 23rd, 2013 01:03 AM #9
Alright, feel free to throw this idea out the window, but I think it would be better to use common- even to the point of blandness- names BECAUSE it is a futuristic story. You want the reader to connect with your characters and giving them names they recognize and know how to say can add to that feeling. You could even go for names so outdated they seem fresh and futuristic. That being said, let's get on to the characters.
Main girl-- she seems like a no-nonsense, deal with it, her way or the highway kind of girl. I would go with some old, strong classic, preferrably one-syllable. What immediately came to mind was Joan a la Joan of Arc. Something that, just from the name, the reader understood the essence of her character and could have fun with. SIDENOTE: it's even better to use uncommon names so the reader doesn't connect it with someone they actually know. Have you read INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher? The girl's name is Claudia- at first I hated it but then I loved it because it was fresh and new and it was like I could make a brand new friend instead of just revisit the old ones.
Evil King-- I don't know about you but if I was an evil person whom people want to kill and I could shapeshift, you'd better believe my name was pretty common. You could always pick something totally random and throw your reader off. Make them think "Why would he name (rename?) himself this? What does this show about his psycholgical (inner paranoia?) and physical character? Why can't I figure this out?" What jumped out to me was something like Declan or Gideon. Different, but just common enough for a quick getaway.
Air guy-- orphaned. Kidnapped by pirates. Supernatural powers. This is a combination of almost every book known to man (Charles Dickens, Princess Bride, Twilight). I would give this character a distinctive name that people could remember him by. Don't make him "that one guy who won the girl and beat the bad guy." Make him "that dude who kicked the bad guy's butt and finally got the girl! He had an awesome name!" I'm thinking... Orion? Haha get it. Orion. Air. Sky. Yeah. SIDENOTE: maybe, since he was orphaned, he picked his own name from a book or story or something. Just a thought. DOUBLE SIDENOTE: do not take these suggestions to be Bible. For instance, you might not want Joan and Orion together because they both have that hard 'n' sound.
Grandma-- what name do you think of when you think hot cocoa and snuggles? Just transform all those nice and cuddly thoughts into the name that makes you feel that way. Again, it will make your readers more invested because you will be able to fully embody that character and love it so much more. I have no suggestions for this, seeing as I just suggested that you look inside yourself and since I don't really know you I could be of no assistance in that department.
Sword guys-- three brothers? Sword wielding fighters? I would look to the history books for this one. Some of the most awesome war stories/kings/whatever have really different exotic names and that would give people a good idea of their character. Again, no suggestions as the suggestion itself was a suggestion for you, if you so choose.
Navigator-- I'm only thinking Milo, which I know is lame because of Atlantis and all, but still... Maybe find a variation of it? Miles, Miko, Moore, etc. I also liked the suggestion of Ethan.
Cook-- if I were an old, retired actor, I would put as much pomp into my name as possible so I would get the proper respect deserved of a man of my (previous) profession. Something exotic and long. Angelo, Bartholomew, Ulysses. Something like that.
Assistant-- I would follow the general pattern of workpeople and kitchen servants- the shorter the better, ie Daisy from Downton. Maybe Dell, Crew, Kale, Meggie, Sosie. You never said if it was a boy or girl.
Archer-- would it be too much of a crime to name her Archer? It's tomboy, describes her, I feel like it goes with Tobias. The only thing is the book FIRE by Kristin Cashore has a character named Archer. You should read it and see what you think.
So this is just my two cents (and a very long two cents at that. Let's make it my two dollars). Feel free to do with it what you like."I feel like a little bit, like, I’m the Braveheart of creativity.”
~ Kanye West