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Thread: Character name advice?
December 3rd, 2013 11:14 PM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Character name advice?
So, I recently came across a story I had started writing when I was eleven and I think I'm going to make it my project over winter break to re-vamp it, which includes re-vamping the characters names. Its supposed to be a fantasy/futuristic type novel, so I wanted their names to be a little different while still being actual names.
The character I'm trying to rename was named Cathrynne by eleven year old me. After wincing at it once or twice I started searching for a name to replace it. I came across the name Katell and instantly fell in love with it for this character. Its the Breton form of Katherine. However, for some reason I thought it was pronounced "Kate-el", sort of rhyming with Gretel. When I discovered it was pronounced "ka-Tell" I was really bummed. I thought about changing the spelling to Katel and using it with the pronunciation I wanted but I feel it would be disrespectful to Breton culture if I just took one of their names and changed the spelling and pronunciation to my liking.
I know I can't use the name but for some reason I can not stop referring to her as "Kate-el" every time I think about her. I can't seem to find any other name that feels right for her. Can any of you help? Should I just go with Katell or can any of you suggest a better alternative?
Here is a description of her: She is in her mid-teens. She is medium height with a strong build, fair skin. Her hair is a warm brown color and her eyes are medium blue. She is a very determined, ambitious girl and because of that she can be a bit abrasive at times. She is a kind, loving person deep down but she struggles with displays of affection. What would you call her?Violet Gray
Sad name-obsessed teenager and aspiring writer
December 4th, 2013 12:41 AM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
If you're doing fantasy/futuristic stuff, I think it's totally fine to make up your own names, and I doubt anyone would even connect Katel to the Breton name or think it disrespectful; I would probably assume you just smooshed together Kate + Elle. Personally, I think Katell sounds prettier with the original pronounciation, but I can see why you might want a harsher sound for your character. You could play around with the spelling a bit more to be sure of the pronunciation you want e.g. Kaitel, which has the added advantage of looking less like Katniss.
December 4th, 2013 12:45 AM #5
Does your character have Breton in her cultural background? If she does, it would make sense to have her named Katell. Honestly, I instinctively pronounced it Kyh-tell. If the name feels right, I would try to accept the pronunciation. But that can be hard when you have an idea of what it's supposed to sound like! I had a character named Rosamunde, and I always thought it was pronounced "Roz-UH-mund". But because her first language would be German, her name was pronounced "Roz-UH-moon-duh."
Working with the Breton culture, a few names I suggest are:
These names are futuristic, but a bit recognizable. If you don't feel comfortable using Katell (or spelling it Katel) then maybe one of these would work for you.-Athena
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