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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,328

    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

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    236
    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.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    2,546
    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:
    Anaelle
    Enora
    Maelie
    Annick
    Mari
    Maela
    Rozenn
    Maëll
    Gwenaëlle

    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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