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  1. #1

    Character Names Too Weird?

    I'm writing a dystopian story about a girl who is the daughter of two very respected scientists who have brought many good things to their society in terms of technology. When it comes time for them to choose their career path at age 14, the girl chooses music over science and has to deal with feeling relevant in their society. She also meets three people who she becomes friends with at their music academy, and they must work together to show the world that music and the arts in general matter. The names I have right now are:
    -Ellery Rose: main character, very defiant of society, can be quite stubborn, and always gets what she wants. Singer, flute and guitar player.
    -Amelia June: best friend, very sweet, grounded, the shoulder to cry on, but when she gets angry, she gets very angry. lost parents young, lived with musical grandparents, uses music as a connection to her parents. Bass, cello, and Drums player.
    -Forester Elliot: best guy friend, Amelia's love interest, sensible, but not very sentimental. Guitar, french horn, and violin player and singer.
    -Willow Roxanne: possible love interest for Ellery, but also best friend, rebellious, "punk", very emotional, always talking, spunky, confident. Singer, piano, and viola player.

    Other names I've considered for the characters:
    -Ellery (Ava, Evelyn, Calypso, Jazeth, Gabriella, Rosa)
    -Amelia (Sara, Xavia, Felicity, Callista, Piper, Heather)
    -Forester (Gavin, Daniel, Elisha, Ezra, Wren)
    -Willow (Lark, Eris, Amira, Avyanna, Fawn)

    Some other character names in the story are:
    Livina
    Alex
    Willem
    Darius
    Felix

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Liverpool, England
    Posts
    4,283
    They sound fine to me. Unless you suddenly drop on us that this story is set in dystopian India... Setting matters Also, this culture sounds more like they're trying to create a utopia. Anyway, dystopian names are influenced by the following things:

    1. How badly the society is degraded: How much of the culture of the original society has been lost in the 'disaster'? Were all the books destroyed? Did people abandon religion? Were new religions and cultures created based on other things?

    2. How long it has been since the disaster: How long have the people had to forget the society before the disaster?

    2. How badly the language has degraded: Has formal language been abandoned? Do people still know how write and spell? Have original spellings and pronunciations of names been lost over time? (Think 'Hunger Games' Peter - Peeta, Hamish - Haymitch etc)
    ~Boys~

    Jory Leander Atticus, August Eli Benedict, Casimir Mordecai Stewart,
    Edmond John Meirion, Horatio Ethell Emery, Bram William Jasper,
    Julian Remy Charles, Vasiliy Lochlan Michael.


    ~Girls~

    Aira Rose ___, Eleni Fiorella Charlotte, Sylvia Sayuri Noor,
    Merit Eleanora Adelaide, Clover Elodie Seraphine, Bridie Scarlett Viola,
    Marguerite Cecilia Iris, Eilidh Clara Valentine.


    Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    La Florida
    Posts
    645
    I concur with renrose. The only thing I'd add is that Ellery's name may need to be less--I don't know how to put this--free-spirity. Ellery Rose sounds like someone who would grow up to become an artsy type, and that doesn't sound like what her parents had in mind for her. To reference another dystopian series, in Divergent, the main character's name is Beatrice, which sounds like the soft good-girl that her faction, Abnegation, would've wanted her to become. When she switches over to Dauntless, she picks up the cool name Tris to aid in reinventing herself. Maybe Ellery Rose started life as Mallery Roberta?
    Under Construction

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,072
    Did you mean dystopia in a sense of an authoritarian-totalitarian state, like 1984 or Ender's Game? Because I'm not sure what you're describing is actually a dystopia.

    What you've described so far (and correct me if I'm wrong) is a society that a) can afford expensive scientific progress and experimentation, b) values science, progress, and knowledge, c) invests in an educational system for a majority of citizens, and d) has an anti-music/art society. These sound like a utopia, not a dystopia. My arguments for the following are: a) most dystopic societies are economically enslaved, usually by warfare, and governments often generate incomes by using their citizens as cheap/free labor, which makes being a scientist a luxury; b) Dystopic societies and governments rely on controlling their citizens, which often means the oppression of free thought, usually through religion, consumerism, a police state, or media. The fact that your society values science is contradictory to that. Science is a pursuit of the truth, and totalitarian governments are usually not cool with the truth. The only way this could work is if the government has some elaborate form of suppressing all findings that don't support their agendas, in which case an honest/rogue scientist within this type of oppressive system would be a much more interesting story than awkward musical misfits; c) educated masses are difficult to control, making them undesirable for totalitarian covernments; and d) traditially, dystopian societies DON'T have anti-art attitudes. In fact, they use art and music as propaganda constantly. Look at North Korea, they create whole operas and hours-long music and dance programs that do nothing but praise their Great Leader. The problems these societies have are not with music as a career, but with freethought and the spreading of radical ideas that might be 'dangerous' by providing citizens with any idea outside of the accepted realm of what the government considers an easily controllable citizen. Science often works the same way, and you can look at the US for that- government and corporate scientists are often paid to alter experiments and studies to provide the answers they want, not the truth, and dissenting findings are often suppressed or paid off.

    After writing that I'm also a little depressed at realizing how totalitarian the US has become.

    Also, I disagree with megan_ashley, and I don't think Ellery sounds artsy. I usually consider Ellery in the nouveau rich-snob realm of names, like Ainsley or Mason. Most of the names you chose seem very upper crust, bougeois names, and Ellery fits right in.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Western Washington.
    Posts
    570
    I think that the names are fine.
    Hi, I'm Rachel.

    teenberry - writer combo

    Rosalind Linnea || Althea Peony
    Leo Uriah || Peregrine Kai

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