1. Xanatos
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    Xanatos New Member

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    Help me name resistance group?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Xanatos, Dec 13, 2010.

    Hi I'm writing a sci-fi story and need help naming a group of freedom fighters who are fighting against a tyrannical overlord who rules over a planet with martial law. I don't want to name them "The Resistance" because it just seems a bit overused. Really need some help with this one. Thanks!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    PM me with more info about them and I'll help you. Also, I'd be interested in reading your story. I love government-conspiracy/dystopia stuff involving fascist overlords and martial law. ;)
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could always call them "the resistance" (no capitals) and not give them any name. Unless there are many resistances, every character in your world should understand.

    Or you could try to give them a name based on the history of your world. For example, if the resistance wants things to return to how they were under the previous ruler, Johann, they could call themselves "Johannists". If Johann is in exile and they wish to put him back in power, they could call themselves "Loyalists". If they wish their own part of the country to become independent, the call call themselves "Separatists", and so on.
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    --------
     
  5. thenewpeter
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    thenewpeter Senior Member

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    Freedom fighters
    UP(united peoples)
    Peoples militia

    Really could do with more details to get a better idea.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Find something that the name stands for like Counteraction Against Tyrants or Defence of Grassroots or Bash Up Martial Law and then call them the CATs, DoGs or BUMs.
     
  7. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, that depends what kind of group we're talking about...

    Do they need a name? Depending on how secretive the group is and what their objective(s) is/are, they need not have a name. If members only talk about ____ with other members, they may simply call themselves 'we' within their ranks, while outside their ranks they can simply let their actions speak for themselves, no name required. For example:

    "We're meeting in Jim's basement tomorrow to plan our next attack. Bring the bomb supplies."

    A name doesn't really become necessary until outsiders become aware of the group's existence or activities, at which point the outsiders will need something to call this new group. Chances are, people will start to identify them by (1) their purpose, or (2) a defining attribute.

    ex1: "the resistance blew up another roadblock last night."

    ex2: "Call HQ. Those damn Green Hats stole two cases of rifles from the barracks again."

    In example #1, they're called 'the resistance' because they're resisting the current government, obviously. It's not so much a 'proper' name as just a means of referring to what they do or what they represent. Example #2 is actually quite common, historically. Groups, named or unnamed, are often identified by a visual queue of some sort, such as the "Redcoats," referring to British troops in the American Revolutionary War, or the "Sans Culottes," (lit. "without breeches") of the French Revolutionary Wars.

    If you want the group to have an actual, official name, not just an improvised one or none at all, you may want to begin by asking yourself where that name came from and what agenda was served by creating it. Was the name created by the resistance group? If so, it will probably be symbolic of some unifying ideology they have. By contrast, if the name was created by the totalitarian regime they are fighting against, it will probably be something intended to undermine that ideology and mar the legitimacy of this group.

    You options are many. I've only outlined a few ways you can go about solving your dilemma. As someone who frequently struggles with naming things, be it a character, a setting, or an organization, I always begin by looking to the past (where is the char from? why was the organization created?) the present (what do most people think of this person or group? what do they look like or stand for?) and the future (what is his/her/its ultimate goal or definitive ideology, if any?). By the time I work through those questions, something will have jumped out at me.

    Good luck. Hope this helped.
     
  8. TheDave
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    TheDave Member

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    An original name will resonate better than something generic. I often use a simple "placeholder" name if I can't come up w/ something initially. Consider the acronym, with context to your story. A really clever one can set your story apart and create a kind of touchstone for readers.
     
  9. write_star
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    write_star Member

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    What do they stand for? What do they believe in? What are they fighting against? What are they resisting? Asking yourself these questions will help lead to a name for the group. You could also popular television shows or movies where there are groups of resistance and see what they are named.
     
  10. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Multiple names is a good idea. The loyalists can call them something vaguely insulting, such as blackcoats (or whatever they wear often), they can call themselves something meaningful, such as Lockites or something else historical, and average people could just call them the resistance (no proper noun). A covert organization will have different names to different groups.
     
  11. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I'll second Rennat's suggestion of having multiple names/descriptions. One side's freedom fighter is the other side's boot-jacked thug. Though, the other side may use their name only informally as it's best to speak in vague terms such as "thug", "gangster", or "terrorist".

    Think of it this way - if one side calls themselves the "Defenders of Freedom", you won't hear the leader of the other side proclaiming "We will crush the Defenders of Freedom!" Rather, he would say "We will crush the organized thugs who are threatening our way of life."

    Remember too that such names either come from the people or are chosen to resonate with the people. Pretty much the same process that creates names for political parties.

    -Frank
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I recommend typing Life of Brian the Judean Peoples Front into google
     
  13. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    You could call them "The [Insert Planet Name Here] Confederacy"
     
  14. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    For a touch of realism in your resistance group's name, it should be noted that in the real world, the name often means the opposite of what the group actually represents.

    All resistance groups are basically the same, they oppose the current government system and are able, and willing, to employ violence and bloodshed to bring about a change in government.

    The thing about that is that people willing to employ violence and bloodshed if they don't get what they want are NOT the people any sensible people would want in charge. To this end, most resistance group names are merely propaganda.

    Any group calling itself "The People's Militia" or "The People's Army" rarely allows "The People" to have any say in whatever violent actions they commit in "the name of the people". The use of the term "The People" in their organization name is merely to present the illusion of popular public support.

    Likewise any group that has to call itself "popular", as in "The Popular Front for a Free [insert third world country name here]", isn't popular at all...or it wouldn't have to tell you so.

    For purposes of science fiction resistance groups, you can literally just invent anything that sounds cool and it will work. "The Hammer of Freedom" (with their War Hammer emblem), "The Star of Liberty" or "The Sword of [Insert species name of enslaved planet]" all work for science fiction.
     

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