1. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    Simple problem for a LARGE part of a story.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Vanlande, Jul 17, 2012.

    I honestly don't know what forum to put this particular problem in... This is my best guess.

    There's a main power in my current story and I've reached countless dead ends on what to call it. The best things to compare it to are; The Empire in Star Warsor The Capital in Hunger Games. Everything I've come up with so far sounds too generic and boring. The Authority, Kingdom, Government, Overseer, etc. A made up name may be a solution, but I want a sort of no-nonsense feel to it. It's rarely referenced throughout most of the story, until the end, so when it is talked about, I want the reader to get the concept straight out.

    If I've mis-posted feel free to point me in the right direction. If not, advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Iron Orchid
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    Iron Orchid Member

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    Why not combine the two ideas? Have a name and a title, The Human Authority, The Kingdom of Steve, The Sunshine Overseers. Bad names but you see my point of having a name in there too could make it more particular to your world than just a generic Government.

    Also gives you more room to be flexible when mentioning the governing body too, for example the full title in Star Wars is The Galactic Empire, I think, but is simply shortened to The Empire by common people.
     
  3. jane elliot
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    jane elliot Member

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    I think that, before plopping a name on this organization, you should think about how it came into existence. The tyrant figure in The Hunger Games was The Capitol because it was the seat of power and the governing body. In 1984, it's The Party, because it created a totalitarian rule with swarmy, terrifying politics. If your organization started out as an underground thing, it could be called something like The Agency, or maybe the governing body might not have an official name and just be referred to as having grasped power during "The Takeover" or something. If the power has connections to a past event or influence, it could be called something like "The Fellows" after old medieval orders, like the Knights Templar. I know that's a lame suggestion, but you get the idea.
     
  4. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    Both are good suggestions, and my wheels are already turning. This is great, I have a new direction to go in! Thanks!
     
  5. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    What sort of government is it? Because that impacts on what it would be called. An empire for example would traditionally be an emporers realm (before the British empire etc). A king has a kingdom, monarchy or realm. A collection of states might be an alliance or a confederation. And if you have some sort of democratic government, you might have a senate, a parliament, a house etc.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  6. Jamie Senopole
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    Jamie Senopole Member

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    What about The Throne?
     
  7. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    The Throne implies a monarchy, which doesn't fit. But you didn't know that, so to clarify, here's a brief description.

    Picture a government much like the current United States', only severely corrupt. So much so, that in an effort to control population, consumption, etc it basically decimated most of the population so that the resources that remained would be saved for the elite. I suppose you would call the main rulers a parliament, or senate. Now there's just a huge city (a capital) and their army, which I've been calling the Militiamen. I thought about using "The Overseers" but that put's too much emphasis on the 'senate', when really almost all of 'The Capital City' is evil. I guess you would call it a Hub, but that doesn't have the intimidating ring I'm looking for. What it all comes down to is a name for the central city that is alive and well, hoarding everything while the rest of the world dies.
     
  8. Reptile Hazard
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    Reptile Hazard Member

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    I can't think of any good names right now, but I'll tell you this: don't let your story suffer because you want it to be different. Sometimes simple is enough.

    If you name it "The Government" for example, your readers will already be familiar with it, and you won't have to do a lot of explaining as to why it is named like that, which would look like an info dump if you did. This is just an example though, if you feel a made up name will explain itself and easy for your readers to understand, then go for it.
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Could you use the geography in conjunction with the politics? For example:

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    The United States of America
    The Union of South Africa


    In each instance, the government has taken a place-name and converted it for use as a political name. Might there be a geographical name in your milieu which has the desired ring?
     
  10. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    These are all great suggestion and I'm so glad I posted this! Now, instead of having nowhere to go, I can decide whats the best way to go!

    That being said, I'm thinking a combination of what some of you have said may turn into something perfect. The place-name, the generic name, and the combination of them could result in the name I'm looking for. This also allows for the use of an acronym once the subject has been established. Just as we say, USA or UK, "The Coalition of Royal Aristocratic Persons" could easily be shortened to... wait never mind... you get the idea. Then it can be referred to differently by certain characters. For example, those loyal to the capital city may say the whole thing, while those against may just use the acronym.

    Exciting stuff, thanks guys.
     
  11. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    I highly doubt that any organization will simply allow their shortening to be a term so obvious. A game might get away with it, but the stigma is pretty obvious for most things. A derived term or popular negative attribution is one thing. I keep hearing some dumb 're-bloodicans' and 'demi-crips' or whatever on TV when some Gov. (former?) was being interviewed. Though to say that it will be the actual acronym will be awkward. South Park made a pun on the Screen Actors Guild since the more obvious choice would be 'Film', but the acronym becomes hilarious.
     
  12. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    Yeah, the whole coalition thing was a joke. I hadn't planned on using that. I'm definitely going with something more along the lines of 'UK', or 'USSR'.
     
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  13. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Just to point it out, thesaurus dot com is a great resource for finding new words. You can even use their reference section to look for obscure concepts.

    Let's play! Looking up "power"...

    Endowment, dynamism, ascendancy, sovereignty, supremacy, hegemony, cryptodynamic, bureau, admiral, advisers, board, bureau, cabinet, chair, chairperson, chargé d'affaires, command, commander, committee, consulate, department, directors, embassy, executive, executives, feds, front office, general, governing body, headquarters, legislature, management, ministry, officers, officials, powers, presidency, president, presidium, stewards, superintendents, supervisors, top brass, upstairs...

    I could go on for a while, but I think I'm gonna stop now.
     
  14. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    Here's the direction you should go in - Remember that a name only has the power that you give to it as a writer. Why does "The Empire" ring with certain connotations? Why, because of the Star Wars movies, of course! And, if there never was any Star Wars movie? Well, then we might think of the Roman Empire or the French or British Empires, in that case.

    Here's an example - Lord Foul the Despiser

    That's a stupid name for an antagonist, isn't it? Lord Foul? Heck, you might as well call him "Evil Nasty Bad Dude." But, Stephen R. Donaldson manages to create a "Lord Foul" in "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" series that truly fits the name. He is foul in every respect and is one of the most iconic "Antagonists" in fantasy literature. He's also pure evil, to the core, and there's no attempt made for the reader to identify with him. (Well, not much of one, at any rate.)

    But, if I told you I had created an antagonist named "Lord Foul" without submitting any artfully crafted story to go along with it, you'd likely laugh me off the forums, wouldn't you?

    The name carries the meaning that you associate with it in your story. It's your job to make it special, significant and meaningful. If you call the empire you're creating "Happy Flowers", you could make it send shivers down the spines of your readers if you were good enough. Don't get hung up on the name. Pick something that inspires you, work on building up the imagery, then change the name if you want to with a quick "Edit-find-replace." In the end, the name won't matter as much as what you do to build up the imagery you want the reader to associate with it.
     
  15. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    This is such an excellent point and one that I hadn't even really considered. Actually, it kind of scares me. I don't know if I have the skill to craft an effective empire. I know I wasn't even a fan of 'The Crimson King' in King's Dark Tower series, so I know I've got some serious thinking on how to go about creating this antagonist city.

    Thanks a ton, Morkonan, great post.
     
  16. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    What if you just invent the name of the city, and then refer to the 'evil empire' by the name of that city? (Gotham)
    The news in the USA likes to talk about what is happening in Washington when really we know that they mean what is going on with the politicians, not the whole of the city.
    If those in power took over everything for the good of the little people, perhaps they could be refered to as The Elite or something by the lowly regular people.

    I like Gonissa's idea of using thesaurus dot com for inspiration.
     
  17. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    You're very welcome!

    Don't be afraid! You're seeing the ultimate power that a good writer can wield. This is what writing is all about. It's your world, your story, your characters and your empire.

    Do with it what you will.
     
  18. Vanlande
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    Vanlande Member

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    After a few days of some thought, I've got a direction that I like. Gonissa got me going with the thesaurus and 'ascendancy' caught my eye. Actually got the ball rolling on that central group thing, and what they would be called. Then the idea that cobaltblue suggested, the one about how we say "Washington" to refer to politicians. Those, and Morkonon with that "what's in a name" suggestion and Thump's acronym point, have me sitting in a pretty sweet spot. Thanks a ton for the input, everyone.

    Ryan
     
  19. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    You might want to rethink Militiamen unless they were part of a coup against a previous government. Militiamen suggests to me the Colonial American common man and not the army of a corrupt elite.
     
  20. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I just wanted to say, I really like the word Interdict... Anyway, i'm sure it'll come to you! You know what it is at least, so every time you need to mention it in your story, just put something really easy to find with Control-F then just replace all! lol
     
  21. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Provided that the setting is in this world, you could also borrow from an ancient name - especially one that invokes certain feelings, Babylonia (trite, but you get the point). New Sumeria (a new beginning of culture - you could go on about their haughty nature as well) . . .

    Another idea, is to work the irony angle. So, maybe name the city "Haven" or "the City of Freedom." What also possible, is to pick up Latin or Greek names for those cities.
    "Portus" is Latin for "Haven"
    "Libertas" is Latin for "Freedom."
    "Eleutheria" is Koine Greek for freedom.
     

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