1. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Trouble with a character name

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by karldots92, Jun 27, 2016.

    I don't know if anyone can help but I'm struggling with naming a particular main character in my fantasy novel. To give some description he is a chieftain of a semi-nomadic tribe who's basic belief system is naturistic with animal spirit guides. I guess it's loosely based on Native American spirituality but physically they are more Germanic. The name I had originally is Runs-with-wolves but it doesn't really sit right and is a bit of a mouth full. I'm open to any suggestions.
     
  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Do you make reference to any other members of the tribe? If so, what tack did you take with their naming conventions? I think you are right when you say your current choice doesn't sit well, not with what you'd told us thus far.

    How about checking out some ancient Germanic names, and messing a tad with the vowel sounds? Adalwolf, for example, has a nice ring it. :)
     
  3. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I use 'behind the name' for names that need a certain origin. They have a large amount of Germanic names as well as other origins. I love choosing names!
     
  4. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    I haven't looked at naming any other members of the tribe as when he is introduced he is away from the tribe. I'm at the very early stages and I'm just trying to develop the characters a bit more but I don't want to go to far without settling on a name for this character. The basic gist of the whole story is that you have a group who used to adventure together in their youth but are now middle aged and are scattered across the world and have to come back together in order to defeat a villain they thought they had defeated before but who had just been in hiding. I have definite names and character profiles for the other characters but my chieftain is the least fleshed out and I can't go further really until I settle on a name.

    I'm developing back stories for them also so getting the name right now is important.

    That's a good idea checking out ancient Germanic names - I'm just not sure where to base the tribes mythology and how to incorporate it into the other characters mythology
     
  5. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Thanks - I'll have a look at it. I'm always afraid of my names sounding stupid and childish or repetitive
     
  6. BC Barry
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    BC Barry Member

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    What do you want his most redeeming quality to be? Then play with the letters of that word. Is it loyalty? Call him Tyalt. Is it integrity? Call him Tegrit. I love switching letters around and mixing words together to come up with something new. Hope that helps.
     
  7. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    Find a culture that similar and start stealing names. It's what I did, though finding Punic names is a very difficult thing.
     
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  8. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    You can also use Google Translate to look up word meanings for the language you want to use, or baby-naming sites. I really like BC Barry's idea though.
     
  9. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Thanks for all the tips guys I've decided to settle on Jarl Adalwolf (Lets ignore the fact that it's an ancestor of Adolf). obsidian_cicatrix I hope you don't mind :)
     
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  10. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Not at all...glad you're sorted. :D
     
  11. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    My character names are inspired by the character themselves for the most part. Pick a trait you love about your character, mull it over and research. I have a character based off a plant and her name is actually one the nicknames for the plant and her last name share a trait with that plant.
     

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