Tags:
  1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Amateur Human Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    1,221

    I dont know what to call a character that...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by J.T. Woody, Dec 12, 2019.

    ...has a name but is not referred to by that name.

    explanation: my MC can sense spirits. She doesnt know that she has this ability. All her life, she has been watched over by this "presence," a motherly figure with a kind and comforting voice that she liked to talk to. She kept this "presence" to herself and formed a sort of relationship with it where she would seek it out for advice or for comfort.
    She finds out later on when she becomes an adult, that this presence is her mother.

    My problem is... I keep referring to it as "the voice" because my MC had no knowledge of spirits. but "the voice" seems too clunky and doesnt always fit (in my opinion) where it should. And even after my MC figures out who it is, she doesnt call the voice "mom." She is reluctant to refer to the voice as "mom" because of certain events. The voice has a name, Lael, and my MC feels uncomfortable using that name because when she first called her that, she noticed the presence wasnt as comforting (in my universe, if you acknowledge a spirit by its name, it binds you to them, and even though my MC didnt have knowledge of this when she first said the name, she felt the change in their dynamic).

    So.... alternates to "the voice?"

    (im about 118 pages in, and its starting to bug me!)
     
  2. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    86
    Maybe Elder sister or Auntie? What is the culture of MC? Asia has a variety of terms Nonna, onesan, eonnie ect for elder sister and similar and they get used often even when not biological siblings.
     
  3. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Amateur Human Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    My MC is from an independent island in a fantasy world, but if I were to assign it a culture from our Earth, i'd say its similar to the Polynesian culture (at least, i based the island and the initial setting off of the various tropical islands in the Pacific). Though not from that island or the culture, that is where she was raised.
     
  4. Rockatansky

    Rockatansky Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2019
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    315
    The Whispers, Seer's whisper

    Ghovic, is a combination of ghosts and voice, LOL. I'm trying anything I can to help you out or give you ideas
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  5. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    86

    In that case, how about Hina? It is used to refer to a powerful female entity(not a specific goddess).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hina_(goddess)

    I like this because using it shows the MC is aware of and respectful of the spirits power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    J.T. Woody and Rockatansky like this.
  6. Nesian

    Nesian Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2017
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    77
    Ancestor? Or you could name the spirit after something her Mother may have given her, or a character in a story her Mother always told her that reminds her of her Mother which would be more acceptable to the spirit and comforting to your character.
     
    J.T. Woody and Rockatansky like this.
  7. Damage718

    Damage718 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2019
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Joliet, IL
    Many children have imaginary friends, and they give them names. Perhaps you could do something like that with your MC. Since she's heard "The Voice" her whole life, did she give it a name at some point that the "presence" was OK with? She doesn't want to use the name Lael, but maybe she had/has another one that was acceptable. Like a nickname? :)
     
    J.T. Woody and Rockatansky like this.
  8. Bowie_the_Birb

    Bowie_the_Birb Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2019
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    caught somewhere in time
    If the main character is comforted by this presence, I wouldn't want the nickname to be too serious or deep. For example, in the game Subnautica: Below Zero, there is an advanced, ancient alien race called the Precursors or the Architects that the main character is researching, but one of these alien entities gets download into the main character's brain. The mc eventually says "listen, I need something to call you" and the alien's name is now Al-An (Alan)
    I hope this gives you ideas :)
     
    J.T. Woody likes this.
  9. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    461
    Location:
    United States
    Adding to what others have already said, I think going with a somewhat cultural reference, such as suggested by Thorn, you can also keep that tie to the character. A lot of times culture plays a bigger part than a lot of people realize, and by using something like a universal "nickname," you can incorporate it without being overly obvious about it.

    Of course, that's if it's important to the story to include the cultural aspect. If not, then I have said nothing, and back away slowly, haha. :)
     
  10. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Amateur Human Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Thanks everyone! I think I've got it now :)
    I didn't think about the "imaginary friend" aspect and things children called their friends/toys(I literally had a stuffed lamb I called Buttermilk and would talk to. No idea why "Buttermilk" stuck as a name....)
    My MC first feels this presence and hears the voice one night when she is lost (I did write this scene as a memory explaining when she first heard the voice). I may have her associate the voice with the Moon. It's less weird if an adult asks her who she's talking to and she says "Moon". Plus "Moon" sounds similar to "mom" and the moon is often depicted in various cultures as feminine and loving. BOOM! we have a name!!
     
    Damage718 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice