1. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    I have a name thing I can't figure out.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ali'Ikai, Sep 28, 2020.

    So in my book there are multiple planets which draw inspiration from real cultures(each planet having a culture it's based off of). One of these planets is Polū Moana which is directly based of of Hawai'i.

    One of the characters is called Keli'iholokailani which is his formal name...however he goes by Ano for most of the book and only really goes by Keli'iholokailani in official settings(such as war meetings or when talking to his parents).

    Would I refer to him as Keli'iholokailani or Ano in the narrative because he's both of these names.
     
  2. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber <[:>)-|---< Contributor

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    Speaking as the reader who will probably have to read your MC's name dozens and dozens of times, I would rather you mostly wrote it as Ano.
     
  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Contributor Contributor

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    Put it this way - suppose the character was called Ben, short for Benjamin. Would you write Ben or Benjamin every time you had to refer to the character? Think about what other writers do in this case. How many Bens, Steves, Bobs, Dicks (or Riches), Archies, Daves, Joes etc. vs Benjamins, Stevens, Roberts, Richards, Archibalds, Davids, Josephs have you seen in writing?
     
  4. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    In this case Ano isn't short for Keli'iholokailani so it appears no where in his full name. Ano means The Warrior and it's a title that just kinda became his nickname since Keli'iholokailani is so long and complicated especially for people who aren't from Polū Moana. Ano being a title(Keli'iholokailani Ano if he's referred to with his title) makes it complicated. Holokai would be short for Keli'iholokailani in this case and in that case I'd call him Holokai. Anotherthing is when his father dies and he resumes his father's postion he becomes Kahunaholokailani as well so even the primary name he goes by isn't set in stone.
     
  5. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    Thank you! This is what I was thinking but it's confusing in this case.
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Doesn't matter. Naomasa's point is still valid. You only need to give us a contextual link that Person X is referred to by both appellations and then let the reader do the rest. There are any number of examples. Paul Atreides is also Muad'dib to the Fremen people in general, and Usul to his close friends. He's also the Mahdi and the Kwisatz Haderach. None of these names are etymologically sourced from any of the others. There may be parts of the DUNE narrative that are confusing, but to whom all these names refer is not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  7. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    Once you've established that he goes by the name Ano you can continue to call him that throughout the book. If I was the reader, and you referred back to his full name, i'd probably just say Ano in my head anyway because it's much easier.
     
  8. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    Alright this makes more sense. Thank you :)
     
  9. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    I'll probably start with him as Keli'iholokailani and then when the first person calls him Ano that's where I'll switch because that solves the dilemma in my case.

     
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  10. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    This is unrelated, but I thought I'd let you know, Ano means Yes in Czech and it's also the name of the current ruling political party lol. For me, I will just keep reading Yes unfortunately :D
     
  11. Ali'Ikai

    Ali'Ikai New Member

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    Ah I didn't think about that. I was raised in Poland so I was familiar with this but I was thinking the Hawai'ian meaning :)
     
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  12. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)
    Is it more digestible for readers to remember multiple characters with names like Lovecraftian elder gods or normal guys you'd see at your workplace?
     
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