1. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Fantasy My characters, listed by importance

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by rktho, Apr 6, 2017.

    I made this list to determine whose names I should change. People say I have too many similar names, or ones that aren't easily pronounceable or roll off the tongue. So here's a list of all my characters (from the first book) to determine which names I don't need to keep.

    same importance through series
    greater importance after book one
    lesser importance past book one
    no importance past book one

    Current importance is organized by heading

    Future importance is determined by font styling


    Main characters— level one— the primaries


    Zarakharn— primary antagonist

    Ginzaekh— primary protagonist

    Gazi— secondary protagonist

    Zash— secondary protagonist

    Dav(ard)— secondary protagonist

    Sartigar— primary antagonist’s sidekick



    Main characters— level 2— the allies and secondary antagonists

    Nat— entity of distrust/mentor character

    Drazarkhi— the hidden ally

    Assirratan— the cryptic ally

    Vizigar— the stalking secondary antagonist

    Narta— Dav’s friend


    Khazardi— The revealed ally

    Main characters— level 3— the overarching entities

    Khriza— great historical figure

    Fiandarsh/Phyandarst (also known as Acrozar)— antagonist’s mentor

    Knizor— ethereal mentor

    The Rishnaran/The Ristlaron— the god figure



    Backstory characters

    See overarching entities

    Rishta— Knizor’s ally

    Rissa— Ginzaekh’s grandfather

    Ginzaekh— Ginzaekh’s father

    Vazarn— Rissa’s enemy

    Shanara— Rissa’s murdered wife

    Azarion— Rissa’s and Ginzaekh the elder’s killer



    Secondary allies/antagonists

    Zakana— secondary protagonist’s mentor

    Tegar— voice of warning

    Narv (full name Narvarakhanardashgar as joke, only referred to by this name once)— provides shelter

    Zak— friend of Dav’s

    Snadda— friend of Dav’s

    Snik— friend of Dav’s

    Rika— Ginzaekh’s mother

    Har (Arsaks)— a doctor who helps get the protagonists on their feet


    The neutral

    Kharda— the power in Razaga

    Drezard— Zarakharn’s cook


    The incitors

    Daktarash— incites incident

    Zahn— throws wrench into works

    Zakar— interacts with Zahn/works with Drazarkhi and Assirratan


    Mentioned/makes cameo

    Rastira (Rass)— Nat’s aunt

    Digdit— Rastira’s friend

    Giddit— Digdit’s nephew

    Ardak— no significance in first book

    Har— Ginzaekh’s brother

    Gazi’s parents

    Gart— Zash’s dad

    Zash’s mother

    Edeneshar— songwriter

    Kaeda— friend of Dav’s

    The Irvanira— friend of the Rishnaran

    Gavaraz— Narta’s boyfriend

    Kighand— helps Zarakharn (note— does not go by same name after book one)

    The Atsaggises— a couple

    Sertia— servant of Kharda’s

    Vid(zit)— servant of Kharda’s

    Pryzodor— an author of the Khagra (the book of history and the nature of the Rishnaran)

    Dazvru— Fiandarsh’s longest-serving follower

    Uthgal— Fiandarsh’s most loyal follower

    Rhathkash— one of Fiandarsh’s most skilled followers (formerly)

    Nazagroth— Fiandarsh’s most capable follower (formerly)

    Nashrak— one of Zarakharn’s servants

    Kanaran— Har Arsaks' son

    Shrakhaan— Zarakharn’s successor
     
  2. HistoricalScience

    HistoricalScience Senior Member

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    What's the point of all these threads about your characters' names? Just name them what you want and move on. Names are the least important part of a story, you shouldn't spend all your time on them.
     
  3. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Well, people are having trouble with them and it inhibits the story's readability for them.
     
  4. Infel

    Infel Senior Member

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    Disagree. Your character name, especially the main ones, are one of the first links your reader has to the character. It's a tool to define your character just as much as any dialogue, super powers, or emblem. Its something you should put thought into.

    As for the actual names, Rktho, you've done a good job making them sound reasonably similar. I'd have no problem buying they're 'dragon names', or are derived from the same base language.
     
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  5. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    People find them too similar. That's the problem.
     
  6. HistoricalScience

    HistoricalScience Senior Member

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    Maybe I'm just weird but the names of characters mean nothing to me. Just as they do in real life. They're just ways to differentiate between people/characters. No one is naming a baby based on their future personality. There's a million other details to worry about for a novel and names are at the bottom in my opinion.

    But to answer the question, the names seem fine :)
     
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  7. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Well, to some people-- I've gotten it for years-- they're too hard to pronounce, distinguish, pronounce from reading it, etc. But other people find it just fine.
     
  8. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    It's part of brand marketing too.
    But half of his characters sound like DARK LORDS.

    The Dark Lord Gavaraz
    The Dark Lord Nazagroth
    The Dark Lord Ardak
    The Dark Lord Zarakharn
    The Dark Lord Nashrak
    The Dark Lord Uthgal
    The Dark Lord Daktarash
    The Dark Lord Drezard
    The Dark Lord Rhathkash
    The Dark Lord Shrakhaan
    The Dark Lord Zakar
    The Dark Lord Pryzodor
    The Dark Lord Acrozar

    These are very dramatic names. But it's like everyones in competition with each other for the most drama in their name. If I have half my cast with names like Galastor, it's too much. Like every character having the name of a mace wielding ironclad enemy of the free peoples shows to me the author needs to use a little restraint.
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    @rktho
    Funnily enough, it would be the size of cast and trying not get things mixed up, for me.
    Then again, I could always take notes so the story makes sense to me.

    When you have Fanatasy and/or Sci-fi characters with odd names that are hard to pronounce,
    that is ok. It just kinda sorta works. If it was General Fiction then not so much (wouldn't even
    try it in an alt-universe of the same nature).

    You do however have two of Har; one who is a doctor, and one who is the brother of Ginzaekh
    (Could cause a bit of confusion.)

    Vid(zit)? Is V-i-d suppose to be pronounced z-i-t, or is that a nickname/last name for that
    character? If you expect someone to pronounce it Zit, then there might be a bit of trouble
    when it is spelled Vid. (Just a thought)
     
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  10. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    You literally got five of those right as Dark Lords. (No word on Zarakharn and Fiandarsh, huh?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  11. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Vid is short for Vidzit. That's what the parentheses mean. Same for Dav(ard), except a curious thing happens where the shorts in Dav becomes a long a in Davard.
    And yeah, Har is a common name. Since Har Arsaks features far more prominently, I expect there shouldn't be much difficulty distinguishing them. Observe the rankings. Har Arsaks is much higher in importance than Har Arrissa, Ginzaekh's brother. Har appears in one scene in the beginning and I don't expect him to be remembered. Har Arsaks gets a whole chapter's worth and his interaction with the characters is more memorable. (I hope. Let me know when I've posted that chapter.)
     
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  12. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    You've given me an idea though. Putting titles in front of character names would help me visualize the appropriateness of their names.
     
  13. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    @Phil Mitchell so how do these sound?

    The Dark Lord Zarakharn
    Ginzaekh the... I don't know what to call him.
    Gazi the Singer
    Zash the Jokester
    Dav the Writer or Davard the Writer
    Sartigar the Black Snake
    Nat the Traveller
    Drazarkhi the Vigilant
    Assirratan the Mysterious
    Vizagar the Crook
    Narta the Artist
    Khazardi the Irritable
    Khriza the Great
    Fiandarsh the Fallen (Or, the Dark Lord Fiandarsh)
    Rissa the Trustworthy
    Vazarn the Iron Fist

    How do those names ring with their titles?
     
  14. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Banned Contributor

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    rktho and Apollypopping like this.
  15. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Well, good, because these are the most important ones.
     
  16. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    What do you want to achieve, through sharing all of these with us? Again? You've received our feedback and - at least in my case, on a different thread yesterday - you've justified your choices and turned the feedback down. Now you've just thrown all of them at us again, but no question or problem for us to help you with. Just not sure what you want from us.
     
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  17. Apollypopping

    Apollypopping Member

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    If you don't want to change the names, that's up to you.

    But repeating them to us every day wont change the fact that they might just be too much, that you're too close and much too in love with your project.

    These names are truly holding you back.

    I was you once, I freaking loved my writing, I wanted everyone to love it as much as I did, but the truth of it is, there are methods to seducing the reader.

    This will not win you any hearts.

    We're all here to learn and help each other. If you don't take the advice, that's all up to you. In saying all that, this is mine.

    Scrap the whole thing. You've worked on it too long to be objective. That's what I had to do, when I was young, and it truly did break my heart. But I moved on, and I have improved by leaps and bounds by viewing my art objectively, by learning the signs of what just does not work, knowing my limits, learning my craft by writing new characters and stories over and over.

    Don't be scared to kill your darlings. You could always pick this back up when you're older and infinitely wiser.

    Again, this is my two cents.

    Take it how you will. :)
     
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  18. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Dear God, that's a LOT of names...and just looking over the last half-dozen, you've got the longest-serving follower, the most loyal follower, the most skilled follower, the most capable follower (not perceiving a difference between skill and capability); it does sound as if Fiandarsh is one of those management types who wants an employee of the month contest, but can't bear to have somebody NOT be chosen for it, so he invents a new category to ensure everybody wins.
    And the sheer quantity (and how strange they all are) is why people are having trouble.
     
  19. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    I'm just trying to figure out which names I should change.
     
  20. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Well, the thing is, there was war between the Shuzirons and the Kenjai (two orders of wizards) and when it was over, those four were the only ones left alive. So Fiandarsh, posthumously (he came back as a ghost, which only certain dragons can do) formed a new order called the Dhurma-Natar-- the best of the best, because those four that survived had been his best warriors while he was alive. The Kenjai numbers grew again as Fiandarsh and the Dhurma-Natar took apprentices, but they never regained their original numbers and stayed in hiding. When members of the Dhurma-Natar die, they join a spirit council that decides the Kenjai's plan of attack.
     
  21. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    You've made it abundantly clear you don't want to change any. Multiple forum members have provided you with extensive, respectful, thoughtful and productive feedback across multiple threads to support you in your quest for the perfect story. But you have turned down many of our critiques and defended your choices and left us wondering if you actually want our feedback at all, despite asking for it - demanding it - on an almost daily basis.

    Can I be frank? Cut your named cast by at least a third. If not half, even. You don't need to name every single character. The ones who are named need to stand out. Not because they have more dramatic names, but because they are named at all.

    Please just go and make a decision and get back to writing your book. We cannot make your decisions for you.

    Please excuse my abruptness. It's been a long day.
     
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  22. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    You know what, I could do that. I mean, that's why I made this list in the first place. It's not a question of what I want, to change, but what I'm willing to change. So instead of talking about it, I guess I'll do it myself. Push myself out of my comfort zone instead of asking people to give me a shove.
     
  23. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    Okay, sounds good. And if you hit any stumbling blocks where you are faced with a genuine, plot-impacting quandary that leaves you stumped and needing to brainstorm with willing comrades... you know where to find us. :)
     
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  24. Joe King

    Joe King Member

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    The names are intriguing and it looks like you've gone to a lot of work to create them but it just simply seems to hard to read all of these names through a story without confusing one of these characters with another. If you had say 10 characters with these names I'm sure people would be fine, regardless of if they struggle to pronounce them. The fact that they're a little difficult to pronounce, seem very similar in spelling and the way they're spoken, I feel it'd be impossible to read through the story without confusing one of these characters with another.

    It's seriously up to you with which names you keep. Whatever strikes you as the best fit. Perhaps you could cut down on the amount of characters, or at least characters with these types of names. I think in your other thread somebody posted an example using the LotR character names. It doesn't hurt to have a "Sam" thrown in there. A nice basic name. Not every name needs to be a hugely unique name that's never been heard of before.
     
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  25. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Like Nat, Zash, Zahn and Har, right?
     

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