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Subject: In Desperate need of Names and Constructive Criticism
Author: Quinn T. Senchel   (guest, 24.224.180.183)
Date: July 22, 2012 at 12:02:46 AM
I've randomly been struck with inspiration for a Fantasy novel, however, I'm having trouble with naming as I sort of suck at it because I overly complicate things (I haven't even developed names of places!). I've taken the inspiration for my main protagonist and his society from the Gaels in old Ireland prior to outside influences. I'm still playing with the plot, trying to work everything out and solidify a back story but here is the gist of it...

He lived in a very close-knit seafaring clan that relied on fishing and trading as a source of income. His clan was one of the wealthier ones due to it being less isolated. His mother died at a very young age during childbirth (I'm debating about giving the protagonist a sister) and his father was a sailor who set out to sea one day and never returned (presumably he died at sea). One day (it sounds more out of the blue than it really is) his homeland was conquered by an empire from the south that had seemingly risen up out of the ashes of a former empire and began conquering land like wildfire. The former empire had been experiencing internal power struggles for various reasons. All of this strife made power decentralized, giving my main antagonist a great opportunity to take over. When my protagonists homeland was conquered by the raiders they slaughtered anyone who held power and enslaved many of the young and able bodied, including himself. There will be an event that winds up putting the protagonist among the ranks of the main antagonist due to him being recognized as a skilled fighter.

All of that may sound confusing because I'm still working out details and there's much more history than that. I had to condense it. To give you a rough idea though, my inspiration comes from the Mongols, the Roman empire, and a mixture of other things. Consequently, the inspiration for my main villain comes from Gangis Khan, Julius Ceaser, Hitler, Ganandorf, and a mixture of other things.

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TL;DR!!!

For the name of my ***villain*** I was seeking something Arabic in nature (although I'd also accept Persian or Turkish type names). The villain is an excellent military strategist and general, and most of all, he is ruthless. He loves power more than most men love sex and wealth. He respects skilled fighters and has an insatiable desire to overcome men he sees as his equal or superior. My villain fears his own mortality and it often occupies his thoughts. I'm still fleshing him out so for now he's more cliché and one dimensional than I'd like him to be.

For the name of my ***protagonist*** I'm not as picky about ethnicity as I am about how the name sounds. Although I'd appreciate something slightly Gaelic in nature, I don't want anything complex and hard to pronounce for those who aren't familiar with the Gaelic language. I'm looking for the name of a young adult who is not quite a boy and not quite a man, who has a brave and noble heart and a humble personality. He has considerable skill with a sword and his spirit is both rebellious and full of quiet pride for his homeland. Although he is smart he is prone to making short-sighted and rash decisions. He often experiences inner conflict and has fears of resembling the tyrant that rules him.

I also have another character, a female by the name of ***Amna al-Khouri***. She comes from a line of women who are plagued with the unfortunate ability to see visions. The power isn't something she directs (these glimpses of the future come at random). Before the fall of the old empire her family were from a long line of nobles who acted like mediators between the public and the heavens because of their supernatural abilities. When the old empire fell, nobility and all of the ruling class were systematically killed (although a handful of them went successfully into hiding). She is depicted as gentle and wise, and struggles with the question of whether destiny is set or changes based on the choices one makes. I bring her up because I was wondering if the name suited the character or if anyone has a better idea.

One final question: Does my story sound either too cliché or too complex to anyone? What about the characters? I'm looking for all of the input and ideas I can get. This project is still very much in it's infancy, so much so that it's essentially a zygote. Also note that when I say the invaders came from the south, I don't mean south of the country, I meant south of a continent. Also, I'm looking for names that aren't difficult for native English speakers to pronounce.

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