Character of the Week: Renegade Names

Last week I touched on appreciation—and how I appreciated receiving some. This writer showed me some.

Nothing I can come up with or find feels right for this character’s first name, and I could really use a fresh perspective. His last name is tentatively Langer.

Male, 18-19
Genre/Setting: Adventure/Fantasy with mostly European influences, roughly equivalent to the 15th century in terms of technology and advancement. In particular he grew up in a city in the middle of a large island (half a day’s travel from the coast) with a warm, temperate climate.
Family: He was named and raised by a single mother (as yet unnamed) who worked as a maid and had high hopes for her child. They lived comfortably enough to feel secure, but had barely more than was needed to get by. He is a particularly devoted and protective son, and has no siblings.
Characteristics: Light-skinned, dark hair, sharp features, tall, narrow build. He is independent, intelligent, arrogant, manipulative, opportunistic, and jaded. He is both a traditionalist and an idealist.
Occupation: He is a low-ranking member of a large organization that controls/enforces trade laws and he deeply believes in the purity of that purpose, but he also realizes that this organization is full of corruption and there is realistically very little he can do to change that. Reacting to his private disappointment, he maintains a double life making extra cash as a smuggler working within an equally large, rather infamous criminal ring. Filled with frustration and self-loathing, he keeps most people at a distance by being liberally rude and sarcastic.
Significant other characters (thus far): Eriande Harthorn (love interest; opposite pairing), Stylianos and Adilet Valenoir (these two characters are of an uncommon ethnicity for the setting), Carmine Kildarion (authority figure), Vincent Falkenrath (infamous figure)

If you’re feeling especially whimsical, I wouldn’t mind suggestions for his mother’s name, either, although that’s not necessary. She doesn’t have much of a character build yet.

My thanks in advance.

When looking for names for this renegade, and his mother, I looked at the etymology for the other characters’ names and also the fact that he was referred to as “light-skinned” which is usually a euphemism for not-quite-white.

Next I looked at the character’s qualities. He’s not a swashbuckler like Han Solo, but I’m assuming a character like this would be very self-assured (on the outside at least) and macho. I looked for names for him that would be self-assured and macho, without being loud or overly fantastic.

You seem to like vaguely Italian/Greek names, so I’ve chosen similar ones.

  • Marcello Langer
  • Andro Langer
  • Anton Langer
  • Teodor Langer
  • Dion Langer
  • Enna
  • Sofie
  • Rhebekka
  • Maryam
  • Carmel

The writer replied: You hit the nail on the head with Maryam. I think I’ll try out Marcello for a while and see how it feels in context. Thanks again, your help is very much appreciated.

Although this writer didn’t promise to use one of my names for this character (only to try it out) I wasn’t disappointed, because this writer did appreciated my work and did think about using the names I offered. Also, the writer was going to use Maryam, a name I’ve love for some time but which never suits any of my own characters. I’m so glad Maryam finally has a home.

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One thought on “Character of the Week: Renegade Names

  1. One of my favourite parts of writing is coming up with character names whether it be for mercenaries or maidens, monsters or Gods. I kind of mull over word sounds and names and cough something up that is basically an emotive response to their character… always fun ~ and if it doesn’t sound or feel right I discard it cause I know it’s wrong. The right name allows me to ‘connect’ with the character and because they have been named properly they seem happy to ‘exchange’ more about themselves which otherwise would be stifled by a mental block about them.

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