Character of the Week: Steampunk King Names

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I thought I should choose a “leader” naming. This one is a King’s naming.

Male, 26 in 2160 (Futuristic-Victorian-Steampunk)
Where born/raised: Don’t have this fully worked out yet.
His dad was a primary politician who was one of the ones who brought on the war that devastated civilization. He neglected his wife to the point where she got sick and gave up living. Very destructive man.
Other characters are Tim O’Brien, Brinn McAllen, Gus, Claire Ferguson, and Jenny Newport.
He’s the antagonist of the story. He’s the King of a post-apocalyptic society in which technology has reverted back to early 1900s. (He’s officially titled the King, but everyone thinks of him more as a Prince because he’s fairly young.)
My villain believes that man is inherently evil and prone to destruction. He witnessed first-hand the downfall of the modern world, and now seeks to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He believes that the cause for the downfall was technology and money, so he limits them both. Technology, he has removed almost completely. Money, he allows to thrive for those individuals he deems ‘non-destructive.’ Destructive behaviors include strong beliefs, ability to stand up for one’s self, creative or forward-thought, as well as a few other things.

First off, I want to say that I would not want to read this novel; my reasons are below. Despite my opinions on this novel’s potential, I still found the idea of naming this King fascinating. He is a villain, and they are always interesting (and usually have interesting names); he doesn’t seem to care much for tradition, so he may have chosen a more elevated-sounding name for himself; and, the fact that the other characters’ names are common and mostly Irish led me to consider British names for him.

A British-named King seemed like a good antagonist for this story, especially since the writer labeled the story “Victorian.” I looked up names from that era and chose names I thought sounded both “young” and villainous.

I see you’ve chosen many Irish names for your characters, so I thought a British-named King would be a good contrast.

  • King Ambrose
  • King Eldon
  • King Harland
  • King Jeptha
  • King Zebulon

The writer didn’t reply about this naming. I could speculate as to why, but I’d rather talk about my hopeless feeling about this novel.

I feel like the writer’s choices were conflicting and potentially destructive to the story. First, this is a “Futuristic-Victorian-Steampunk”, and while I’ve read a book that could be described thusly I think it would be best if the writer focused on either the Futuristic or Victorian aspect. Second, the writer has worked out a lot of this character’s motivations (all good), but hasn’t settled on the character’s background; I think the character’s background, including some information about his mother that makes her more well-rounded, should be fleshed out before his motivations are finalized. Third, the writer says that the King is considered a “Prince” because he is young, but at 26 the character is not that young for a King (especially historically), and if people consider him like a Prince he probably wouldn’t be given enough respect or power to have the absolute control he seems to have. Fourth, I don’t know how characters who do not have strong beliefs or the ability to stand up for themselves would be able to make their money “thrive”, whether he allowed them to or not. Fifth, the writer listed this novel’s genre as “Sci-Fi/Steampunk/Youth” even though there is no science or technology that would make it Sci-Fi, nothing other than a reference to Victorian to make it Steampunk, and no mention of truly young characters who would make this a Young Adult novel; this novel may well deserve any or all of these genre designations, but I don’t see evidence of them in this and I’m not convinced the writer is clear on what each of these genre designations mean.

I hope this all doesn’t sound harsher than I mean it to. I just wanted to point out that in this instance I feel that the writer should focus more on his or her world building and plot development before coming to the detail of naming. While I think names are important for the finished story, and that main characters should be named before writing begins, I think this story needs more plotting before it would be time to decide on names and naming conventions in this world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s