So.  I wrote a novel a few months ago.  (Basically I wrote out a well-established series of daydreams, so the writing only took ten days but the plot and characters were the result of years of planning)  It's slightly silly YA sci-fi/fantasy stuff.

The main male character is a mostly-human intergalactic superhero.  His name is currently Avel.  (In formal settings, he introduces himself as "Avel, Lord Wisemagic.")  The story behind the name is a rather silly one, so I've never been sure whether it's actually a good choice.  And none of my family are being helpful about this.

The other main characters are from Earth (which Avel is not) and are named Tessa, Alanna, and David.

What does Avel sound like to you?  Do you think I should change it?


April 10, 2012 1:10 PM

As a reader, I tend to just accept the names authors choose, unless they're too obviously plagiarising well-known characters, or anachronistic (I guess that wouldn't be a problem in your novel).

Avel sounds quite plausible and not silly to me, though the best person to ask might be an editor or publisher.  The only possible issue I can see is whether you are concerned that readers pronounce it in the same way you do - if so, it might need clarifying.  Is it aah-vel, or ay-vel, or does it rhyme with gravel?  (My first instinct was the first one.)

April 11, 2012 10:27 AM

I thought the same thing-is it Avel to rhyme with gravel, or Ayvel sort of rhyming with hay bale. I think the name itself seems futuristic enough. It is distinct from the other Earth characters and therefore plausible in that way too. Short and too the point works also.

April 11, 2012 11:57 AM

Avel rhyming with navel?  I like it, it is a good choice that is different enough to stand out from common "earth" names but not too weird.  I would keep it.  I first thought Ay-vel or Uh-vell?  That was the only thing that stood out.

April 11, 2012 2:18 PM

interesting.  to clear up the confusion, it's ah-vel, which doesn't rhyme with anything that I can think of at the moment. But it's the a in father or bra.  Accent on the second syllable, usually.

thanks for the input!  I'm feeling a lot better about it now.  I may see if I can find a way to work in the pronunciation somewhere.  Or I may not.  I thought Hagrid was pronounced Hay-grid for years.

April 12, 2012 5:36 AM

Fair point - I still enjoyed the first few Harry Potter books despite thinking Hermione rhymed with telephone!


April 11, 2012 3:04 PM

Avel is a good fantasy/sci-fi name -- not too weird a sound, but still unique. I did think it was pronounced Ay-vel, though. You could spell it Ahvel, or maybe even Awvel, or just shrug it off. Plenty of names are pronounces differently by different people who read the same book.s

April 11, 2012 7:15 PM

I like Avel -  but I did think it was Ayvel. How about Arvel to make it clearer? or is that something different with an American accent?

I would watch out for Avel/Alanna though. They look a little too similar to me.


April 11, 2012 8:32 PM

No, with an American accent Arvel would be the pirate version of the name :)  Suggestion noted, though.

I hadn't really thought about Avel/Alanna, and it's worth keeping in mind.  Though the pairings are such that they don't interact directly all that often, but that could change in the future.

The first time my mom read The Lord of the Rings, she couldn't pronounce any of the names so she mostly just noted the first letter and general configuration of each name and left it at that.  As a result, she was most of the way through before she realized that Sauron and Saruman were two different characters.  It was pretty funny.  (That's not important, just vaguely relevant and amusing)

By Guest (not verified)
April 13, 2012 4:13 AM

If I remeber right, Avel is a breton word for wind. I once watched a bretonic folk band called "Avel Nevez"

April 16, 2012 9:54 AM

It appears you are correct.  Fascinating.  Thanks!