I'm in the process of converting my novel from a MG to a YA. What does that mean? I suppose it means my protagonist has to shift from a 14 year-old to a 16/17 year-old and I probably should look at a word count more in the 65k range instead of 40k range.
The whole reason I want to shift it is that the content of the story is more on the mature side. I guess it's somewhat in line with readers of The Ranger's Apprentice, but I would like to bring some more advanced themes into the story.
Question: What would an adolescent on his way to independence call his father? The time period would be that of a typical fantasy (medieval era). His father is a key character, and their relationship is much like the father-son relationship on the show, Fringe.
Right now he is called "Papa," but I fear that is something only a child would call their father. "Dad" is what I hear adults call their fathers, but would that still be used in that era?
I think I have read just "Father" being used by adults. It might be interesting, in that age group, to explore the transition a boy would go through, from calling his father "Papa" to "Father." Relationships change a bit in those adolescent years, and if it fits the context of your story, you could build a bit on that.
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If it's something like "Hey Squirt, get your butt out of my saddle," then go with "Dad."
If it's closer to "Little brother, you did not ask permission to ride my charger," then go with "Father" or "Sir."
Every character should have a reasonably unique voice, but all of them should fit into the same social milieu. In older, more structured societies, fathers were not pals to their children, they were masters whose word was law.
Go other-languagey. Pere. Popi. I always like Oma and Opa, though they mean grandparents, I think...(not a language I speak.)
What about portugese or dutch words for Dad? (the informal versus Father.)
Of course you could just stick with Dad and assume it has an almost invisibleness to it the way "said" does. Used consistently and without remarking about it, it could easily slip into the background of the story and not stand out...
I can only be guided by own experiences. My parents went from "Mommy" and "Daddy" till, oh, my late teens, and then they were "Mom" and "Dad," where the terminology remains to this day. (I'm fifty.)
One of my brothers took to calling our father by his first name, but only around us other kids and associated friends, not to his face---but did not do this with our mother.
in the WOT books, rand calls tam his father.
if the protagonist has a difficult relationship with him, you could refer to him as the seed. or to go more spiteful, use something like "spawn of whatever his name is" to describe him. go to thesaurus.com to get some help. I use that site quite a lot.
I typed "dad" into google translator and half of the language translations resulted in "papa" or some near variant (even Chinese!). Perhaps I'll just stick with it for now unless a better term comes along. I wonder if other fantasy writers have the same dilemna.