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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Converting from MG to YA and names for father

   
Author Topic: Converting from MG to YA and names for father
Wordcaster
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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?

Any other comments are welcome.


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mrmeadors
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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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KayTi
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Father is nice and formal. Pa is shorthand (sounds like living on the prairie... Dad seems too contemporary.

You could also make up a word that fits with your setting. Da. Orr. (something short.)


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Rob Roy 99
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What's the general dialogue voice like?

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.

Ard-choille,
Rob Roy


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Wordcaster
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Kayti, your comments reflect my sentiments and struggles.

Papa sounds too juvenile; dad too contemporary; father too formal; pa too hillcountry. If their was a medieval version of dad, it would be perfect.

I want a term that is respectful, yet informal and in line with the medieval era.


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KayTi
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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...


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Robert Nowall
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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.


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shimiqua
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You could have the son call his father by his first name, or military ranking. Or even by his job title, like senator, or coach.

Does that make sense?

Something that separates from the family relationship, but is still respectful.

Good luck,
~Sheena


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Natej11
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If you want medieval and you don't mind formality he could call him his sire, sired by, etc.
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Wordcaster
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The father is an inventor of mostly mechanical gadgets and he is a traveling salesman. Basically a scientific guru like Leonardo Da Vinci, but with none of the prestige.

I'll do a search in other languages to see what "pops" up. I really want something more affectionate than sir/sire/father if there is anything.

what does Rand call his father at the beginning of Jordan's WOT book? Any other books come to mind?


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Matt.Simpson01
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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.


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Grayson Morris
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quote:
I always like Oma and Opa, though they mean grandparents, I think...(not a language I speak.)

Yes, that's what they mean; they're the informal version (Oma = Grandma, Opa = Grandpa).

quote:
What about portugese or dutch words for Dad? (the informal versus Father.)

You won't be wanting Dutch...father is 'vader'. (You see the problem.) Informal is equally unhelpful: papa.

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Wordcaster
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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.


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