1. jazzman
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    jazzman Member

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    a leading characters name???

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jazzman, Aug 17, 2011.

    Gday everyone, am writing a crime/mystery novel set in england before the WW2, and although i like the name of my lead character dont know if its time appropriate - ive named him Xavier Troy, what do you think? also wanna get some of your ideas on what the name conveys to you about his personality, class, things like that....just wanna get an overall opinion to help me with character development, ta :) x
     
  2. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    I didn't feel british at all.

    I would go with something like Edward Norton, or John Morlington.
     
  3. Vampire Muffin
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    Vampire Muffin New Member

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    Xavier is a very hard name to find a last name for. You may want to try something more common, easier to work with, I sadly don't have any valid suggestions. Troy doesn't seem too British. Try combining two nouns to create a last name like Underhill. You may also want to try some Irish or Scotish names as well, such as MacArdle or O'Reilly. I hope I have helped.
     
  4. Quorum1
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    Quorum1 Member

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    The name doesn't sit right for that era for me. Try figuring out his date of birth and then google the top 10 baby names in England for that year and see if one strikes you as appropriate.
     
  5. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Best idea yet. Or name him after one of the former kings?
     
  6. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    No it is lacking that british flair for sure. If your going to stick with Xavier you are going to have to make sure the last name is highly british to pull it off but you would be better with a more common name.
     
  7. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I think leading names should always have a ring to them.

    In my novel Demons Don't Like Chocolate my lead character's name is William Charles Price.

    William C. Price

    Anyone getting the shout out with that name, good job you get a cookie.


    Xavier Troy doesn't have much of a ring to it. Actually they conflict quite a lot.

    Thomas Xavier King

    I tried, rofl.
     
  8. westofthemoon
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    westofthemoon Member

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    Xavier Troy doesn't sound particularly British...and I agree with the others: look up the most popular baby names of the year your character was born, and maybe check out some common British surnames--there are lots of helpful links for surnames, BTW: http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk/browse

    But, i must say, "Xavier Troy" does have that hint of mysteriousness in it; definitely has flare...try to keep that when pondering your alternatives...good luck!
     
  9. KinkyCousin
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    KinkyCousin Member

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    I think it is a fairly American sounding name, I'd go and research some common English names from the WW2 era and see if any of those fit your guy :)
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not typically British at all. I get more of a Bronx-vibe there...

    I second the suggestion of looking into baby names of the time.
     
  11. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Good first names for the period you're working with:-
    Andrew
    Edward
    James
    Jonathon / John
    Charles / Charlie
    Thomas / Tom
    Herbert
    Arthur
    Geoffrey / Geoff
    Ernest

    Good surnames for the period:-
    Templeton
    Smith
    Barber
    Redford
    Freeman
    Richards
    Dawson
    Harwen

    ---

    Just select and combine as appropriate, e.g. Charlie Redford / James Harwen / Arthur Smith, etc. :)
     
  12. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Troy, maybe. Unlikely, but maybe.

    Xavier? That name's not used in Britain now, let alone in the 1940s.
     
  13. jazzman
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    jazzman Member

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    thanks everyone for your imput, stopped me wasting a lot of time thinking about background etc etc :) other names i was flirting with were Harry Remington, Harry Starling, Jack Hawthorn..... any comments? xx
     
  14. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    The latter two are good names IMHO (P.S. Any reason why you're putting random kisses at the end of your posts?)

    If you want to add a bit of mystery or excitement to the name, to make it more memorable, simply add a letter for the middle name and never explain what it stands for.

    e.g. Harry J. Starling, Jack T. Hawthorn

    But I'd stay away from letters like X, Z and Q because they sound too contemporary.
     
  15. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    interesting title J.P.Clyde :p

    and jazzman - i think Jack Hawthorn sounds good :D
     
  16. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    False. It's uncommon but it is in use (it's even gaining popularity) and has been for at least a century in the UK.
     
  17. jazzman
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    jazzman Member

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    thanks everyone again, think im gonna go with Jack Hawthorn :) gutted about Xavier Troy though, really liked the name, maybe in another book :)
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Xavier is a much more Spanish name than it is British - and Troy just reminds me too much of, well, Troy, the wooden horse!

    Ahh don't worry, I know how it feels. I had to change my MC's name from Heinrich to Josh haha 'cause no one I asked liked Heinrich (in fact, they positively hated it).

    How about more traditional names like David, Jonathan etc? Charles? William, Henry? Can't go wrong naming them after British kings :D
     
  19. jazzman
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    jazzman Member

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    of course the other name i was toying with was Nathaniel Fielding just because i liked to shorten it to Nate... but thought it sounded too modern and too american :)
     
  20. Mikeyface
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    Mikeyface Member

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    Xavier Troy sounds like a science fiction character name, or a second tier secret agent.

    What's his emotional arc? Is he supposed to stand out against the other characters? Is he a loner that doesn't fit in? Figure out how he fits into the story, and you can use dissonance to imply things to the reader.

    Ex. Tom Sawyer versus Huckleberry Finn. One was your average all American boy and the other was the kid who didn't fit into the society as well.

    Ex2. On Firefly, Jayne's name played against cast with a woman's name. Malcolm Reynolds would be referred to by different names depending on how the other characters felt about him at the time (i.e. shortening to "Mal" when endeared or full of anger at him.)
     
  21. andrewjeddy
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    andrewjeddy Member

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    I agree with the others that Xavier Troy does not sound right for the time period. However, if you really like the name, as he is going to be a secret agent/detective you could have Xavier be his code name... or you could make it even better by making it somthing like Xavier379. Just a thought.
     
  22. alyal123
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    alyal123 New Member

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    To me, it sounds like a very sci-fi kind of name, and not british at all. You should look up old fashioned British names.
     
  23. Phantomwriter
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    Phantomwriter Member

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    If you need help this site is always great for names.

    20000-names.com

    It's always where I get my names.
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Firefly is AWESOME!!!
     

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