1. Joe King
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    Joe King Member

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    Character Name Help

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Joe King, Apr 7, 2015.

    So I've recently been thinking about writing something a little different to what I have previously written. I'm thinking about starting a novel about a prison only I'll be mixing it up a little, it won't be based on the inmates or the prison itself, but seen from a guards perspective. I think it might be different and be quite fun but I'm having trouble finding the perfect names for it. Usually this doesn't matter to much to me and I usually come up with something quite quickly but this time I want the names to be perfect and to suit each individual. The first I've been struggling with is the head guard, he'll be your typical dirty cop type, treating the inmates as well as his own guards like crap and running the whole joint how he pleases. The other name I've had a little trouble with is the Co MC or sub MC, he's a guard who has been at the prison for a couple of years and is in charge of showing the rookie guards around, where he meets the MC. I've got him set to be the funny guy, loves to talk and socialize even with the inmates but when shit goes down he's not afraid to get his hands dirty. That's a little about them if that helps enough? So far for the Head Guard I've got Chris Vice, I had the lastname vice pop into my head and tried to make it work. Then for the other character I'm completely lost for a name, I've thought of Charlie or Hunter but none seem to be sticking. Any suggestions would be great or also how you come up with names yourselves?
     
  2. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have no name suggestions per se, but what I usually do when I can't come up with a name is to find a random name generator, generate a lot of names and then mix and match until I have something I'm happy with.

    Also, remember that you can always choose/change name later, so don't worry too much about it. :)
     
  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Terry Nutkins?
     
  4. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    This. One thousands times this^.

    Trying to come up with the "perfect" name before writing the story is just a form of procrastination. Just pick an adequate name and begin writing, or continue writing if you have already started. In time, you will probably come up with your name without actively thinking about it. Besides, no matter what name you pick, you will probably come up with a better one somewhere down the line.
     
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  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know how you feel about names... I can never quite get started until I have the right one. My characters change based on what names they're given.

    My advice: don't focus too much on first names. Prison guards often go by last names with the inmates. Look at Orange is the New Black. Mr. Healy. Caputo. O'Neill. Bennett. Focus on last names first, then pop a simple first name in there. Joe Caputo. Scott O'Neill. John Bennett.

    I think Chris Vice works just fine. John Leech popped into my head too. Matt Rosenthal. Eric Dooley. I actually know a prison guard named Jeff Hartwick. lol Feel free to use his name. He's not much of a reader.
     
  6. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Chris Vice sounds good. It might sound better with a longer given name ( like Christian Vice or Christopher Vice ) but it doesn't matter.

    Hunter could work as a surname. Robert Hunter, Patrick Hunter, Stan Hunter. I feel like longer, English surnames might work well, like Lawrence or Williamson.
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This sounds as if you're trying to make a point about a church-goer who uses that fact to excuse his unchristian behaviour.
     
  8. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Oops, well that's unintentional. I just picked Christian because it was two syllables and started with "Chris". It could go that route, but then I feel like the naming choice might be a bit heavy handed in that situation ... I wasn't trying to make a point, though, sorry !
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    When Nokia called their new phone the "Lumia" they had to check whether Spanish-speakers would understand it to mean "light", or the older, slang expression "prostitute"...you can never be too careful about names...
     
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  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's very true... I became obsessed with the sound "erda" in names. I wanted a nickname really badly that had that sound in it. I came up with Meridian (nicknamed Merda) and Veridian (micknamed Verda).

    Upon further investigation, I discovered Verda meant "shit" in nearly every language. I obviously went with Merda. lol
     
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  11. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    I mean, Joe King never mentioned that the head guard was a church-goer or anything and by that logic no one can name a character Christian without everyone assuming the character is religious ...

    Either way, I'm very sorry ...
     
  12. A Fellow Stalker
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    A Fellow Stalker Member

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    You can do what I do for fantasy stories and translate some words that tell for the character (idiot, king, smart) into their native language, and then mix them up a bit to make them sound right, (Trottel, Delry, Skarpi).

    Maybe for last names, which is what prison guards would probably call each other by.
     

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