1. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Charactern Naming problems...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ice Queen, Feb 28, 2011.

    For some reason, I usually find it difficult to name main characters; I guess it's a sort of prefectionism thing. It's usually fine with minor characters, but as readers will be seeing the MCs names throughout the whole book I think it's important to get the name right.

    So, the novel I'm currently working on is a sort of dystopian sci-fi type story which takes place on earth, naming isn't strict to any specific type. I have characters called Marrix, Eustacia etc. and one called Jenny... lol.

    I'm fiddling around with two of the main characters names. My female lead is a red-head with pale skin and silver eyes, extremely fragile. I'm thinking of using Avery but I started off calling her Veil. I think Avery might be more suited though... What do you think?

    For her best friend/ big brother figure I am very undecided. Ah, this guy has grown up in a desert town all his life and has developed dark tanned skin. He has black eyes and black hair. I started off calling him Zero, but I thought that was a bit 'meh', then I thought Neo but I was worried people would picture Keanu Reeves everytime his name was mentioned :/ So then I considered Rigel. I like it because I've always been fond of staring at star constellations...

    Do you guys find naming tough too? What are the names of your current MCs and why? :D
     
  2. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    I'm going to jump in on this one, because I've always been a naming perfectionist. Usually I will think of the "right" name for the character, and it will just click. Other times I'll have to cycle through different names.

    Taking it from a reader's point of view, don't sweat it. You may be behind the words, worrying about whether or not a name is good for a character, but as a reader, I know nothing about them. Whatever name you give them can and will stick, because as the reader goes further and further into the character's development, the more and more their name becomes fused to that character's personality and traits.

    At the start of a book, it's just name. Could have been any other name. It's only at the end of the book that the name really has any meaning for the reader or the character.
     
  3. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Morph existing names into fantasy names

    Naming can be tricky at times, indeed.
    I am working on a novel in which aristocrats play a criminal role. So I can barely use existing names... I searched for aristicratic names on Google, and family names I simply combined into non-existing combinations or I changed one or two letters to make it sounding good.

    The thing is that Christian names often have a meaning, and this fact yopu may be able to copy. Diana could be Dyan'a, Eleanor could be morphed into Ellunnore. You'll get fantasy names, yet they ring with the reader subconsiously.

    Just an idea. If you like it, yet cannot find a website, I can dig into my Ar'kaifes and find you a link.
     
  4. DreamisVision
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    DreamisVision New Member

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    Find something that you're comfortable with that does a reasonable job of "sounding" like the character.

    For example : Jonathon may be a poor choice of a name for an ex-military thug in a future universe!

    Your female character seems very sweet, yet soft. Veil is fitting. Consider longer names that flow well but have a short, yet sweet nick name. Ariadne, Val(entina), Melo(ny), and etc.

    You'll do just fine. I've personally changed the names of my characters a few times. It's just part of the constant perfectionist attitude that a lot of writers have. Enjoy the process.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just pick a name. A character will grow into it, or you might find a better one and then you just do a search and replace.

    Don't get stuck on details.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use a combination of random renamers and meanings to name my characters. I find it easy but have always loved names - would often sit and just read name books and discover their meanings. Recommend getting a couple of baby names books and just reading them.

    My MC are:
    Angus Lukas Lorenzo - Angus is a celtic/pictish royal name and the name of a the god of love and youth, and also means one strength. Angus is loving but thinks with his fists and becomes king at seventeen (hence the youth). Lukas was his grandfather's name and Lorenzo his father's first name in my books children of the king take on their father's first name.

    Socrates Athens Lorenzo
    (Soc) - Socrates' mother is from Mediteranea, her name is Athena. Socrates came with his name to be honest said hello my name is Socrates and I have never changed it. Soc pronounced Sock was give to him because I am a lazy typist but official reason is that he didn't llike the name his Mother and grandfather gave him because of the way they treated him - so Nate his bestfriend, named him Soc because it was 'daft' like him.

    Nathaniel Smith (Nate)
    - He started like as Paul Jackson then morphed into Matt Smith, then the eleventh Doctor was picked a week later and I decided to change it to Nate Smith lol The name needed to be fairly non descript he is a spy. Smith he was given because he was an abandoned baby.

    Dr.Augustus Harlow - means venerable, great it suits him. He is at the top of his field, is gentle king and intelligent. Harlow I have no idea it appeared in my head lol Its unwieldy so I call him Gus.

    Iris Harlow - Iris is rainbow and she is a colourful character lol it is what my youngest son Isaac would be called if he had been a girl.

    Johnny Wray - not sure why he is little Johnny - Wray is a respelling of my middle name because Johnny is the closest I have to a Mary Sue character - he is living the life I wanted when I was seven.

    Reverend Allsopp needed a name that sounded like he was descended from the aristocracy so used the surname of a TV Presenter that. Captain Salton Bliss - I wanted something that sounded like a porn star.

    Sherlock Foam
    (he is detective fire extinguisher so seemed to fit) and Dr Watt (his sidekick is a Bankers Lamp).

    Torston Lillie
    - male beauty pageant winner, wanted something strong but a surname that makes him at home with his sexuality lol/
     
  7. BobLobLaw
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    BobLobLaw Member

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    Not really. I just sort of choose a name and that's it. XD

    MCs:

    Josephine "Josie" D'Arco: I think I came across the name Josephine one day, and decided I liked it. So I made that my name for my character. Originally their last name was Dugan, but I wanted them to be Italian, so I chose an Italian last name.

    Sueng "Shawn" Bai-Kim-I wanted an Asian character, and I remember hearing the name Seung somewhere so I chose that. Then after that, I changed it to Sueng for a reason that I'm not going to give. Bai-Kim I just made up.

    Zacharias "Zack" D'Arco-One of my friends said she liked a guy named Zack. I was trying to come up with a character name at the time, so I chose that. I didn't want to name him Zachary, so I just chose Zacharias.

    Rachel Voorhees-I just came up with the name Rachel because my character looked like a Rachel. And Voorhees because I wanted to make a Friday the 13th reference.
     
  8. EvPowers
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    EvPowers New Member

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    Names may be a bit overrated in fiction. It's the writing that creates the character, is it not? Dickens created Scrooge, now it's an adjective. Names are important, but perhaps not as much as we might think.
     
  9. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    You guys are right about writing and character; I think I know what you're talking about with the point that names aren;t necessarily the most important thing. I mean, Harry Potter: common, almost unnoticeable name, but it's the character structured around the name that people think about. Same I guess with people like Jane Eyre, or Catherine Earnshaw/Linten.

    I find it really interesting how people end up choosing names though. Like Elgaisma's Dr. Augustus Harlow- I find this a little funny because I have a character named Dr. Ignatius Faust. Here's an interesting connection between them- as well as both being Doctors; Faust is named after THE original Faust- the scientist who dealt with the devil and learned necromancy. A play was written I think in the 15th or 16th century called: Doctor Faustus... written by Christopher Marlowe- Marlowe, Harlow anyone? XD I thought it was cool anyway...

    I also like BobLobLaw's Zacharius. :D My nephew's called Zack. I think it's a nice, strong name.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually I think Harry Potter may have meaning associated with it - although from what she says he is more like Socrates he arrived fully formed so probably came with the name.

    I do think names are important but I felt that way when naming my children. Some groups of jews believe a name is part inspiration and prophecy - I know when I was coming up with lists of names for my children that their lists of names all had similar meanings.

    My characters feel the same way - when Socrates arrived, (Socrates means powerful, unwounded, whole) - he was a dead Crown Prince. Even after resurrected he was a fairly minor character. However now know he is immortal and most powerful man in the universe lol Also has Plato as a prelate :) Admittedly I chose Plato because he was Socrates. I didn't know the meaning until after I had written him as immortal and powerful.


    LOL I actually don't know if there is a connection with Marlowe/Harlow. Have yet to check out the surname no idea where it came from that was one of my it hit me with a baseball bat names. But suits him.
     
  11. LMThomas
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    LMThomas Member

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    Avery is a cool name. Usually I'll start writing without settling on a final name for my main character, instead using the name of someone I know who reminds me of the character, and then when I settle on a name, I'll go back and change it throughout the story.
     
  12. Bright Shadow
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    Bright Shadow Member

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    One of the cool things about fantasy is that when in doubt, you can always use another language to give you ideas about names. Here are some of my favorite websites for names:

    http://www.mybirthcare.com/favorites/pg1/Egyptian-names.asp


    http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=English&to=Latin

    http://www.firdaous.com/en/0023.htm

    http://www.dictionary.tamilcube.com/sanskrit-dictionary.aspx
     

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