1. Avalon McSoley
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    Avalon McSoley Member

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    Does this name work and do you have any alternatives?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Avalon McSoley, May 4, 2016.

    I usually take my time naming characters, making sure to get just the right name, both historically, logically and symbolically, as well as hitting the right balance between uniqueness and commonness.

    BUT... This one night 18 months ago I was super tired but felt like I couldn't sleep until I'd written this scene and for that I needed a name for the character in it. I googled "Majestic sounding names", got Crawford and used that as a working name. Then I never changed it...

    My character's a sort of a kingly type, hard to explain without copy-pasting the manuscript but he's in charge of a heck load of people. He's also old, like pre-Jesus old (immortal), but his name would've changed over time. (Excuse my poor explanation, I'm suffering from writers' block at the moment.)

    His first name is Jethro, and he has several family members with names starting with J, so I felt like it is too close to Jack Crawford from Hannibal Lecter. Also I feel like Crawford is too common, and doesn't give the right one-of-a-kind-feeling. But I also like the traditional, almost gothic sound to it.

    What do you think? Keep it or change it? Do you have any other names that would fit?
     
  2. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    Consider names with a biblical link; Jacobs, Gideon, James, maybe. Something like that. If nothing screams out at you, stick with what you've got.
     
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  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I personally like Gideon James. But that's just me. :p

    Crawford doesn't feel right for a kingly type character, unless he's a detective or PI. Plus Jethro and Crawford together don't mesh well at all for me. If you want to stick with Jethro, I'd change the last name. Well, I'd change the last name period. :p Unfortunately, I have no better suggestions. Sowwy. :(
     
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  4. Dearest Mothership
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    Dearest Mothership Member

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    What about Phinehas or Phineas? It's interpreted as "old aspect; face of trust or protection".

    (You know, assuming he's a good leader that his people trust.)
     
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  5. Lilith Addington
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    Lilith Addington Member

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    When you mentioned Crawford, I remembered Crowley as a cool name - but I don't really think it goes with Jethro. I was just google searching some translations in Latin: Dominus means master, and Rex means king. I personally think either could work as a last name.
     
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  6. Sniam
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    Sniam Member

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    I think Dominus or Rex are pretty plane roman names (I mean, they are the words you learn to decline with, alongside with Rosa and Bellum), but if we go into biblical names, I think Zachary is a pretty nice one. It means "God remembered" (or something like that) and he was the one that prophetized that Israel would be gained back from Babylon. He was a cool guy actually, and I think it could fit your story.

    I'm not too good with last names though, good luck.
     
  7. Avalon McSoley
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    Avalon McSoley Member

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    Dominus is a good one, but Rex sounds a little too short in a way... I'd like Zachary too, if there hadn't been a guy working for him named Zachariah. Thank you for your suggestions?
     
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  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Okay, are you ready? (clicks imaginary pen menacingly) :twisted:
    John Corian. Vito Cornelius. Reynold Holborn. Caleb Thoreau. Mark Ryland. Samuel Redmane. Alexis Royce. Kane Forrester. Howard Kerrigan. Thomas Ryker. Cole Haverton.
    Any of those appeal?
     
  9. Avalon McSoley
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    Avalon McSoley Member

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    Holborn, Forrester, Kerrigan and Haverton were all great! Cornelius has a nice sound to it too, but where I live it's a very common first name, so that's what I associate it with... I'm only concerned that they might not be majestic enough... what do you think?
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Whether something is "majestic enough" is a subjective opinion - if you think it is, then it is. Besides, a character is not majestic because of his name - it can help, sure, but it's not the primary way. You make him seem majestic with his actions, his personality, his sense of presence, how people respond to him, the tone of your narrative.

    A little heads up, in my experience, changing a character's name quite often changes the nature of the character, too. If you've stuck with Crawford this long and thinks it fits, there's no reason to change it for such arbitrary reasons as "it's not majestic enough." And I've never heard of Jack Crawford :D
     
  11. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Do you have any more information about him? Based on the name, I would assume he's an Israelite? You mention pre-jesus, when was he born? During lots of that part of history, people didn't have last names, they formed surnames based on where they were from or what they did. Joseph the Carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth... I would find a suitable city name in the Torah and take the hebrew of "from XXX" then slowly manipulate it based on your characters backstory, I doubt he'd outright change it very much, as opposed to just letting it evolve over time.
     
  12. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    Jericho would be my suggestion as it was torn down by man, and Jethro would have to change his identity because of man, or that he was cursed by man etc.. Man or even man as the definition of a species being the antagonist to Jethro's protagonist. The name could be a representation of Jethro's unwilling change in his life and that it moves on without him. It is immortalized and recognized, but also forgotten at the same time.... Does that make sense?

    I like Jethro though :)
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could ramp up the majesty factor by adding a number to it. Jethro Crawford III :D
     
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  14. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    I couldn't put my finger on what I found so strange about it until now, it's the combination. You have an ancient Hebrew first name and an English/Irish surname. It's causing me to have trouble picturing the character. I'm sure with backstory it'd resolve itself, but out of context the name is strange.

    Then again, Mr. Shakespeare said: "What's in a name?"
     
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  15. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    What about Therion? Has a bit of a power feel to it, I think.
    Hows about Tiburon, it means shark in African American, would work if he lives on the coast?

    No? Well that's all I got. All hail the reign of Steve the first. May he rule evenly and fairly by day, and always win at the most regal of sports: Beer Pong:supergrin:Hooray you now have King Steve 1
     
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  16. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I think "Jethro Crawford" sounds fantastic :)

    Ultimately though, I tend to think that the character makes the name more than the other way around. If you had never heard of JK Rowling's books about wizards at Hogwarts, wouldn't "Harry Potter" sound like the most boring name of all time?

    Or in the real world: the Milwaukee Cannibal isn't scary to read about because his name was Jeffrey Dahmer, the name "Jeffrey Dahmer" became scary after being eternally linked with the Milwaukee Cannibal.
     

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