1. Anna_Pavarli_76
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    Anna_Pavarli_76 New Member

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    Getting Stuck on Names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Anna_Pavarli_76, Aug 2, 2008.

    A long time ago I posted here asking for help naming my main character and her twin sister. Well, that story never went anywhere and recently I've decided to try again at writing a story about twins. I have always had an intrest in names and was just looking around at baby name sites for fun and found twins named things like Michael and Michelle or Paul and Pauline or Nicholas and Nicole. I got to thinking, How must these kids feel? I mean, I've known a few twins and they seem to hate being called "the twins" and being lumped together in everything simply because they're twins. So, I decided to write a story about twin girls whose parents can't seem to think of them as two individuals, but rather as a set.
    Now, I've always had a problem with getting hung up on names, but this time it's even more important because I want to get the right combination that shows how the parents try to make them too similar, but is not so close that it becomes confusing. So, looking at my list, are there ones that aren't similar enough for my story? Or are there ones that are too similar that they will confuze readers? And let me know if you can think of other good ones. Here's my list:
    -Madison and Madeline
    -Kailey and Hailey
    -Hannah and Brianna
    -Sarah and Cara
    -Alexandra and Alexa (or Alexandra and Alexis)
    -Melanie and Melina
    -Alyssa and Alicia
    Note: these twins will be born in the early-mid '90s, so I'm looking for names that would be used then (being a teenager myself, every name on my list I know at least one person around my age with that name).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Hannah and Briana are similar enough, but not too easily confused.
     
  3. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    you need to flow the names:

    Jenni Ray

    Daisy May

    Joe Anna

    Etc.

    This their names can be said like you are calling one person, which would drive them nuts.

    Especially if people started to drop the "and" and just called them "Joe Anna" as opposed to "Joe and Anna".

    You get the idea.
     
  4. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    I think it might depend on how far you plan to take the parents attitudes towards the twins and how far they go in not only naming them similarly but in treating them as a single unit rather than as individuals.

    If you are showing the parents in such a light and the story is about the twins struggle for recognition in their own rights, many of your combinations will work for you.

    I don't know how far you plan to take it though, but a couple combinations are names where both could typically be shortened to the same nickname:
    Madison and Madeline - Maddy, Maddie
    Alexandra and Alexa - Lexy, Lexie
    Melanie and Melina - Mel

    Would this help or hurt your story? Again, it depends on the story you're telling.

    My favorite combination, which is based solely on liking certain names and not necessarily your plot is Hannah and Brianna; however, in some parts of the world where your story might be read, "Brianna" might be pronounced Bri-ah-na, which might mess with your rhyming scheme.

    I have noticed that around the mid nineties or so, rhyming names for twins started to wane, in favor of names that start with the same letter, have the same ending sound or have a similar theme. Examples:

    Hope/Faith (I remember reading someplace that Hope and Faith were very popular twin girls names in the 90's, but can't remember where I read it.

    Madison/Morgan
    Madison/Mackenzie
    Hailey/Hannah
    Jayden (Jaden), Jordan
    Emily/Ashley (According to the Social Security Administration Emily was the #1 female name from 1996-today and Ashley was #1 in 96-97.)
    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/top5names.html
    They do have a popular twins names on this site too but only for 2007.

    I like Kailey and Hailey too as names, but it might drive me bonkers trying to keep them straight in a story.

    Good luck with the story.
     
  5. Anna_Pavarli_76
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    Anna_Pavarli_76 New Member

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    I was thinking of maybe using Alexandra and Alexis and having them be called Alex and Lexi. Could that be too close or do you think it's fine?
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I know a girl named Alexandra and she goes by Alex, Alexa, or Lexi. So, I think it's best if you chose other names. I really like Hope and Faith.
     
  7. skip slocum
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    skip slocum Member

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    Kailey and Hailey stand out in print but sound so much alike their parents might use these. good luck
     
  8. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    Anna, I think it depends on how you write them. If you give them each clear and distinct personality's and characteristics so that readers won't get them confused, those names will work as well as any. I think you will need to consistently use the nicknames (Alex) and (Lexi) though and not revert back to their full names after introducing them which might cause confusion.

    Also, if I were reading a story about twins with these names and lets say you decided to set their characters apart by making one more girly and the other more of a tom boy, I would expect Alex to end up being the tom boy. If it was the other way around and Alex was the girly one, it might confuse me, since I would typically think of Alex as more of boyish name. I know that's stereotypical, but just throwing it out there.

    Lastly, despite what names you give them, similar or dissimilar, the most important thing is how you write them, how you make them come alive to the reader.

    Happy Writing,
    D
     
  9. tnme22
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    tnme22 Member

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    I always thought naming identical twin girls Melody and Harmony would be adorable :)
    (Cause you can't have a good melody with out a good harmony)
     
  10. Palimpsest
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    Palimpsest Senior Member

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    I also think similarly themed names would be just as annoying a burden :p Even if it does have fairy-tale precedence.

    Basil and Heather?
    Amber and Ember?
    Carmina and Scarlett?

    Although I like Alyssa and Alicia (in the same vein, Elise and Eliza?) and Alexa and Alexis.
     
  11. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    Wow. I would agree with a lot of these. There seems to be a million ways to go. You could have similar themes, they could rhyme, they could simply be similar...there are a lot of things that you could do.

    My one suggestion would be that when you read them, they didn't look like each other. Even if they sound the same, you have to be able to see the difference. Sort of like the Alyssa and Alicia. Obviously different, but at the same time obviously similar.
     
  12. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I believe using names that rhyme or start with the same letter is not a good idea. I would go with the Hanna Briana. Although I am not sure why the parents would name them that if they wanted them to be similar. I think the second poster had a good idea.
     

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