1. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    I hate my character's names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Vamp_fan22, Jun 22, 2011.

    I've been browsing different writing websites and they all say that the name is a part of developing the personality. Is this true? I'm sorry if this is a stupid post.
     
  2. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Names don't matter all too much.

    Stephen King uses horrible ones but no one seems to care.
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I don't know. I don't really think about what my characters names are. Those are their names. I don't know why. I'm not one of those people who searches baby name sites, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer this. When my characters pop into my head, they usually already have names.

    Question though.... if you hate their names why don't you just change them to something you don't hate?
     
  4. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    That's good because I really hate my mc's name.
     
  5. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    I don't actually hate all their names, just my mc's. I haven't changed it because I just can't think of anything. I don't know I'm just not feeling his name.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Not a stupid post and yes names matter. Imagine a demon named Bob. It just doesn't work or it would take a lot more effort to make it work. Now if you had a demon named Sciontor that would be fair easier to pull off.

    Some characters seem to name themself but if not, it is worth your time and effort to search for the right name.
     
  7. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    What's your problem with Barbie the fry cook? :D
     
  8. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    If you hate it, change it. You don't have to keep it, I assume.

    But if you feel that you must keep it for whatever reason, then maybe, eventually, you'll get used to it.
     
  9. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    names always sound funny when you think about them. that's why when you write they sound so strange, because you are forced to think about them more. take some of the other famous names of characters from books or movies and really think about them. they'll be weird sounding too.

    jason bourne?
    daniel ocean?
    jake sully...
    kyle reese
    andrew wiggin

    and my two favorite (granted they are sci fi) are "plo koon" and "mace windu". bravo. bravo.
     
  10. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    first you need to figure out why you don't like them.

    Maybe try a different genre of names or mix them up a little.(ie English, switch to Spanish, or French.)

    Truly random modern name-flip open the phonebook, jab your finger down and look at the last name, then repeat and do for the first name.(if a buisness go to the one above or below.

    Names; Could the person in your story actually be named what you named them? ie if the person is 20, was the name common twenty years ago?

    No one is named for their ability, looks, occupation, or attitude when they are first born. Nicknames are given for these, but babies are named by the parents that do not know anything about the future of the baby.
     
  11. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    I didn't really think about the names too much. I got them from one of those writing programs with the name generators. So, that's probably where I went wrong.
     
  12. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Names are funny things. I guess it would depend on the story I have for the character. If they get picked on in High School then I would give them name like Pete Johnson or some silly name that someone might poke fun at.

    My names come from location and time period. If they are in China then something Lyn Chan and so on. Also they need to meat the period they are in. I like writing present and future stories because I hate having to do research like this. Call me lazy but I like to write what I know or what someone will not know so the reader does not see any mistakes.
     
  13. Diphenhydramine
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    Diphenhydramine New Member

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    Who says they need proper names? (K. etc.) Although it depends how many main characters they have.
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that names should fit in with the location and era.

    Also some authors are good at playing with words to fit their characters, I'm thinking of Ian Fleming -Pussy Galore, Jaws and Roald Dahl - Willie Wonker.

    So yes, I do think that you should put some thought in to picking names.

    To the op, If you don't like their names then why not change them?
     
  15. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    Because I can't think of any different names. Seriously I'm freaking wracking my brain trying to think of something but I can't think of anything.
     
  16. polarboy
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    polarboy Member

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    Here's a technique I use. If I can't decide on a character name, I just pick something and then later on use search-and-replace to change the name to something I like better ... and my indecision about the character's name doesn't hold me back from writing.
     
  17. ink_slinger
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    ink_slinger Member

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    I am of the opinion that names are what you make them. Many authors (myself included) enjoy naming characters. JK Rowling uses a lot of creative names, usually descriptive. I like to pick a name with a history or a certain "vibe," if you will. But as someone else said, some authors don't worry about the names.

    If you enjoy naming characters, you should devote time and thought to that. If you don't, just pick one, or use a name generator like you said. Writing, like many things, is about making choices. Personal preference is the only rule, really. (Other than grammar, spelling, and sometimes structure. But you know what I mean.)
     
  18. Three
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    Three Member

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    http://www.babynames.com/Names/A/

    Start there and read through. One of them will latch on. (Or two, or three.)
    One you have a few to pick from, just say them over and over, picturing your character. Works fine for me. :)

    Also, I dunno about any of you, but I'm obsessed with names with rhythm. I.E. Artemis Fowl, Thaddeus Roth, Jonathan Creek... so catchy!
     
  19. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    I tend to overthink names - I look on baby name websites (cringe, I know) to try and find a name which is perfect. I refuse to start writing until I have picked the name, and sometimes that takes me days.

    Logically though, I'm thinking to myself, your mam and dad just give you a name that they like the sound of, so why should it be any different in writing? Don't overthink it (obviously take time period and birth country in consideration), but after that, just pick a name that you like the sound of :)
     
  20. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whatever you do, don't do a Paolini and give all your main characters "interesting" (*shudder*) names and give background characters "normal" names. Like there's Eragon, and Galbatorix, and then out of the blue there's Christine.

    I agree, though, that names and personalities are kind of put together. It's like when someone says, "Yeah, he looks like a <name>." According to some people, I look like a Jon. I think my Dad does look like a Michael, and I know a few Michaels. They all look like Michaels. I can't imagine them fighting satan, but I can see that they are Michaels in the modern sense of the name.

    I mean, my character Henry wouldn't be Henry if he'd been Ronnie. He'd be a different character. My character Adrian wouldn't be Adrian if he'd been Jack. He'd be a different character.
     
  21. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Names can matter to a degree but I don't think they always matter. Some names come naturally to me and other times I need to search. If you hate the name, don't use it. lol
     
  22. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh my gosh! What a STUPID question. (About as stupid as every other question on this forum. In other words... NOT.) One of my favorite quotes is:
    The only stupid question is the one not asked.
    How do we learn if we don't ask questions? Whoa! There goes one right there.

    Yeh. Probably. But they do have to have names to be able to work with them. The important thing is ... don't sweat it too much. Keep your mind open to what his name really is. And, if the misnomer is too distracting, change it to something else ... ANYthing else until you find his real name.

    Sometimes names can make or break a character. Sometimes, it just doesn't matter. My opinion fwiw is, once you put it out there, your reading audience will accept is as irrevocable. It quite simply IS that character's name and always has been. Gandalf? Whoever heard of such a thing? Bilbo? And Voldemort? Really??? But these are now practically household words.

    In other words, don't sweat the small stuff. And this really is small stuff as compared to the world you create for your characters.
     
  23. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    Have you come up with a name that you like yet? May I ask what name it is that you don't like? (Just curious.)

    Maybe you could try reading some of your work aloud and saying how different names sound. See which one fits in the sentence best, which has the best ring to it, which one you think looks right in your text.

    Good luck.
     
  24. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    Jesse Finch. I don't know what it is but he just doesn't seem like a Jesse to me. But I have been looking on babynames.com and I've found some that I like.
     
  25. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then why not 'Jake'? He sounds like a cool, macho kind of guy.

    Or even simply, 'Jess' and leave the 'e' off the end? 'Jess Finch' / 'Jake Finch', seems to have a nice cadence to it.
     

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