1. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I have a character dilemma

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Amanda_Geisler, Jul 14, 2014.

    Hi all,

    Okay so here is my dilemma, my main antagonist in my novel is an evilish vampire by the name of Michael. Now it's not the character that's the problem. I have always been careful choosing antagonist names and making sure that they aren't the same as anybody in my life.

    Unfortunately this main antagonist shares a name with my boss, I didn't know this when I created the character because we always call him Mick. I am now unsure if I should keep Michael's name because I don't want my boss to think that I think of him as bad, he is a really nice, fair man. But the other problem is that I can't stand to change the characters name because he is already in my mental notes as a Michael and it will feel wrong to change his name.

    Any suggestions for this little dilemma that has had me chasing my tail for weeks

    Amanda
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is there any reason why your boss would be aware of this character's name or nature in the near future? Unless your book will be published by your boss's company, or you're using a bunch of coworkers as beta readers, it seems to me that it would be a good long time before he ever knew about the character anyway.

    If you add that to the fact that Michael is a very, very common name, and that you use a nickname for your boss anyway, I don't see an issue.
     
  3. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have his name be Mickey to fit the nickname and have him be a switch hitter... Otherwise, what ChickenFreak said.​
     
  4. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I look after his children on a daily basis and I found out that Michael is his full name while I was telling the older children about my novel, because they were curious, and they told me that Michael is his full name. They are likely to tell him about the character if they haven't already.

    @Ben414 I have no clue what you are on about, Mick is my boss's nickname not my big bad vampires nickname
     
  5. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, it was unclear from your original post who the "he" that had that nickname was referring to. I still wouldn't worry about it. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your boss, so I don't know why he would possibly think the character is named after him in any way.

    EDIT: Also, it was a Mickey Mantle joke.
     
  6. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    You may speak about this with Michael. If he is that nice as you mentioned he will understand that you did not base the evil character on him. You can also offer to change the name, he won't think it's necessary.
    He may have problems with the fact that the babysitter writes vampire stories, but that is another thing.
     
  7. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Name coincidences happen all the time. Just use the name. This headache of yours in completely unnecessary.
     
  8. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    It shouldn't be an issue - but if it is an issue in your mind then change it.

    One middle ground solution you might consider, since we are talking about a Vampire here, is to use foreign or archaic forms of the same name. The slavic Mikhail fits the Dracula myth, if you want even more archaic go with the Hebrew Mikha'el or Mikha-el, or you could go suave with the French Michel (if you go French you could add a prefix to make him a Jean-Michel, and totally disassociate the name). I know nothing of YOUR vampire, but the one thing I do know about vampires generally is that they tend to be quite old - so he might have been born hundreds of years ago and likely in a different culture.
     
  9. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    You never know, Michael in your book, may be your bosses fantasy alter-ego. He might be really flattered and secretly enjoy being the shadow villain of your fiction. I know I enjoy being the villain in fiction.
     
  10. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    My bosses actually know that I write paranormal fiction and they don't mind as long as I don't share any of the bad stuff with the children. I think I will keep the name Michael because I can't see my character with another name. I will let my boss talk to me about it if he's bothered by it but I did tell the children that I had no idea about the connection of names between my character and their dad so they probably told their parents that too
     
  11. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    I agree with what others have said: I don't think it's a problem. Michael is a common name that many people, good and bad have shared. For all your boss knows you named him after someone else.

    One of the two main characters in my WIP is named Rachel. I actually work with a Rachel and it never occurred to me until well into my project that she might think she's somehow related to my character (assuming she ever reads my book). However, I chose the name precisely because it is common. The commonness works well in my story. I guess it's a little different for me, though, as my Rachel character is a heroine and not evil.
     
  12. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I also have a few co-workers at varrying levels who share names with a few of my characters - I know a lot of people named Dan and never associated any of them with the my character Dan.
     
  13. Veo
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    I really do not mind picking up names of persons from my entourage, sometimes, I choose their names on purpose (oppositely to their character(istic)s). I think it'd be good if you talked with your boss and tell him if he wouldn't mind about [...].
     
  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with everyone else - it doesn't seem a big issue unless the character shares traits with your boss. I've crossed certain names off my list because I've known a lot of unusual people who, if my stories become famous, might take the use of 'their' names the wrong way. Which is why I've got a lot of unusual guy names. I've had to cross off Richard, Michael, Jared, James, Roger, Sean, Jason and a dozen more.
     
  15. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Well my boss knows, the children announced it to their parents over dinner. He seems all cool with it, so YAY!! I told him that I was considering changing it and he was like nah, don't worry about it, so YAY!! I don't have to change my character's name :D
     
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  16. Veo
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    LOL, I'm really happy for you, congrats!
     
  17. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah but now your boss is going to want to keep tabs on his evil bloodsucking alter-ego :crazy:

    But seriously - glad this worked out.
     

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