1. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    is it stupid of me to use the name Sirius for a character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Drusilla, May 6, 2011.

    He is not a main character, and he will appear in one chapter of my project. I know about the Sirius Black thing though......... But I can not picture my character with any other name. He is not anything like Sirius Black, but I just picture him as a "Sirius" every time I think about him.
    I know Rowling didn't invent the name Sirius, but her books are so popular that (I think) it might not be a good idea to use the name Sirius before some years have passed. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I thought about using Merope for a character long before Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince was published, and the same goes for the names Bellatrix and Regulus. I have always been fascinated by star names.

    Are these names pretty much untouchable? How would publishers react to seeing characters named Bellatrix and Sirius? Would they frown upon it even if they are only background characters? What about star names in general that are not used in the Potter books?

    Please help me.
     
  2. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Pfft! Nah, don't worry about that. Since Sirius is a star, no-one has dominion over who uses it as a name- besides that I also agree with you that star names are freakin' awesome; I have a character named Rigel. :D

    I mean, obviously there may be some association with it, but it's not so bad really, I mean all names are common property and unless you make them up completely out of your head then there's always going to be something that came before him/her- just go for it, I've always liked Sirius too heh heh heh, it's what I nicknamed mah b/f.
     
  3. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I also have a character named Rigel :D
    Thanks a lot for your supportive words.
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as you're aware a lot of people will think it, and make sure you take measures to prove your characters are nothing like their Harry Potter characters. Beware that people will probably automatically distrust a Bellatrix, no matter how nice you make her, or whatever. While there are smart people who know where those names are from (ie: aren't ripped from Potter), there will always be the idiots. I'm not sure if it's a made-up troll thing or a real post, but I have seen on Failblog someone slagging off J.K Rowling for ripping Sirius Black off of Jacob Black from Twilight. :p This is your audience. Watch out.
     
  5. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Good points there. But do you think the publisher(s) will ask me to change the names into something else because the name is "already taken"? Can Rowling sue me (or try to) for using the names? (I seriously don't think so, but I want to be prepared).

    I don't think I will use Bellatrix for a main character. Maybe for one of my main character's less important class mates or maybe for a family friend.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's not an important name, don't use it. One Sirius or Regulus can't hurt. Having whole constellations in there like Rowling did will start to look like a pattern, I guess. If Sirius is the one you can't bear to change, keep it. It is just a name, and Rowling has no copyright on it any more than she can't stop anyone calling a character Hermione or whatever. However, if you're just using the other star names because you like them, then there's no reason for it. If it were essential to use names of stars, trawl through some star charts and pick out some good names that haven't already been used... Although a lot of them are from classical literature/mythology anyways, so you'll want to research the names to make sure you aren't drawing less contemporary but still valid references.
     
  7. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I don't think you're stupid. However, if Sirius Black is on your mind, then it probably will be in the minds of your readers even if you change the character. I personally thought of Sirius Black immediately when I saw the name without you even mentioning Harry Potter.
     
  8. drayelya
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    drayelya Member

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    As is constantly and inevitably mentioned in this thread, the stars are untouchable. You do NOT control them or their names so therefore you cannot tell someone they cannot use them. If that were the case wouldn't someone somewhere have tried to sue umpteen million people for using the name in writing or something else? So your fine no worries. Do what you want to do, just remember to accept the consequences when they come upon you. In this case there aren't going to be many (if any) consequences of using the name Sirius. Constellation names are to awesome to deny people the right to use their names anyway.:rolleyes:
     
  9. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    There's a Sirius radio network so I think you're good. Tho harry potter fans reading your book may feel a little hostile, but who cares it's all about what you want
     
  10. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    What's in a name? If you are afraid of your readers getting the wrong association, you could always fall back on alternative spellings - Cirius or Zyrius in this case, possibly.

    HTH
     
  11. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would you avoid more common names like Harry, Fred and George simply because of the HP reference?

    Just go for it. I wouldn't suggest using all those names in one novel though - stick to one and people won't think you're ripping off anyone. Personally, I love the name Sirius and we almost used it when we had a group of rats a few years ago named Orion, Star and Delta. I wouldn't automatically think of HP (in fact, I had to stop a think which character you were on about - not the biggest HP fan in the world :rolleyes:).
     
  12. Grasshopper
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    Grasshopper New Member

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    Yes, very. Using a name just because it is popular is a bad idea. Not to mention that just about every Harry Potter fan plus some will get pissed at you. If you chose a different name and use it for a while soon you won't be able to imagine not using that one. Trust me, I know.
     
  13. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Certainly not. If your character's name is Sirius, then call him Sirius. I recently read a book where the main character was named "Luthien." My first introduction to the name was through Tolkien's female elf character, but in this book it was a male, human. The sex difference was a little weird, but I got over it.

    I don't think you'll irritate enough people to worry about it by sharing a first name.
     
  14. AltonReed
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    AltonReed Active Member

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    There's a character called Remus in the Skulduggery Pleasant series and I keep picturing him as Remus Lupin, even though the characters are so different.
     
  15. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Actually, all people in my universe have astronomical names, but that is because astronomy is one of the main aspects in my fictional universe.
     
  16. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    Just go with whatever you feel good about. There are far worse names, believe me.
     
  17. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    No, I only thought about using Sirius, Regulus, Bellatrix and Merope. As I said, all characters in my fictional world have names related to astronomy and most of the names I have used are not mentioned in Potter.
     
  18. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got that, but using all four (am I right in thinking because you've mentioned all four that they're all also names of HP characters? I don't really know many~) in one novel might strike some people as odd. One name can be considered a coincidence, more and it'll look suspcious.
     
  19. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    But in a universe where all people have astronomical names, wouldn't it be weird if no one were named Regulus or Bellatrix?
    I see what you are thinking, but Bellatrix, Regulus and Sirius are some of the most "central" star names.......
     
  20. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be honest, as a reader I wouldn't even think about it. If something isn't there then it won't cross my mind so, no, I don't think it would be weird. Not everyone knows what the names mean and it's likely most will jump straight to the popular HP reference rather than thinking about stars.
     
  21. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    The biggest danger is that kids will say, "That's such a rip-off of J.K.Rowling! She invented that name!", and you'll cringe painfully every time you hear it.
     

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