1. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Is this name too obvious/off putting.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Berber, Mar 12, 2012.

    First to give the character a little bit of context:

    The story is set thirty years in the future and revolves around a new drug enhancement that boosts human sensory input to the point of creating near super human soldiers. The drug primarily affects the frontal, occipital, and temporal lobes in the brain, elevating sight and sound, as well as increasing that particular person's speed at processing information.

    The drug was originally designed as a bio weapon to be used by the military, but it was quickly discovered that it was too potent to be used on humans. Soldiers began experiencing dangerous auditory and visual hallucinations, became paranoid and a threat to their fellow soldier. After a hushed massacre happened on one of the US bases, the drug was immediately shelved. It was only then scientists realized that the soldier's brains had become fully dependent on the enhancements, and as a result all test subjects slowly lost mental capacity until they were reduced to a state of vegetation.

    One such soldier was the daughter of Dr. Johnathon Malone, a biochemical engineer who helped design the drug and was the only member who strongly opposed using it. His daughter was made a test subject to prove a point, but that point back fired. After she became brain dead, Malone redesigned the drug, planning to create a gaseous version that he could weaponize for the sake of revenge. But, in the process, he accidentally poisoned a woman that lived in his apartment complex who happened to look a lot like his daughter. The woman's name was Charity Lynch. From there he changed his tactics, instead focusing on releasing the drug on certain individuals and forcing them to join his "army." He convinced these people that they were actually some class of "superhuman," and their "powers" were a gift to be used to defeat evil. He formed a group of assassins that began murdering Malone's previous team of scientists.

    The novel follows two stories: that of Detective Milo Woodington (Woody) and that of Charity Lynch (Cherry). It begins with Charity killing her first and only mark, who turns out to be an innocent man. Woody's story (written in third) moves forward from there, putting together clues as Charity is held in prison slowly loosing her grip on reality. Charity's story (written in first) moves forward from her first encounter with Dr. Malone, before she has been affected by the drug.

    In the end, Charity forces Milo to kill her. Milo is unable to produce the evidence to convict Malone, and after discovering the drug, gives some to the nearly comatose Charity, hoping she will do what he can not: kill Malone. She does. At the scene of the crime she begs Milo to kill her, says he has no choice now that he's let her murder two supposedly innocent men, and he will be regarded as a hero if he ends her life. He refuses, so Charity instead aims her gun at Milo's partner. Just before she pulls the trigger, Milo shoots her.

    My question is this: Would you see it coming? With the name "Charity Lynch," am I giving too much away, or is it subtle enough that it would be completely overlooked? I feel like I've become too attached to the name and may not even realize the kind of affect it might have on the reader.
     
  2. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    I didn't even notice anything about the name and I still don't after reading. LOL

    Anyways, I believe you aren't giving it away and your story sounds great.
     
  3. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Haha, okay. I think I'm starting to read too much into everything the closer I get to having a finished draft. But thank you.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My issue wouldn't be using it as a form of foreshadowing, books do that all the time. As much as I don't like Thomas Hardy the way he used names was stunning.

    It does have the innuendo attached. Her name did raise a giggle (kind of like the teen horror called Cherry Falls). However I think it is also fine, both are established names. Lynch is a fairly common surname and Charity/Cherry is very Dickensian. If she was a teen trying to lose her virginity though Cherry Lynch might not be a good choice.

    At least she isn't Chastity Lynch ;)
     
  5. Daniel_Allan
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    Daniel_Allan Member

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    Sorry to say, but I really think it's about how you write it, because the story seems quite solid. As far as being predictable is concerned ... I din't have a problem. We seee things coming in reality and it doesn't influence everyone to do anything different.

    I say do it like a futuristic Noir story. You have the dame, the detective, and no reason to do it... so do it.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I am not a fan of names that symbolize traits of the character. You see it far more frequently in books of the 18th or 19th century (for example Washington Irving's character Ichabod Crane). But some more modern novelists play with it as well. Patricia Cornwell has indulged in such names in her more recent novels, for example Warden Tara Grimm at the Georgia Prison for Women in her most recent novel, Red Mist, and a psychopath named Edgar Allen Pogue in her novel Trace.
     
  7. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    I don't have a problem with it, but then I'm no good at predicting story endings or noticing obvious clues. Charity Lynch does sound a little fake, but obviously the scenario IS fake. I don't suppose any of us ever thought names like Hannibal Lecter or Artemis Fowl sounded much like real people.
     
  8. Joey Batz
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    Joey Batz Member

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    I don't see a problem with it. Honestly, I don't even get the name's symbolism. But the story itself sounds pretty cool.
     
  9. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi Berber,

    Maybe it's just my general lack of intelligence, but I can't even see how the name relates to story at all. The story itself is quite interesting, and I don't think too many people would care about the possible symbolism (especially if they're like me, and don't know what it is).

    As jo supumoni stated above me, the actual name itself is somewhat uncommon. Then again, there are lots of uncommon names out there, and I'm pretty sure there are people somewhere named Charity.

    In my opinion, I think it's perfectly fine!

    Good luck.
     
  10. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Well I'm glad that it doesn't come across as anything significant then. :)
    I was using "Lynch" as in the taking of life without a fair legal trial, and "Charity" as I see her choice to be entirely selfless; it would set the public's mind at ease and improve Milo's career. I'm not a huge fan of names with obviously inherent meanings, but I do favor subtle parallels. Naming a character is a conscious decision on the author's part, and I personally prefer names that in some subliminal way reflect the character.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    stop overthinking it and just complete the novel... if you're lucky enough to snag an agent and publisher and either one finds the name a problem, only then should you concern yourself with it...
     
  12. Late Starter
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    Late Starter Member

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    The name does sound like one which only exists for heroines within novel-land but doesn't give too much away specifically.
     
  13. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    I didn't see a problem with it. I was too engrossed in the story to see a problem. Does it give a bit away? Sure, but it's nowhere nearly enough to make me hate it.
     
  14. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    I like symbolism and foreshadowing. Of course there is always the possibility that some of your readers will figure it out as some people always overthink about stories to try and figure it out. On the other hand, I think most people most people won't figure it out until the end.
     
  15. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I'm not a great fan of the name per se, just because it sounds a little consciously chosen as a 'character' name - anything that reminds me there is an author behind the curtain making all this stuff up rips me out of the story. But if you're doing the Dickensian thing then there's no reason why you shouldn't use names that have a meaning in the context of your story.

    I like to name my characters fairly ordinary names that have no real significance, to make them seem more real. If I choose a name that does have a meaning, I make it clear why they would have been given that name , i.e. it's a nickname, or they were named after a particular person, family member etc. Maybe they chose their own name as a pseudonym for personal or professional reasons. The point is it has to be plausible in the world of your novel, not just a convenient coincidence, otherwise you risk breaking the 4th wall.
     
  16. HollyWriter
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    HollyWriter New Member

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    I didn't get the sybolism, either, and I think it's a great name. It also sounds like a solid story, and one I would love to read! As for the ending, this is a common tactic, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I can already see the conflict, with Milo having to choose between his partner, Charity and his mission. If it is well-written, the reader will be pulling for Charity, hoping she lives. In that case, it will be a shock when he kills her even if they saw it coming.
     
  17. Defenestration
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    Defenestration New Member

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    My only concern is that your two protagonists are called Woody and Cherry. Independently they're fine.
     
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  18. cerb123
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    cerb123 Member

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    I like that, always nice to read something and have a mental picture in grainy black and white.
     
  19. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm glad I am not the only one that saw the innuendo lol

    I couldn't help thinking Woody lynched her Cherry.

    Woody made Cherry fire her gun etc
     
  20. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    :eek:

    How did I not catch that? Oh gosh. I may have to revise one of them now because of how closely intertwined their stories become. Shoot.
     
  21. Luna13
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    Luna13 Active Member

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    I don't think it's foreshadowing at all, though I don't like the names much. But that's just me. I almost always have to choose names I hate, common ones - Anna, Michael, Grace, etc. - or all my characters would have names like Jasper and Callista and Raven, and the occasional Jenna would seem way out of place. ;)
     

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