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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Larger than Life

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Apr 21, 2015.

    Okay. This is a name help thread. Except I am not looking for suggestions. I am looking for approaches. How do you deal with the below situation.

    I have a character. One of my first five really. Well developed. Likely my favorite. Strong and powerful yet nameless. The only of the five to still be nameless. I have tried giving him a name. Yet it just falls off of him. He is strong the kind of character that scares the poop out of other people. It seems like someone like this, like just the sound of their name should shake the heavens. So no wonder I am having trouble finding such a name.

    How do you name the larger than life characters you have?
     
  2. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    I honestly, look at the basic definition of names, and pick one that means what I have in mind for that character. I look at as many sites as I can, to make sure the name means what I think it does. Sometimes, I will look at mythology, too. There are so many beautiful names that were given to warriors, both male and female, that really don't get enough uses, in my opinion lol
     
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  3. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm - not sure how to help here. Mine usually start with a name for some reason. Mythology might work. You might also give him a nickname in lieu of his real name so that he sounds more intimidating.

    That or just keep writing with a placeholder name until it comes to you. I don't normally do this, but I have gone back and changed a character's name in the text - it doesn't hurt too much.
     
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  4. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    Long names, weird names
    Look at meanings, go with stuff that means outlandish things like astrological or supernatural or something
    The weirder the character the less sense their name needs to make
    If this guy is /really/ out there, he could just go by a title of some sort "Atlas, Shaker of the Heavens!" or whatever fits him best.
    If anything that weird would be hard to justify within the setting, have him pick his own name because his birth name is too boring or has bad connotations for him ?

    Good luck !
     
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  5. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    The majority of my characters have simplistic names. Ryan, Edwin, Laura, Jane, George ext. I always feel like I'm cheated when the name gives away the character. my best example is Neo from the matrix, mix up the letters bam One as in the one. names can be powerful but i also feel like it give away too much.
     
  6. trimarine
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    trimarine Member

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    I would go nameless if he is supposed to be scary, mystery instills more fear than any name will. Most horror movie protagonists just call the monster/antagonist "It" or "That thing". So it makes sense, in my mind, that just referring to your character as "Him" will make him scarier overall.

    As for my characters? I go generic for nicknames.
    Strongman, Leg-up, and Foureye. Real names are Gung, Carter, and Jim, respectively.
     
  7. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Milwaukee Cannibal wasn't scary because his name was Jeffrey Dahmer. The name Jeffrey Dahmer became scary after it became associated with the Milwaukee Cannibal.

    Thomas Harris's first great antagonist was referred to as the Tooth Fairy before he was referred to as the Dragon, but he made the name Tooth Fairy more scary instead of the name Tooth Fairy making the antagonist less scary.

    If your character's actions and motivations are sufficiently larger-than-life already, then whatever name you pick will become larger-than-life through pure association ;)
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    While names do affect character in writing, in real life the name often comes to suit the person rather than the other way round. Think of a family member or a best friend - can you imagine them being called by any name other than the one that they have?

    And really, you just have to keep going through names... lol. Try to think of sounds and actual names that make you think of a strong character or that you find impressive - maybe make up a name from that. Or you could use initials - maybe nobody knows his real name and he only goes by the name Q :bigtongue:

    You get the idea.
     
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  9. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    If it were me:

    In a real life setting, I'd go simple. Big guys like simple names, like Jack Reacher, for example. One of my best buddies is taller than me by nearly a foot and has biceps the size of my head. His real name is Jason, he goes by JT.

    In fantasy, do some research. I looked up Nordic names for my giant bad-ass guy, found one where the meaning suited him, and he became Einar.
     
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  10. LOliver
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    LOliver Member

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    I try to find names from the characters themselves. In one project I am running, the story starts with a scientist. Top in his field, from a rich family. He runs an experimental genetics research division. He meets his downfall when his young son falls ill with cancer. He runs his experiment, ignoring protocol, in an attempt to save him. The boy dies. The man becomes cold and heartless, he goes deep into his work in an attempt to clone his lost son.
    Anyway....In order to learn him I mapped him out:
    His features. His quirks, his flaws. His hopes, his dream, his fears.
    When I knew all this I knew him and I knew his name was Dr. Michael Winter
     
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  11. Alecion
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    Alecion Member

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    For some reason I find that names with Chinise meanings are the strongest I hear:
    1. Tian - Heaven
    2. Xian - Immortality

    There are more of course :)
     
  12. wellthatsnice
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    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    This is spot on...Hitler wasn't a scary name until THE Hitler.
     
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