1. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Married couple with same names?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cynglen, Mar 24, 2011.

    I'm scribbling out a bunch of ideas for a possible story, and one quirky thought that came to mind was to have my main character have the same first name of his wife. I've never met a couple with shared first names, but I'm sure it's happened and I'm wondering if doing it in a story would be interesting or annoying? I'd have to be good at specifying which person was doing what when they were in the same room, and I'm sure it could come up in the story with them talking to other people, but I'd just like to know if it seems like a good idea to yall in the first place?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well there was Evelyn Gardner and Evelyn Waugh.

    Not sure it could be fun if you could find away of only being confusing when you want to be.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to work with someone whose girlfriend had the same name as him. It would have bugged the hell out of me if I were in that position, but he seemed to like it. If you did it in a story, the only thing I would suggest is doing the same name with different spellings (i.e. Aaron and Erin) so it wasn't terribly hard to follow.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is a good idea something like Robin or Robyn, Lee or Leigh, Jamie and Jaime.

    Although Aaron and Erin aren't the same name just sound the same in the US ;) One is a Hebrew boys name the other an Irish girls name.
     
  5. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    No problem, you can always call them Mr.Smith and Mrs. ... heummm... Mr.Smith's wife!
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've got me there. Sorry, heavily medicated.
     
  7. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    If they both have the same name, make them go by different nicknames, and refer to them by their nicknames so that the reader knows who you're talking about at all times.

    For example, if they're both named Alex, the guy might go by Lex and his wife might go by Allie. You might also have someone go by their first and middle initials, like CJ.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    :) For heavily medicated it was a great idea - I just know when I was doing baby names I kept wondering why Americans kept saying they were the same name - then I heard my husband say them.
     
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  9. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    This ^ is a great solution, imo.
     
  10. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    I had a roommate named Christopher who dated a Christina. I'm so glad they broke up the last time I saw them because if they had married I could never keep a straight face.
     
  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    My ex worked for a Nurse practitioner Kim,
    she was married to a man named Kim.

    Kim was talking to Kim on the phone, when Kim slammed the phone down.:confused:

    "Fred was riding a horse,
    His name was....
    I forgot what his name was, so we just called him Fred.
    Now Fred's riding Fred":p
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe, Kim was talking to her husband on the phone, when he slammed the phone down.:p
     
  13. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    lol, lol, lol... :D
     
  14. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Those are the kinds of situations I'm worried will be all-too-common with Mr. and Ms. Jordan Smith (or whatever name I pick). I like the nicknames idea, but I think it's odd when the narration refers to characters by nicknames since those are usually terms reserved for friends. I think it could work, but I could end up with a hurricane of pronouns in the narration.

    Hm, almost starting to think of this as a challenge of my writing abilities...
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just a suggestion but this might be one occasion where first person may have distinct advantages over third.

    The phone rings and I pick it up. 'Oh Kim, honestly. It's our anniversary, I had things planned beautifully ... you are working with that tart Silvia on our wedding anniversary ... well if you think she is that much more important than me then don't bother coming home ...' I stare at the receiver listening to the dial tone. How dare he put the phone down on me.
     
  16. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    I'm not really talking about 'nicknames' in the way you're talking about them. I mean a chosen name. I have a friend named Anastasia, but no one calls her that. She goes by Stasia. When she writes her name, she writes Stasia. If I wrote a short story about her I would refer to her by Stasia. To do otherwise would be pointlessly obtuse.

    I go by my middle name myself, and when I tell people my name, I don't even mention my first name. I don't consider it my 'real' name.

    It's not about whether it's the character's legal name or not, it's about how the character perceives the name. If a character would say their name is X, then you should call them X as well.
     
  17. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Excellent points both of you. I hadn't considered taking a 1st-person perspective, and I'm not 100% for it, but is certainly worth considering.

    True, I was thinking of nicknames differently. I do go by a shortened version of my true name, and my roommate goes by his middle name unless on official documents. I could make the reader know they share first names but one or both has a preferred name he/she goes by.

    So much thinking to do...Darn that Calc test in a few hours!!
     
  18. Gingerbiscuit
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    Gingerbiscuit Senior Member

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    My name's Andy. If my girlfriend's name was Andy that would freak me out. also she might end up opening my post from the clinic and that wouldn't be good.

    Anywho, I can't say I'd advise that as it would get confusing and there may be little benefit to the reader. Unless of course you are planning on having Mrs Andy open Mr Andy's letter from the clinic I don't believe it serves a purpose.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you're going for comic effect ("Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl."), if two such people were married, most likely one or the other would end up with a nickname to reduce confusion.

    Even if they thought it a lark to confuse other people, they would have nicknames used by their "inner circle" of friends. Those would be a logical choice within narrative as well.
     
  20. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Cogito. Unless it is your intention is to cause confusion (comic effect, farce) then I would not go down this road. Why risk confusing the reader?
     

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