1. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Mid-game Name Change

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ManOrAstroMan, Jun 22, 2015.

    My cousin, whom I love like a sister, has just had a baby. I am thrilled, and there is much snuggles and talking in oogy-woogy voices.
    However, she and her husband have decided to give The Baby the same name as the main character of my urban fantasy novels, but with a different spelling.
    They were unaware of this when The Baby was named, as I have long ago learned that my family doesn't seem to listen or care much when I talk about my writing. I am fully prepared to rename my supernatural detective, but am finding it difficult to come up with the right name. I certainly can't continue writing awful things happening to my character when The Baby has pretty much the same name. It's too much like writing horrible things happening to The Baby (who should only be receiving cuddles ).
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    What was the name? I was thinkin you could play off the already existing one??
    Or maybe make a unique name that isn't typical by looking up Latin words or something for supernatural things or adjectives that describe the character??
     
  3. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    Use the name. If the book is successful, the child will be thrilled that he/she has the same name as a main character in a popular novel.
     
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  4. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    @Rachelle: the names are Beau and Bo. And as uncommon as the name is, the book still has a "real" world setting, and I never did care for those books with characters named Fortuna, Ilex, and Jupiter, and they live in Illinois.

    @Stacy: a possibility, sure, but when the guy's backstory involves dead parents, homelessness and psychological abuse, the instant mental connection to The Baby makes it very uncomfortable to contemplate.
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You should name your character Chris Weixelman. That's a good name.
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I tried a mid-book name change, it seemed perfect at first. But I ended up going back to the old name. Once you are attached to a character, it's hard to rename them.
     
  7. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, crap. I get where you're coming from.

    Beau seems like a very country name to me, is that what you're going for?
     
  8. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    They may not have listened, but you may have planted a seed unbeknownst to all and sundry perhaps?

    This scenario would both irk and frustrate me.
     
  9. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    A couple days ago I read something about how the little boy the Christopher Robin was based on very much resented the way his dad had 'used' his childhood for inspiration. Not quite the same of course but, if something so sweet and innocent can make someone uncomfortable, it's easy to see how both the kid and parents could take it the wrong way given your story's apparent content.

    Honestly you could just ask them. They might not take it very seriously right now but at least if they do later on (when you're rich and famous, of course!) you can always be like "hey man I DID ask you first".

    Or just avoid the hassle and rename the character if you think they'd want it anyway. One of mine's had like three different first names in various stages of revision - it takes some time to get used to but it's really not too too hard, promise. You could think of other names with similar roots or look up ones with similar meanings, if you wanted to keep some tie to the old one.
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    @Aaron: very possible. I've probably done the same thing, myself.
    @no-name: it is, actually. He's from the bayou.
    @Ginger: tell me about it!
    @izzy: yeah, the Christopher Robin thing is something I want to avoid, too. I'm considering the name Bruno/Bruneau, or possibly Leander.
     
  11. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Could you call him Forte? Short for "Beauforte". It means, "strong" in a couple of languages.
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The baby's name is Bo? :bigconfused:
     
  13. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    Change it ASAP. My sister's first is called Harriet, one of my children's book MCs was called Hattie. At first I was irked but didn't worry too much because the character is nice. However, after a while -- I write slow -- I began to be influenced by Harriet, who is a very soft and gentle, thoughtful child, and my previously gung-ho, jolly-hockey-sticks MC began to change. I stopped writing it until I had a new name and Hattie is now Nina; more of a firecracker, and more what I intended.
     
  14. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Yeah, when I got home from the hospital, one of the first things I did was start looking at new names. I wasn't too upset to give up the name, seeing as The Baby is, y'know, real.
    Other names being put up for consideration are Abel and Bellamy.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I did it in one of my WIP's. One of the characters, a fellah, I had originally named Brena and didn't realize this is a real name of Irish derivation, but for a girl. And since he is in a same-sex relationship in the story, it was causing way too much confusion so I renamed him Brenn. The object of his affections was named Devon and I was told be several critics "Please, anything but Devon. There are nine bajillion Devons in fantasy writing and the genre does not need another one. Seriously, anything but Devon or any other fancy spelling thereof. Not Deavon, not Devin, not D'vin, not anything like that. I will pay you to name him something else." So I did. :)
     
  16. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    I like Abel!

    Bo is a lucky dodge anyway; it translates as 'I dunno', complete with feckless shrug, from Italian!
     
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  17. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    "Abel Renoir" does have a certain Southern Gothic vibe, doesn't it? And his friends can call him Abe.
     
  18. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I'm pretty sure I'm named after some writer's serial killer main character and if I found out it was my uncle, I would hope that he picked that name because he felt it was right for the story, not just because I influenced it somehow or made him want to change the name. And if I how found out that maybe he changed one of his character's names because I was born with the same name as one of his characters I would be hurt. I wouldn't care how many bad things he did to his character with the same name as me, if it was right for the story then I wouldn't care. I would be more proud that he stuck to his art and what he felt was right than being affected by something as petty as one of his main characters having the same name as me. Do what you want and stick to what you think is best for the art not for how someone is going to feel.
     

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