1. OmegaPhish
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    OmegaPhish New Member

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    Names and Relations

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by OmegaPhish, Oct 17, 2010.

    So I'm feeling a tad miffed. I've had a story I've been working on and I finally caved and let a friend read it and was told that the names need to be changed to sound more real.

    The problem is, it's a fantasy story.

    At the time we were talking over ideas and working on our own writings, giving suggestions and such.

    My current names are: Roux, Blaze, Quan, Andie, Rinace, Zyka, Cyril, and Alyx.

    Should these be changed to be more modern names? I'm really torn over this...

    In my story line, Alyx and Andie are twins as well. This is a rare occurrence for the setting, so it was a rather big part of the story. I was told this was over-done and cliche, and that this needed to change as well.

    Thoughts? Are twins over done?

    Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with the names at all, and a story involving twins is no more overdone than a story involving a married couple. Almost anything could be considered as cliche, but if we, as writers, took that too seriously, nothing would ever get written.

    Carry on. If the story and characters are interesting, there is no such thing as "overdone"
     
  3. makdadsb
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    makdadsb Member

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    I think the names are great. Change nothing. :)
     
  4. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    You didn't say much about the setting other than it being fantasy. I've written a fantasy book too, but a fantasy novel can be set in Wacky World, the medieval era, the 50's, 70's, modern times, etc.
     
  5. OmegaPhish
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    OmegaPhish New Member

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    It's a world I've completely built myself. Only thing I'm really having problems implementing in it is religion, but that's probably for a different thread. =)
     
  6. truant
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    truant New Member

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    I might be in the minority here, but I always find common contemporary names to be irritating in fantasy novels (unless, of course, it's some sort of alternate version of earth). Common names are rarely memorable in my opinion and leave me wondering exactly how much effort went into characterization.

    Having twins isn't a problem at all unless they are boring characters to start with and behave in stereotypically 'twin-ish' ways. Develop them the same way you would develop any other character and you'll be fine.

    When you get around to developing your religion start a new thread. I'd be happy to contribute. :)
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'm not feeling a central plan behind the names. They seem to have a variety of origins, with some of them clearly in modern-day use, some having older meanings, some apparently not being words at all. This feels a bit scrambled to me.

    While any "rule" for names involves a suspension of disbelief, having names that follow no particular rule can be a bit of a strain. I'm generally happier if there's a plan - for example, everybody from Fictional Nationality A has Welsh-based names, everybody from Fictional Nationality B has Norse-based names, and so on.

    Going through the names:

    - Roux is French, and means red. It also means a butter/flour mixture used in cooking, but I'm assuming that's not what you mean. :)

    - Blaze is of Latin origin, anglicized, and is also a vocabulary word.

    - Quan is apparently a rare Chinese family name.

    - Andie sounds like a nickname for something else, most likely Andrew, a Greek name meaning "man; warrior". Also, the "ie" makes me think of 1980's respelling of names.

    - I can't find Rinace except as an acronym for an organization.

    - Zyka appears to be a family name, but I can't find a nationality or meaning.

    - Cyril is a fairly conventional first name, derived from the Greek, meaning "Lordly; Masterful".

    - Alyx is a variant of Alexis, a Greek name, meaning "Defender; Protector". Replacing the "e" with a "y" gives me that 1980's vibe again.

    So most of your names are of Greek origin. Maybe other characters from the same fictional nationality, with names of other origins, could have their names changed to Greek-based names? And I would be very wary of that 1980's vibe.
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    For fantasy, I don't see the names are problematic.
     
  9. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Name them whatever you like. Though I generally don't have a problem with common English names being used in fantasies. Take Tolkien--there were plenty of Gandalfs and Aragorns, but also Freds, Toms, and Bills. Fine.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can also take an ordinary name and just tweak it a smidgeon. An original Star Trek episode (Miri) changed Mary and John to Miri and Jahn. An orphaned character by Poul Anderson was named Wan (Juan). George could become Giorj, or Tom Tahom, etc. They are easily pronounced, and even familiar, but the off spelling makes them just exotic enough.
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    To be honest, I kind of prefer realistic names in stories, even in fantasy. Not to say that it has to be John or Jessica or something, but a name I could find in a baby-name book.

    When I read fantasies and sci-fi stories that have names that are either long, unpronounceable, etc, it makes me feel even more cut off from the character.

    Not to say that your names now are too bad -- Blaze is a fairly unique, but recognizable, name, for example. I also like that they're all short.
    If I were you, I'd spell Alyx as Alex or Alix -- I'm not a fan of names that have excessive Ys, but that's completely 100% my taste, and this decision is 100% your call. :)
     
  12. OmegaPhish
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    OmegaPhish New Member

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    Wow, thank you so much for all the input



    o_O I was unaware of some of the origins of the names, or the 80's vibe thing, but since Andie and Alyx are the twins I can now see how I will be able to tie that in together.

    I am super appreciative of you searching these meanings, because I find it odd that a lot of people from the same place in the story have the names with the similar origins. Sometimes methinks the subconscious works in awesome ways. =D

    Thank you so much again for all the input. :-D VERY helpful and reassuring.
     
  13. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can see no problems with the names of the characters and I do not think that twins are over done in fiction.
    You say that 'I finally caved...' this would seem to suggest that you were not ready to share your writing. Were you maybe pressured in to doing so? If you were not ready to share your story then I can understand how you could be feeling a bit miffed. I think that as writers we need to develope a thick skin.
    Your friend has given you his opinion and that is all it is, his opinion. It is your story, if you do not agree with his suggestions then don't act upon them.
    Good luck with the story.:)
     

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