1. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Naming an antagonist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Midnight_Adventurer, Jun 14, 2010.

    Hi everyone!

    Normally I wouldn’t do this but I want your opinions on a name for my antagonist. I like coming up with names for my characters, in fact I have them all named to my liking except for this one guy! grrrr.
    Just a quick description: He's an army general that retired in the 90's but his real passion was to always become an Archaeologist. Being in the military, however, has changed him. He's become angry (couldn’t think of a better word) at the world and is now determined to destroy it.
    Bit cliché I know but I kinda wanted him to be that way. His name at the moment is Alexander Miller but I don’t think it's strong enough, especially compared to my two main characters Addison (girl) and Jace.
    Anyway I've done some name searching on the internet and I've found these names;
    - Franklin
    - Hector
    - Jarvis
    - Tobias
    - Donovan

    What do you guys think? Do you have any other suggestions? Surnames would also be appriciated.
     
  2. MedleyMisty
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    MedleyMisty Member

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    I like Franklin.

    You could use one of those names as the surname as well. Like Franklin Jarvis, or Hector Donovan.
     
  3. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Hey that's not a bad idea, thanks MedleyMisty! :)
     
  4. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well Alexander was a great general, so it is a strong name.
    I like the Donovan moniker, probably works better as a surname though.
     
  5. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Don't get caught up on naming your characters - names can be changed at any time and people who spend too much time trying to think of a good name usually forsake good writing because of it: People who insist on having "symbolic" names or names that reference the free ideas bucket that is mythology are the worst kind of cliche.

    ANYWAY

    Franklin has a dated feel about it - older men, typically weak-willed and indecisive. Works better as a surname because you can't take a guy called Frank very seriously.

    Hector is likewise dated but has a more privileged aura - silver spoon, scholarship and college honours material. Strong willed, cultured but arrogant.

    Jarvis is - for lack of a better way of putting it - a butler's name. Even if you ignore Iron Man, it's the kind of name you get from a servant. An elite, five-star top of the range servant, but still a servant.

    Tobias sounds like it dug its roots in close to the scripture and refused to move on from there - therefore an old-fashioned character, very obstinate and close-minded. Abbreviating to Toby changes them into a jolly fat man or an apple-cheeked urchin.

    Donovan - meaning "dark child" - I like this name, but it doesn't ring very well for main characters. It just seems to lack substance, the only strong consonant being the D, so for me a character named Donovan would really be a part of the scenery.

    I'm afraid I can't think of any good suggestions, but the name usually comes to you as you write, so you can just call him Nemesis and go back and change it when you think of something better - I've changed my character names more times than I can count, but you wouldn't know it from reading the story.
     
  6. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    The only reason I'm getting caught up with his name is because 1) He's the only character with a name I'm not liking at the moment and 2) He'll be making some more appearances soon and I want to have his name and character down pat. Sadly I'm picky when it comes to stuff like this. Alexander is a strong name but I don’t like his surname, Miller it seems a little weak. Anyway thanks Pallas and tcol4417 for your suggestions :)
     
  7. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    I like short names and ones that have easily typed key combination. If I have to type Pelladuzexcoyus for 150 types pages, I would shoot myself.

    Also, if your story is set in modern times, don't name him something that wouldn't commonly happen and would stand out too much unless he's some kind of old creature or something.
     
  8. valdein lawnstin
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    valdein lawnstin Member

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    i find the more powerful male names are one syllable or two with a hard consanint as the first letter, but the last name is the power that is the name military people go by, general Dawson for Craig Dawson.
    powerful names

    Henry
    Stanley
    Morgan
    David
    Jason
    Franklin
    Lloyd
    Floyd
    Clyde
    Robert

    names that seem to be less powerful start with soft contsinents and tend to have more syllables.
    Frederick
    donovan
    alexander
    william
    aaron
     
  9. writingchick8
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    writingchick8 Member

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    What about Hank? It sounds tough to me...

    I've known around 3 Hanks in my life, and none of them were really happy people...and it's just one of those names you would think was someone in the army.

    I like the character, he sounds interesting. :)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What about people who use their first initial and middle name instead of their first name? It sounds a bit pretentious, and at the same time may show resentment for his given names, and bu inference, resentment toward his parents.

    H. Walker Sinclair sounds more imposing than Herbert Sinclair.

    Alexander is a powerful name, harkening to Alexander the great. It is also one with a variety of associated nicknames, from the jovial-sounding Al to Lex or Xander. Miller is okay, but you could give him a surname that has an unyielding character to it, like Stone or Irons or Waller, even Mason.

    Just some thoughts to percolate over in choosing an evocative name.
     
  11. Sophie-Jane94
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    Sophie-Jane94 New Member

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    I think he sounds like a Henry :) hmm... to make him sound tougher you could come up with some army-type nickname he used to have when he was in the military and use that.
    Just an idea :)
     
  12. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Wow I didn’t think I'd get this kind of response. You've all pointed out some really good tips; I think Cogito's suggestion stands out though. Thankyou all so much for your input it's helped a great deal I really appreciate it! :)
     

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