1. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    Naming main character after yourself?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by LA Bailey, Aug 27, 2016.

    Thoughts on naming a character after yourself? good idea or bad?
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I named a (non-main) character after myself and killed'em off for a laugh.

    In seriousness, naming a main character after yourself tends to be frowned upon. The character's typically viewed as an author-insert.
     
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  3. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    i know but i really like my name i feel its unique and not used often and the character is far from my personality and i was thinking about going under a pen name so readers dont know maybe im just kidding myself with that one lol
     
  4. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've patterned characters after myself (personality- or experience-wise), but I've always felt far too self-conscious to name any character, main or otherwise, after myself.
     
  5. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Doing something like this, you are risking people thinking you are some sort of narcissist.
     
  6. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    yeah thats my issue im self-conscious which is why im considering not doing it but i feel like its the only name that fits and i also felt it was narcissist which is why im hesitating
     
  7. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I think it'd be pretty easy to start confusing what your character would do in a given situation, and what you would do in a given situation. Maybe not. I've never been tempted to do this, so I have no idea how it would go. It just seems like an easy way to blur the lines between them and you. And from a reader's perspective, it's pretty weird. You just start to think that maybe the author is writing this story as a kind of strange wish-fulfillment.

    Is there a way you could slightly alter your name so that it's close, but not exact?
     
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  8. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    possibly i could do a different spelling or add something at the end or something
     
  9. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    My whole family is in my current WIP, number of kids and everything, for one scene where the heroes rescue them.
     
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  10. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    i started my story with my whole family in it i cut everyone besides my brother and the main character i want to have my name i actually have her having two brothers one is my actual brothers name and other one is is would've been name i found it clever lol
     
  11. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    LA Bailey, the last thing I want to do is seem rude, so please don't read this is any kind of snarky tone... Given that we are on a forum for writers and writing includes being picky about SPAG - I'm curious, do you use periods in your writings and just not on here, or do you not use periods in any writing at all?
     
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  12. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    I've named main characters after myself. It can help get inside the character's head if writing in the first person. I change the name in the final edit though.
     
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  13. WingDingGaster
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    WingDingGaster Member

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    I'd say this is okay. Going under a pen name is probably the best option if you really want to use your name for a character.
     
  14. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    bad idea - even if its not the Mc - Think of the dirk pitt books by clive cussler - theres this old chap called 'clive cussler' who turns up in every single one (generally with whatever piece of equipment dirk needs to escape an implausible plot hole) - I guess Mr Cussler thinks its a running in joke, but to this reader at least its a trying and trite device (on the other hand he's sold a fucktonne more books than me so what do i know ?)
     
  15. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    Karl May did it in the most obnoxious way possible, as all his self-insert characters are big time Mary Sues. Still, his stories are exciting, well written and he continues to be one of the world's best selling writers more than a hundred years after his death. So if you feel compelled to do so, go ahead.
     
  16. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Concur. Hard to take you seriously as a writer if you can't effectively use punctuation on a writing forum.
    And no, I would never name a character after myself. So many names to choose from; why go that route?
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you're using a pen name people are unlikely to know, so the concerns in that regard probably aren't significant. I agree that you should write properly on the forum, however.
     
  18. LA Bailey
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    LA Bailey Member

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    to be perfectly honest i am a little lax on my punctuation in forums and I'm not really good with grammar in the first place. i will try to be more mindful of it though. thank you. @ddavidv i feel that my name is unique and i don't see it much, specifically in literature, so i thought it would be good to use and i haven't thought of anything else i like as much.
     
  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I think it is entirely up to you what you want to do. Some might see it as a form a narcissism or something like that, but that is on them.
    I don't see my name used all that much in books either, but it is my choice to not use it myself.
    Also I agree with @ddavidv that their is a massive amount of interesting names from which you can choose.
     
  20. Kendall_Jackson
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    Kendall_Jackson New Member

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    If you are making something for fun and not for sale it should be ok. I wrote some stuff in high school about myself and my classmates and they really enjoyed it. But making your name for the main character is usually not a good idea. Although I guess there are situations where it might work.
     
  21. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Not my thing. I might sneak in a character based on me into a story, but use a anagram or pseudonym in a more tongue in cheek way like Hitchcock or Nabokov but I like to keep distance from my characters. Even the characters that were most based on me and my friend - I named them Kim and Angela in Moonlight my Advantage. In an original incarnation of the same story I named the characters - Faiza and Silver.
    I like to have complete control of the character. I don't want to find myself doing nice things to my character simply because I want the name or me to be reflected in the best light or even the worse light. It's hard enough to get a character right without extra complications.
     
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  22. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The human MC in Glen Duncan's I, Lucifer is a writer called Declan Gunn... ;) Considering the self-deprecating manner with which Declan is portrayed, I actually find it quite amusing.

    But if you like it and especially if you use a pen name, then go ahead.
     
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  23. scriveningnerd
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    scriveningnerd New Member

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    While I have never considered out-right naming one of my characters after myself, I drizzle Easter eggs from my life heavily throughout my writing.
     
  24. Wolf Daemon
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    Wolf Daemon Active Member

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    I just couldn't do it. I've never liked my name. To each their own but at the same time how will it look for an author to have "basically" himself (from the readers perspective) as the main character.
     
  25. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Everyone does to an extent - thats what writing based on experience means , imo having characters do real stuff thats happened to you, or think thoughts that you've thought or whatever is fine, its what makes characters belieavable...

    the only proviso is not to hold too tightly to including something 'because it really happened'
     

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