1. randomme1
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    randomme1 Member

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    Need opinion on a character name

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by randomme1, Aug 26, 2012.

    Hi,

    I have run into a bit of a problem with my character, one I run into a lot unfortunately. I have a habit of making my character's without names. I completely build their personalities, their motives, their goals, everything but I don't realize that this character I've created and am looking forward to throwing into my story, doesn't have a name!!!!! So I spend hours just sitting, staring at the ceiling, trying to find a name that fits. I am in the middle of my first book in a series I am trying hard to build. I have a small list of side characters, major-but-not-main characters, and even a secondary main character. These all have names, good ones in my opinion. My problem is that my main character is the ONLY one without a name.

    Well I just finished a four hour long fit of sitting, thinking, and banging my head against the wall. The only idea I have to show after all of that is this. I want to name my character Cain.

    I have written a couple of short stories, I have had naming problems ever since I became interested in writing. Every time I have started writing a non-children story I have circled back to this name, Cain. I always traded it out for a name that could go with a last name. But now this character I am making only requires a first name as he only goes by one name. This is technically his nickname, but it is the only name he will be called by 99% of the other people in the book.

    My question is this: Is the name Cain overused at all?

    FYI I didn't choose this name because of the "Cain and Abel" thing, I just like the way it sounds, and I can picture my character being called Cain. Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. Warp Zone
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    Warp Zone Contributing Member

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    I like how Cain sounds as well; it doesn't sound too generic or too foreign/extravagant.
     
  3. randomme1
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    randomme1 Member

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    I just really like this name! My character is a trained killer, he is a bit cold-hearted, but he isn't completely evil. I guess he is just neutral. And Cain just goes with that type of character! I can picture other people in my novel saying things like,

    "Did you hear what that guy Cain did? He took out five raiders before they had a chance to scream. Then he snuffed out their leader before he had a chance to run."

    But then I can picture those same people saying,

    "Yeah, but did you see him this morning. He came into the city carrying two little kids in his arms. They would have been dead if he hadn't been there to help. Now they are sleeping in a warm bed with food in their gut. All thanks to him."

    It just sounds perfect for him. It's simple, yet memorable.
     
  4. Michelle Stone
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    Michelle Stone Member

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    If you are worried about the Cain and Able reference, spell it differently. Call him Kane or Kayne. I too have problems naming characters. Perhaps I should just post a few character traits and ask!

    Call me Ishmael.
     
  5. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    I misread that as "Kanye" at first. It is too early to be laughing this hard, oh god.

    The name Cain is a bit overused, especially for characters who are tough, cool, or broody. But, if it's a nickname, it shouldn't be too much of a problem if he got it in a way that makes sense. (I once read a story with a character nicknamed Venom because he had a "venomous look" - it was very silly.)
     
  6. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    The forum has several relatively recent threads on naming characters that might benefit you.

    I would advise you to not let the choice of a name hold you up from writing. Just call them something, anything, that is easy to type and unique for your word processor's find and replace function. As you write, you may come up with a better name.
     
  7. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    He should be called Philipp Pendleberry

    Pronounce (Pen-duhl-buh-rry)
     
  8. tiffanylyn
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    tiffanylyn Member

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    One syllable names have strength, especially when they don't end in Y, I or E. You're on the right track. Kane with the K brings up fond memories of Citizen Kane. Brilliant. I would keep your name, just consider spelling differences. I've found names by imagining the ethnicity, country of origin etc. of a character then doing a search for famous people from that country.
     

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