1. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Overblown Names

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pythonforger, May 4, 2012.

    So I'm writing this story about giant mecha...

    And it's going along fine...

    Then I suddenly wonder if readers are going to accept that I've given cool names to all my mecha, rather in the style of Transformers, but less flashy(Transformers was really a bit over-the-top...).

    Is it okay to give "cool" and slightly unrealistic names? Also, the name generally describes the mecha(eg. One Eyed Rabbit has one eye due to a laser accident, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are extremely small and extremely large respectively, and Hunchback's metal wiring was bent in an intense "how much damage can a mecha take" test).
     
  2. bakalove
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    bakalove Member

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    Well if i was reading the book id find it abit weird to have to associate those words with names. But there is always a niche for that kinda stuff and im no one to speak because all of the characters in my book have made up names for one my character is named "ish". It also shouldn't matter the names of the characters if its a good story the main character could be named "cat named banana" and id still read it.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you using the names; Hunchback,Tweedledum and Tweedledee?

    Your post reads as if you are, if that be the case then, these are well known characters from well known classics and if I was reading a story with these names, my brain would automatically recall the originals and I think it would take a lot to shift that mind-set image.

    If you have an original character, come up with an original name and then maybe your character's traits will become synonymous with the name of your own invention.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Anything can be done, if done well. How do you assess it in your story? Do the names seem to fit, why and/or why not?

    Let's pretend I am entirely opposed to your idea. "That idea sucks. Your readers are going to be totally distracted and thrown out of your story." What arguments do you have to keep them the way they are?
     
  5. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I've had some feedback on names in my story being hard to pronounce or unfamiliar, but they're ancient historical so I'd expect them to be. If they work for your story and have meaning for your characters, your readers will get used to them. Many stories have ridiculous character names anyway - look at J K Rowling's characters! Or Dickens.
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    With the unusual names, it can easily become too much of a good thing. When your readers become confused as to who is who, because every major character has a very "different" name, it means you've gone too far. Also, if there are multitude of weird names, it's a good idea to avoid names which sound too similar (unless they are given to conjoined twins, for example) or that begin with the same letter.
    I think there's a fine balance which can be achieved, giving enough of strange sounding names to give story the right flavour, but keeping it simple enough so the reader can easily get to know and recognise them all.
    Another thing is also, not to introduce too many weird names at once (that involves characters as well as concepts), but feed them gradually and characterise them well, so the reader can connect with them. But I suppose that's just a general rule for writing anyway.
     
  7. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Well, if the name applies...

    My lead character just graduated from an academy. The administrator of the place gave him a "graduation ring" with a Latin phrase engraved on the setting comprised of six words.

    A small personal touch. I believe it is my new name in the after-life.

    The idea is not to make some cutting edge handle just to be witty. For example, is Katniss' arch enemy called "Dogness"? You find the right name for your characters, something a reader can envision if they read your story aloud, and you've found the right name.
     
  8. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I love it. They remind me of indian names. ~The Rising Sun ~ Take A Sip Of Water Before Breakfast ~ Floating Above The Earth With A Bird ;)
     
  9. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Amy, thanks. (You should hear what it actually means...)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "Who are you?"

    "My name is not important."

    ...

    "Excuse me. What is your name, by the way?

    "Slartibartfast."

    "Slartibartfast?"

    "I said it wasn’t important."

    - Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    Yup. Overblown names have their value.
     
  11. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I've seen worse real life names than Slartibartfast... ;)

    So yes, I will be going along with the names, but I'll tone them down a little, and try not to use names from classic books.
     
  12. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    I don't see anything wrong with using those names. If people can't separate in their minds a giant futuristic robot from a nineteenth century bell-ringer I think that's THEIR problem, not yours.
     

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