1. mutants vs. vampires
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    mutants vs. vampires Member

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    if i tell you, you will find me. and you aren't su

    Re: Character Names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by mutants vs. vampires, Nov 16, 2008.

    After reading, mynameisgrace's thread, I'm kind of like, not so sure I picked out for my characters. I mean, I like the name Shane for him but I also like Landon. I mean, Shane sounds good for him, but doesn't quite fit on him. Like, he's a rebel-ish boy, but he manages to get straight A's. Landon, on the other hand, doesn't seem like one on characteristic-type level, like he has black hair and brown eyes, but fits him better with that whole "getting straight A's thing" and still sounding like a rebel.

    And on Kara, she's smart and yet mean, but she sounds like an average nice person. Would anyone suggest for her?


    I'm not very good with names at all...
     
  2. Sylvester
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    Sylvester Member

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    Not that critical.

    I don't think names are really that critical. Bubba can be a grease monkey in Tennessee, or a hit man in Queens. Buffy can be a debutant in Beverly Hills or a vampire slayer in Sunnydale. I'd say stick with the names you currently have for now. You can aways change them later if you want.
     
  3. mutants vs. vampires
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    mutants vs. vampires Member

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    thanks
     
  4. mynameissarahgrace
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    mynameissarahgrace Member

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    Hah, I inspired a thread!
    But I wouldn't worry about the names, really. I just have an obsession with names in general.

    As long as your character's name isn't :
    A. too out there (like Twilight Leiderhosen) - not believable and just annoying
    B. too boring (Annie Jones) - I don't know, it's just that I've read about and known so many Annie's and Jones' that the name creates no identity of the character for me.
    C. out of place for time period (Kayleigh Jayden Pixie from the 1800's) - obviously unrealistic
    then it's perfectly fine.

    But often I remember certain characters in books I've read simply because of how well their name fit them, or how unusual the name was. I like when names are memorable and fit the character well.
    It bugs me when I see a name like Gertrude (unpleasant, and I can't imagine a pleasant person named Gertrude so it sort of ruins the character for me) or Bob (common, boring and unpleasant).

    I would change Shane to Shawn / Sean. It's not very different, but seems to fit a rebel-ish type more.
    Kara's fine, though. Maybe Karissa? It's pretty similar but seems sort of .. edgier. I don't know, haha.
    Oh and keep Landon. It's uncommon and not necessarily great or bad, so it's very versatile and could fit just about anyone.

    Good luck =) and sorry; this is sort of a long and confusing post..
     
  5. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Names are just one of those things that you just have to develop your own comfort zone. I usually start off without character's names and will literally write using such things as Fat Guy, Mystery person, or Uber Bad guy until my subconscious bubbles up a fitting name. When I first began writing I remember stressing about how to come up with a name. Later on I realized that if the story was compelling enough, the rest would just fall into place.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the advice a given to a character from a show called Gundam Wing will work here too. That character was separated from his parents as a very young child and didn't know how to tell the soldiers who found him his name. For some reason, they just called him "no name" and it suck until he took on a mission and was given a sort of code name. When it was all over, he said he had become nameless but his friends told him to keep the name, saying, "Names are things other people give you, so there is no point in wasting time worrying."

    Parents name their children before they know what the child is going to be like. So keep that in mind. Their names should make sense for when and where the character was born (like in the above example), and culturally realistic e.g. I name my Jewish characters Rebecca and Rachel, but would never name a character of European background Yoshi unless I knew that his parents were in love with everything Japanese.

    We like the names to have symbolic meaning and show personalities, but we also want to be realistic. What is realistic is that parents give kids names not knowing what they will be like.
     
  7. JaM1221
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    JaM1221 Member

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    You should focus more on constructing your characters (if that has not already been said). Remember that names aren't given to people after the parents know their child's personality and characteristics. Names are usually given without any idea of the person. All there is are the names the parents like and their ethnicity. A name doesn't always have to reflect the character. But, here's some names:

    Boy:
    Aaron
    Jay
    Austin
    Colby
    Vince/Vincent
    Matt
    Jared
    Jadon
    Corey
    Devon
    Ben
    Marcus
    Leo

    Girl:
    Cassie
    Casey
    Valerie
    May
    Adriane
    Livvy(Olivia)
    Kelsey
    Brooke
    Amber
    Rose
    Raine
    Hannah
    Marcy
    Kora
    Mandy
    Tess
    Vera
     
  8. Danielle.
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    Danielle. New Member

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    I also think that you should let the name form itself.
    Once, I was writing about a really slicked back, sleazy kind of ladies man,
    and his name just sprang into my head one night before sleep.
    If you get to know your characters well enough, they'll introduce themselves.
     
  9. El902
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    El902 Member

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    I agree with the above sentiments: forming the characters is much more important that forming their names. But on the other hand, to form a bond between yourself and your characters you have to be comfortable with all of their characteristics, including their names.

    However, giving them a name depending on their appearance isn't a tactic I've ever used. It's like Rei said - parents don't name their children after they know their personalities or appearances. Some names do fit a certain appearance, but things like that happen by chance. I'd just go with a name that you like - one that you're comfortable using and one that you think is right.

    On a different note, I just started a new system for finding first and last names of supporting characters (the secretary of the attorney, the pretty waitress who flirted with so-and-so's husband, etc). I have about two dozens books, and when I'm beginning and novel/short story I sit down, flip through the pages until I have about thirty names. Jot down quick profiles for the names (Miriam - late thirties - brown hair - Asian-American. Jefferey - white - twenty three - has a crush on MC - blond hair.) and then when I need the character, I flip through my lists and BAM I have a character. It's a nice little system.

    El
     
  10. PikesPen
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    PikesPen New Member

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    Give a character a nickname if you can't find a common name that fits him. I remember Steinbeck saying somthing about people with nicknames...that if someone has one, it means they have failed at fufilling the destiny their parents wanted for them to have. That is, when you're named, you're stuck at becoming a Stephen or a Jessica, and nicknames are unconsiously given to those of us who do not look like or act like our given names. You could give your rebel character a nickname so it would at to their "rebelness" if you wanted.

    I dunno, just an idea.
     
  11. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    I feel that a name, with "grrr" in it, suits someone with fangs. So I created a vampire with the name Griselda. Others are: Graciene, Graegleah, Graham, Granger, Grantland, Granville, Gratiana, Grayson, Grazina, Greeley, Gregor, Gregoria, Gregorio, Greguska, Grendel, Gresham, Gretal, Greyfell, Griffin, Griffith, Griflet, Grimbold, Grimhild, Grimhilda, Grimden, Grisandole, Grisham, Griswald, Griswalda, Griswold, Grover, Gruffudd, Gryflet, Gryphon, & so many more.
     
  12. Toritoes
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    Toritoes Member

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    Im writing a vampire novel, the boy is called Tristan and the girl Skyla. Ive always liked names that are a bit uncommon :)
     
  13. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I usually look for meanings of names so that way I can use that name for characters.
    All my characters have meanings.
    If I want a character's name to mean Baby Bird I go online to babynames.com and look up the meaning Baby Bird and look around for a name that is unique rare and means Baby Bird.
     
  14. ken90004
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    ken90004 Member

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    I found a "best baby names" book at the book store, on clearnance for $2. They have some very unique names and their meaning. I've found some great names going this route.
     
  15. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I, too, am generally against overly-symbolic names. At birth, there's no telling who/what someone will turn out to be. But I also know that names can shape a person over time. Names often cause a person to slip into certin stereotypes / personas. A nerdy name may make that person more likely to become a nerd. A threatening name may cause him/her to become a bully or rebel.

    I'm not saying the name is the end-all to shaping a child, but it has a tendency to point them in a particular direction. Sometimes it can have the opposite effect, causing the child to rebel against the stereotypes attached to his/her title. No matter what the parents' intended meaning was, the name can have all sorts of unintentional effects.
     
  16. Sylvester
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    Sylvester Member

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    Cruelity

    I heard about a family named Daub who named their son Zippidy do. Zippy for short.

    The news article said he can change it when he get's older.
     

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