1. Lalis
    Offline

    Lalis New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brazil

    Surnames

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lalis, Nov 3, 2009.

    Heeelp! LOL, major surname issues. They have to be just perfect, and they're just not clicking for me. I've tried everything - I even looked up cool science names at a reptile forum I'm part of - but nothing seems to fit. Can you help me come up with three surnames?

    Well, the first one I'm having trouble with is - guess - my main character, whose name is Lohanna Thelotornis. She's a vampire, by the way (I can feel most of you have stopped reading when you saw that word). Thelotornis is the name of a species of dangerous snake; this one I might keep, but it's still not working for me.

    The second one is sort of the reason the story started; he's one of the main males (who does not hook up with Lohanna, if you're wondering. He's her sister's boyfriend). His current name is Viktor Crossbound, but it feels very, very wrong. Does it feel wrong to you too?

    Last but not least, there's Mary Ornatta (a species of poisonous, feisty spider, in case you're wondering). I'm not particularly worried about her because she's not too major; basically she's the Lana Weinberger to my Mia Thermopolis - and if you've ever read Princess Diaries, you'll get my drift.

    Please give me any suggestions you can! I'm not changing the first names (except maybe Mary's), but I really need opinions on the surnames.
     
  2. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    I guess its just my opinion, but none of those names sound wrong to me at all. I've certainly seen a lot worse on this site...but yeah, I like that its a little bit fantastic but they;re not ridiculously overdone like a lot of amateur fantasy authors tend to do. I say keep them...
     
  3. Fedora
    Offline

    Fedora Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    24
    Don't worry about it. No one here is going to call the Surname Police on you. I agree with Arron; they're original but not too out there. I quite like "Viktor Crossbound," and "Mary Ornatta" is pretty good, as well. As for the vampire, I think it's a bit too extreme. Try to give her a more normal first name.
     
  4. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Maybe it's just me, but the surname Thelotornis sounds very Greek to me--I mean, that's fine if you want people to make a connection like that but not so good if you want a more generic surname. The Crossbound surname gives the impression of someone very contained, introverted and set in their ways--it must be the 'bound' that makes me think that.
     
  5. Lalis
    Offline

    Lalis New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brazil
    Thanks everyone!

    Arron, I'm really relieved that I'm the only one who thinks they're kind of wrong xD

    Fedora, Lohanna's first name is absolutely not changing, but it's nice to know people's opinions :) And I agree, her last name is a bit too fantastic.

    Mad, Thelotornis is actually Latin, but I think you're right... As for Crossbound, I thought it sounded pretty strong. It's not by me, actually; a friend of mine (the one who inspired Leah from guardian dragon, if any of you remembers it) made it up for one of her characters and she let me have it.

    Thanks again, everyone, and keep those opinions coming!
     
  6. TragicJuliet
    Offline

    TragicJuliet Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona, US
    I think it has to flow for you, you are the one who will spend ultimately the most time with these characters, if every time you look at "Bobby Dotittle" you laugh or cringe, maybe that's not the best name for him. I like Lohanna as a first name, but i've always liked original first names. Surnames will really only be used once or twice unless you know it makes it big, and if it does then you would want a last name you might be able to relate to the readers, Lohanna's last name totally flew over my head and I probably wouldn't be able to even pretend to know how to pronounce it =/
     
  7. OpposableThumbsBoy
    Offline

    OpposableThumbsBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    EST
    I really like Mary Ornatta. It sounds like an actual name, but still an interesting one. And if it actually has a meaning, well, that's even better.

    Viktor Crossbound does sound a bit weird to me. The name "Crossbound" in a book about vampires just seems a little much, what with all the cross connotations in vampire lore. Is there any particular reason he's named that? If not, I would suggest an eastern European surname—pick any one you like. If you can find one that has some meaning that you like, go for it. Hell, you could even translate "cross bound" into Ukrainian or Russian and use that. I say this because the
    "Viktor" first name suggests an eastern European ethnic background, as most other cultures use Victor or another variant (i.e. Vítor or Víctor).

    Next, Lohanna Thelotornis. I would definitely change this one. The first name is a little unusual, but fine. It sounds good. Thelotornis sounds awkward, though. While it may have a meaning that's significant to the character, most readers won't recognize this—I had no idea what "thelotornis" meant before you told me. It'll just be a long, unwieldy name that sounds kind of stereotypically dark and fantastic. I don't have any suggestions for what it should be changed to, but I wouldn't keep it at Thelotornis.

    Like TragicJuliet mentioned, though, surnames generally don't come up too often, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Just my 2 cents. Actually, whoops, that was a dime, sorry. Could I get some change, please? :p
     
  8. Lalis
    Offline

    Lalis New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brazil
    LOL!

    Thanks everyone! Lohanna's last name was Crayford until almost the end of the story, so I just changed it back. It sounds more neat this way, doesn't it?

    Viktor isn't a vampire, OpposableThumbsBoy (by the way, cool nickname!). He's actually an angel - the story has all kinds of magical creatures in it. Does it sound better now?

    And finally, Mary's name is staying put. Glad that you all like it!

    Thanks very much, people :)
     
  9. jonathan hernandez13
    Offline

    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    5,040
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Mount Vernon New York
    I think youre just thinking about it too hard, I actually like that the surnames are based on poisonous snakes, Im positive that some reptile lovers will pick up on that, Ornatta sounds very scientific, but then again Im a bug person.

    When it comes to names I prefer exotic or unusual ones that are unique because common names bore me, but sometimes common names fit the story, and the story always comes first (one of my fav characters is John Carter of the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, one of the most common, WASPy names there is).

    I wouldnt worry about it too much, it sounds like you have the right idea;)
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,014
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    The only one that doesn't work for me is Viktor Crossbound.

    Two reasons that are completely personal, thus opinions, and you know the old saying about opinons...

    1) Names with a K that should be a C in languages written with a Latin alphabet and where the K spelling does not become obligatory because the language does not allow the C to make the K sound... *deep breath* No. No like. Can't pay me to like. It's like seeing magic with a K at the end, or worse, with a Y instead of an I, or *shudder shudder twitch twitch* spelled magyk.

    *just threw up in my mouth a little bit*

    2) Crossbound? No. The compound word sounds a little forced.


    I like very much the other two names.

    Lohanna Thelotornis has a Mediterranean flavor. I like Mediterranean very much, thank you. And Mary Ornatta is obviously a curvaceous Latina. Either way, the two names sound natural even though they have little hidden meanings for you. They actually sound like names.
     
  11. Operaghost
    Offline

    Operaghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    The names sound fine to me but the spelling of magic as magyck is actually correct it is only in recent years that the spelling shnaged and adpated to the one more commonly used today, even now however those which practice the craft still prefer the original version as it separates it form the illusionist style of magic popularised by Blaine and the ilk
     
  12. StrangerWithNoName
    Offline

    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    the waste lands, somewhere in Europe
    I'm having the same problem, even more serious, for my novel,that it's supposed to be sci-fi, thereofre I cannot use "ethnic names" like yours.

    Some of my results are prett lame and I'm even ashamed to share them on this board...
     
  13. Operaghost
    Offline

    Operaghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know, whilst there is a lot said for names which mean something to the plot, this doens;t have to be the case, whats wrong with normal sounding names for a fantasy or scifi? after all, the name Harry potter was pretty normal and incospicuous until someone decided to turn him into a wizard and as for sci-fi, james Kirk, is also a fairly normal name, (ok so the tiberious part is unusal but you get my point) at the end of the day if the chracters are human, there shoudl be no reason why they can;t have normal names, and even if not human, there shoudl be no reason why the names have to be unsual, think about names from some our many cultures, some of which sound exotic and ar eunpronouncable to many of us, but iwithin their own culture may be as common as say john smith.
     

Share This Page