1. Paradigm-shift
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    Paradigm-shift Member

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    Two Character with the same first name

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Paradigm-shift, Jan 21, 2013.

    Ok I have a little problem, well not really a problem. It's just dam annoying, I have two Characters with the same first name. Nither of which can be changed, do to the fact that 1 character "Rudolf Hess" is a strong historical Character, the 2nd Rudolf Sebottendorf is a Historical Character (while not as strong as Hess). I've been into the meat of my story for months now and have come to a point where both men have a long chapter together. Later i get rid of Rudolf Hess, so I guess I'm asking for suggestion on how to go about writing a conversation between these two men with other involved here and there with them having the same first name, other then the obvious of using the last names over and over and over which I find annoying to write and read.
     
  2. Zypher
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    Zypher Active Member

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    Though not in a story, I have this issue in real life. I have a good friend that has the exact same first name as myself. What my friends have done to stop both of us answering is using our last names. So that is a possiblilty. That or perhaps you could make up a nic name for one of your characters that you could use in this instance. One question that I would have is do your characters get along? Because if not then one of them could use a name that would be viewed by the other as annoying but not enough to cause issue which would create extra personality. If they are friends then maybe one of them has a nic name due to a past action or an inside joke. "Hows it goin slim" for example. Please forgive my grammatical errors, but hopefully I have helped.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then spell Rudolf and Rudolph differently and take slight artistic licence to write your story. Nobody will mind.
     
  4. Question
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    Question Active Member

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    Ignore
     
  5. Khaelmin
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    Khaelmin Active Member

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    Just use the last names. At least for Hess, because it sounds cooler. Sebottendorf is not an easy name to say, or read, for that matter, so keep calling him Rudolf.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You say these are historical figures. I presume you have done some research, so you should know that people didn't use their first names much in the old days. I wouldn't use the "Rudolph" at all unless it was for a love scene or something where the characters might perhaps use first names. Even brothers or husbands and wives didn't always address each other using first names, or there was a completely different name used, because most people had at least 2 given names.
     
  7. NellaFantasia
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    NellaFantasia Member

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    I've read numerous books where a character was referred to by their last name instead of their first name. If it were me, I'd use Hess instead of Rudolf for the one character. It's simple, easy to remember and it can easily define the two characters.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you use the last name for one character, you really need to use the other's last name, as well... that said, i do agree this is your best [only] way to keep from confusing the reader...
     
  9. Amin
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    Amin Member

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    The nick names given to one or both from the character could work but, otherwise, the technique of using the order of who speaks between two people takes away the need for "said Rudolph" as the reader can follow. With the third person in the conversation, you could either have them address each other (only having to say who spoke if it wasn't the person addressed) or by conventionally stating who spoke anyway. If the characters have different enough personalities, it could be their way of talking that shows the reader who spoke. Perhaps one uses slang or has a catch-phrase.
     
  10. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    To avoid confusion, I agree with the others members that suggest using the surnames.
     
  11. Matt Z
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    Matt Z New Member

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    I agree with this, surnames would probably suit the story better and remove the confusion too.
     
  12. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except surnames, you can always use their physical features, their age, their position in society, their relation to each other, their position in the room, the thing they wear, etc to distinguish between characters... that said, I noticed that von Sebottendorf was 20 years older than Hess, and probably 60 kg heavier :) ...and his real name was Adam! He was exempted of military service, while Hess was an Iron Cross corporal, etc... There are many ways to address a character in a dialogue, using names is not necessarily the best.
     
  13. Paradigm-shift
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    Bulbird I have to ask did you know that off the top of your head or did you do some research. I knew most of that after moderate research into my people, but I didn't know His real name was Adam (are you talking about Sebottendorf or Hess). I'm interested to know were you saw that.
     

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