1. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Two Characters - No Names/Labels/Tags

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Acanthophis, Feb 7, 2016.

    So I'm writing this short story for class, and it is compromised of two characters. The problem I'm having is that neither character has a name, or a gender, or anything which distinguishes them from the other. In my mind I simply refer to them as "entity 1 & 2", which does not translate well into written fiction.

    As of now I'm contemplating using something like:

    "Blah blah blah" the first voice spoke.
    "Blah blah!" the second voice responded with anger.

    I'm not a big fan of how it looks - something about it just feels very wrong. Has anyone else ever had a similar problem? Does anyone know of a way I can get around this?
     
  2. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Is there a reason you can't name them? Even a gender neutral name like Taylor?
     
  3. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I have used dialogue when I didn't give the characters names, but I always identified them. "The blonde one replied," or "The shopkeeper said," etc.
    If you use 1st person POV then you can say, "I said" and "s/he said."

    If you wanted to go BLaw it would read:
    The party of the first part addressed the party of the second part stating, "Blah, Blah, Blah."
    The party of the second part responded to the party of the first parts charge by reiterating, "Blah, blah," as was previously mentioned in Chapter 3.
     
  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Mmm you could simplify it to 'the first' and 'the second' but I don't know if you'd really like that better than 'the first/second voice'.
     
  5. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    It's a short story (about 4 - 6 pages), pretty much about the creation and recreation of 'everything' (a more encompassing term than Universe). The entire story is pretty much a conversation about one entity constantly recreating 'everything' in search of perfection, and the other entity constantly bringing up the fact that there is no perfection. There's a bit more to it than that; it's pretty spiritual. There are no physical beings to describe, no genders or ages, no describable features. They simply are. This may not be a good idea from a literary standpoint, but the story isn't about the two characters, it's really made to get people thinking about cyclical nature.

    @izzybot

    The First and The Second sounds a lot better without having 'voice' at the end. I'll try it out.
     
  6. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Hmm . . . This sounds like a fun challenge. Digging into my Thesaurus . . .

    Entity 1: The one who seeks perfection
    Name: Perfection Seeker, Altering Entity, Impeccability Maker

    Entity 2: There is no perfection
    Name: Static State, Crux Essence, Deficiency Abider

    Or you could just call them the Alpha and the Omega.
     
  7. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    That is your answer!!!
    Name one of them Creation and the other Recreation.
    Or Originator and Regenerator.
     
  8. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I don't think the solution is to just think of names/titles OP can use; they could probably think of something like that on their own. I'm pretty sure the point was how to distinguish characters/voices without describing or naming them in any way.
     
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  9. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    It may sound silly, but I did a short story a while back involving a delusional paranoid episode where the only dialogue was between the main character and his delusion. I did the standard 'new character speech-new paragraph' thing, but the MC's lines were aligned to the left and the delusion's lines were aligned to the right.

    The whole thing was a bit trippy so it didn't really hurt the readability (i dont think) much and did show there was something unique about those lines.
     
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  10. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Thanks for the help everyone, but I don't know what the hell in doing with this story, so it's being put on hold.

    Maybe I'll return some day.
     
  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This may be a necro-thread by now, but...

    Asimov has something similar in the Foundation trilogy, where he names one "voice" Preem Palver (which roughly translates/transliterates as First Speaker).

    If you want a different language, Ernst Sprecher & Zweite?

    Or name them after elements...perhaps the alchemical elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, rather than Hydrogen, Oxygen, etc.
     
  12. Holden LaPadula
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    Holden LaPadula Member

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    I understand your problem: you would run out of "phrases" to call them. Try gender-neutral names, like Sam and Sean. I read a novel where the protagonist is genderless and wakes up in a different body every morning. The writer named the character "A." It's doable!

    Love the concept!
     
  13. Eric Steiner
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    Eric Steiner New Member

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    Maybe the being that is striving for perfection can have a more eloquent/philosophical voice, and the destructive being speaks in a more angsty/sarcastic tone?
     
  14. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    One of my favorite novels, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy has two main characters that are never named. They are the man and the boy, father and son, and that's about as detailed as it gets as far as outright naming them.

    It'll be tricky to pull off, but has been accomplished before.
     
  15. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Likewise there's also a film Alien Visitor in which there are only two characters in the whole thing. They have no name and are simple called "the man" and "she". It works.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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