1. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Would using italics be appropriate here?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by BFGuru, Aug 21, 2011.

    One of my MC is named after one of the dominant deities of my land. Because the religion is so engrained in the society, this deity is referenced often in thought and conversation. I got to thinking this could be confusing to my reader to continually read the name and have to try and figure out who is being spoken of...deity or human.

    So my thought is to use normal text for my MC, but reference all the deities when they are named in italics. Would this work? Or is there a better way to differentiate it?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Inappropriate use.

    You have to make the names stand out other ways. If your story is that full of names, playing around with italics wion't clarify anything, It will just make a confusing sequence of names into a messy and confusing sequence of names.

    Make the reader familiar with the names of the deities, as you would make the names of characters meaningful. But no matter what you do, too many names will confuse the reader.
     
  3. Admin
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    You could always write the dietie names in the native tongue, and the MC's name in English? This could be a way for it to still be the dietie name, but the reader could tell the difference as long as you clerified it at some point in the beginning of the story.
     
  4. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Hmmm...pondering how I can work that. It's somewhat essential to the story line that the MC have the same name...I will have to think. You guys are good for making me think. ;)
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Consider how the people in the story can tell the difference.

    If I were to write a story about a man named Jesus Hernando, and there was a lot of discuusiion going on about Jesus of Nazareth, there could well be confusion in conversation as well (especially if the discussion of the Lord used the Hispanic pronunciation).

    Context would be important to them as well to avoid confusion.

    Of course, such confusion can also be used for comedic effect.
     
  6. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I contemplated that...I'd probably have to submit a portion of dialogue to ask how to rework it, but I'm not confident in that passage and actually scrapped most of that aspect for now (may reintroduce it, but I totally redid my first chapter, so I have it sitting there in case I still want to use it). I also am not ready for strangers to read "me" yet. It must pass the best friend test first. Since she'll be brutally honest, if necessary, without actually killing my spirit.

    I had two of my MCs talking and since they are close to each other, it would be clear who they are referencing when discussing either or. Saying "ABC how do you feel about this" is different than saying "Maybe if we sacrifice (this that or the other thing) ABC will have mercy on us."

    Did that even make sense? If not, just send me to bed so I can think on a well rested brain.
     
  7. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    That is one great idea.
     
  8. Admin
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    Kinda, but my brain is fried, so we should both just go to bed.
     
  9. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    To the mattresses!

    *Faceplant*

    Zzzzz
     
  10. LaurenM
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    Maybe when people are talking about the deities, people would say Lord So-and-so or Lady So-and-so, or some other title before their name that distinguishes their name from your MC? You could use Lord, Lady, The Great, Almighty, etc. There are all sorts of titles that you can use, if you want to go that path.
     

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