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  1. East

    East Member

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    J.C. Please don't!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by East, Jan 17, 2011.

    A polite request, that if you are considering using the initials J.C. for your hero, please don't. It's a cliché.

    Carry on.
     
  2. Unit7

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    How is it a cliche? I actually googled JC and I even did a wikipedia search. It showed exactly 1 fictional character called JC from a computer game.

    What exactly makes the nickname JC cliche?
     
  3. Ellipse

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yea, would you mind explaining this request?

    I mean, it's not like you own a copyright on a name for a character. And J.C. isn't a common name anyway.
     
  4. FrankABlissett

    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Hey - it wasn't his fault congress was so hard to work with. He DID set the groundwork for short-circuiting the recession after all, and has done a lot of good work since leaving office. I, personally, see no reason to honor him through a character's name.

    -Frank
     
  5. Kaij

    Kaij Senior Member

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    The name J.C. is a cliché...?

    Time for everyone to start using J.D. then!
     
  6. Anonym

    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Lolwut? :)
     
  7. Mallory

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    is this a satire of all the "is this cliche?" posts?
     
  8. WastelandSurvivor

    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    I don't believe East means you should not name your characters "JC" but you should not give them names that, when shortened to initials, are "JC". This probably stems from characters like John Coffee from "The Green Mile" whose initials are "JC" in order to signify a connection to Jesus Christ, as I understood it.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sure there are many characters with those initials who aren't meant to signify a link to Christ. If you have a character with those initials, I wouldn't sweat it, honestly.
     
  10. The Degenerate

    The Degenerate Active Member

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    My initials are J.C. Does this mean I'm a walking cliche now?
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Either that, or you're the savior I guess :D
     
  12. marina

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't think of J.C. in any novel I've read, other than The Green Mile. John Coffey--JC--is very much a messiah-like character, and it didn't come off as cliche or cheesy because there was never any reference to it in the book. It was just something there for the reader to notice (I'm sure King's use of that name, given its initials, was purposeful).
     
  13. ManOfSteel

    ManOfSteel Member

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    John Connor doesn't approve of this thread. :)
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Neither does John Carter of Mars.
     
  15. Kaij

    Kaij Senior Member

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    Or Jackie Chan...
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. sidtvicious

    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know it's been used in a few pieces as a reference to Jesus Christ, but yeah i still don't see considering it a cliche.
     
  17. The Degenerate

    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Yeah, he pokes fun at himself about this in On Writing.
     
  18. UberNoodle

    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    But he is the Messiah.
     
  19. goldhawk

    goldhawk Senior Member

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    Those types of stories are known as Shaggy God stories. And yes, they're a cliché.
     
  20. HorusEye

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Alluding to a mythical figure's name doesn't qualify as a shaggy god story, rather it qualifies as a cheap and lazy way of adding "depth" and "interpretations" into a work.

    Shaggy god stories must explain supernatural phenomena with science fiction. Star Gate, 2001, etc, do that.
     
  21. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Your username alludes to a mythical figure :D

    More seriously, though, it is like any other admonition in writing. Generally, something like this is a bad idea because it is handled clumsily, or is a lazy way of approaching the story, as you say. But that doesn't mean it is always the case. If a writer can do this in a way that works, then fine. And of course there are plenty of characters with J.C. initials that aren't intended to, and do not, allude to any mythical or historical figures.
     
  22. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nine times out of ten naming a character after a mythological figure isn't deliberate and probably plays to the interests of the author. I don't think someone naming a character John Cobbley is automtically thinking Jesus. Enough parents name their children with intials without thinking - I doubt William Cobbley's parents really considered it.

    LOL I have a Socrates in my current work there is a suggestion he may have been the inspiration behind Plato's work but that was never my intention originally his name just made it possible when I chose Plato as one of the historical figures stranded on my world.

    Just like the fact my evil characters being named Lucy, Lucinda, Lukas, Luis and Evelyn are not intentional :) Izanami as my Eve character was intentional.

    However I am sure if I am ever be good enough to be discussed in a Literature class my name choices will be dissected - Like my choice of Uncle Tom for the brother of the King who is a servant trapped in a job. I chose it because Thomas means twin and he is the King's twin brother.
     
  23. Ellipse

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I disagree. I like using the names of mythological characters because there is meaning in a name. If a character is named Gilgamesh you automatically expect great things of that character whether he is the hero or villain of the story. If his name is Samson, you don't imagine a scrawny little guy. If your character's name is Medusa the reader instantly becomes wary of him/her. If the character's name is Judas, they definately won't think the best of him right off the bat. :)
     
  24. HorusEye

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    And overall I wouldn't imagine the story to be more than a tired cliche. This stuff has just been done to death and it's a crutch for writers who don't want to build characters from scratch, because basically what you're doing is taking something pre-existing and ride along on that, instead of making something new. Name the MC Judas and make him a great guy, now that would be refreshing.
     
  25. HorusEye

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not an allusion. I am his eye, and report everything on these forums directly upwards, as for some reason unknown to me, it holds great importance for the fate of humankind. :eek:
     

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