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Naming characters
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palmer



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
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Simba Northdale -- don't think I'll be using that anytime soon.

Post Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:02 am   View user's profile Send private message
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
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"Captain Hindley"

I think the last name needs some work. How about if I use my first US residence street? "Captain Walnut" Getting better... If I go to my current locale, I'm "Captain Westwood." If I move to Hardwood Drive, that ought to do it.

Why would anyone live on Semen Street?
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Post Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:56 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
conspiracies unlimited



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 4281
Location: California
Funny you should mention porn...  Reply with quote  

I think some names just scream "future career"...

I swear to god on a triskit, this is a real name -- Brandi Buttram

No joke...
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Post Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:05 pm   View user's profile Send private message
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
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I'd be Baron Avenida De La Herradura. That's a fucktarded porn name.
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Post Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
y



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 3858
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I love this one! Except either of my names suck (and not in a porn like fashion)

Harvey St. Paul (Harvey was my first pet: a hamster)

or

Fluffy Stafford (Fluffy was a bunny my dad bought me)

Take your pick.

Post Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
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I'd pick Fluffy Stafford. It suits you Y.
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Post Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
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I utilize a baby book on occassion in recent years, paging through it until a particular name strikes my fancy for whatever character I'm currently creating. I never used to but I've been writing since the third grade. After thirteen years, you have a tendency to find it harder to drum up names you haven't used several times already.

I rarely choose names for the purpose of symbolism more than character approriateness in sound, but I once referenced my lead's name in something to discover how oddly appropriate it was-his name meant "people's victory" and "helper of mankind." Having a major role to play (the word destiny, anyone?) in the future of the world, he is in fact both those things. Unintentional but nonetheless ironic.

Fantasy and science fiction names are never easy but I just toy around until I find something that works. Usually I'll start with a root name (i.e. an existing name) and morph it this way and that until it works. Or just go with real names that are more Celtic, British, European, etc (for Earth based fantasy characters)-such as Bronwyn in Brothers Grimm (who is actually named after a cat I had in High School, interestingly enough.)

I never start writing something without already knowing my lead's names. As a writer once side, "a character doesn't really come to life until they have the right name." In my novel (a series of conceptually) Lesser Gods, I created my needed character personality and roles and then wrote down whatever names first came out of my brain. Kellie Chase, Curtis Keith Renney, Chrys, AJ Stratton, Gabrielle Simon, etc. They came out really nicely in my opinion and I always do just try to go with instinct but its not always overly productive unless I push. For instance, I gave a character the middle name Alan recently, initially spelling it Allen-something seemed wrong and I went back and typed it Alan instead. Then it seemed right. For whatever reason. I trust my muse more often than not (though it sometimes requires mining to find the diamond its trying to give me.)

I keep a mental list of names I like when I hear them and use them when the opportunity arises. I have a friend named Samantha Nations and I used her last name in something I created recently. Two of Whisper in the Dark's lead protagonists are named after friends of mine as well (Hillary and Alisha), which is something I do on occassion.

Characters aren't usually referred to by last name in my works but I'm not always concerned with them being friendly to readers so much as them being true to themselves. Sometimes they're simply more serious than that (though it's true, usually these are cops, government agents, or some other professional type individual.) As long as the readers are capable of liking them, I don't have a problem with using their last name instead of first. In one of my stories, a character is addressed consistently by his last name (Rayne) and it provides the witticism in the title.

On the other hand, Max in When it Rains is addressed as Max (a nickname based on her last name, Maxwell) by almost everyone in her life but one person calls her by her first name-her partner. It highlights the difference between the bond they share and that she shares with everyone else.

All in all, the process tends to be different in every case. Anyway, I think I'm rambling on a bit so I'll go for now.

Cheers,
Ryan

P.S. I've only had one male pet so I guess that would make me Pilgrim Main (what a messed up name, hmm?) or Pilgrim Clay when I was growing up (alternatives being Pilgrim Haas and Pilgrim Grey.)

Post Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:18 pm   
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Kate R  Reply with quote  

Phoenix Dominion. Doesn't that sound like a dominatrix?

Post Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:28 pm   
DanSRose



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 1034
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Zack 87 St.... hmm that doesn't quite work

I'm trying to write a short story about the neighborhood I live, and always have lived in. It's very very Italian (8 Italiian restaurants, 3 Italian bakeries and 1 speciality grocery, I've counted), a large number of German and Irish, and the rest are Jewish, with a small number of Phillipine. The major theme is Catholicism (expect us Jews), a small variation with an awesome Lutheran community.
The point of that was that if you meet someone and didn't catch their name, call them 'Mike', 'John', 'Anthony', or 'Chris', and you'll have a 75-25 chance of getting a response. In the story, there are 3 johns, 5 mikes, 4 chrisses, and 2 anthonies, labelled John #3, like that. The names all blend together, but that's the point.
The point of all that was that was the best names are right in front of you (like the suggestion of an anagram). Example: my calendar is of photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson (Henry, Carter, and a last name Bresson). Or author names: Elliot Hester (awesome travelogue writer and awesome name).
Anyway, that's what I do.
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Post Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:15 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
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