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Naming characters
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Mercureality



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 18
purely as a reader,  Reply with quote  

I have no problem with complicated names, as long as it feels 'right' for the character, the theme of the story/book I'm reading, and the over-all feel of the setting.

CM's choice of names is generally pleasing to me - often, his choices are nicknameable, or already nicknames to begin with. Particularly for important characters; so an immediate sense of comfort and familiarity is generated. On the other hand, Chris also writes stories that drift latitudes from ordinary, so the occasional inclusion of a character like MF, or the Wongs, etc. is fine. It kicks the reader in the shins and reminds him that this world is a little absurd, just like the one the reader lives in. I like it.

I've also read books and stories where the names for the characters were so contrived, I felt physically ill. Not ever hero or heroine has a 'cool' sounding name. In fact, cool names don't happen that often. In fact, most people don't even think of themselves in the context of their last name. Let the last name be an afterthought - because it is, most of the time. Let it be mentioned sometime later in the text, if ever. Read lots of romance novels, and never name any of your characters after any character from a romance novel, unless your intention is to satirize romance novels.

I like symbolism in names, as long is it is subtle and evocative. While I'd probably give a feeble little chuckle at a story about a guy named Richard 'Dick' Rockard - a hard boiled private eye who wrestles with erectile difficulties, ultimately it would probably grate on my sensibilities. Then again maybe it could work. I'm babbling - I have multisyllabic sea creatures to nuzzle lovingly into the folds of my brain, I'll be back when I have something useful to contribute.
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Post Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:05 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
Re: purely as a reader,  Reply with quote  

Mercureality wrote:
I like symbolism in names, as long is it is subtle and evocative. While I'd probably give a feeble little chuckle at a story about a guy named Richard 'Dick' Rockard - a hard boiled private eye who wrestles with erectile difficulties, ultimately it would probably grate on my sensibilities. Then again maybe it could work. I'm babbling - I have multisyllabic sea creatures to nuzzle lovingly into the folds of my brain, I'll be back when I have something useful to contribute.


I always thought "Dick Cannon" would make a good private eye name. He was my technical manager at a former job Smile
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Post Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:47 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mercureality



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 18
'Dick Cannon'  Reply with quote  

*cackles madly* See, now that's an excellent private eye name.
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Post Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:01 pm   View user's profile Send private message
KatarinaNavane



Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 908
Location: Athens Ohio
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Fantasy-ish names are fun, and there's 2 strategies that I can think of. First is to go through mythology and classical literature and w/e and use stuff from that. Second is to just string random sylables together into something that sounds vaguely word-like.
My screenname/pseudonym, Katarina Ariadne Navane was formed by a combination of those methods. Katarina's from Taming of the Shrew, Ariadne's from Greek mythology, and Navane was a random sylable name. Actually, my letters just happened to say "Navane" once in a Scrabble game and, I actually remembered to write down the gibberish for later use as a name. Actually, as it turns out, Navane is a word. It's a medication for schitzophrenia. interesting.
Anyway, if you're stumped at coming up with fantasy names, try playing a game of scrabble. I also got a whole bunch of fantasy names when I got bored in Math class and started staring at the ugly carpeting and trying to make words out of the random patterns. Some were crap, but some were good. Banging on a keyboard doesn't work as well tho, cuz the letters are all clustered and the middle of the keyboard doesn't have enough vowels.
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Post Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:27 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
conspiracies unlimited



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 4281
Location: California
Soap Opera Names  Reply with quote  

Here's a fun little thing... I once had a chat with some people and they suggested that the way writters come up with names for soap opera characters was to take the actor's real middle name and use it as the characters first name... and take the street they live on and use it as the character's last name... This is obviously not how they come up with names, but it sounded kind of fun, so I have been using a slightly modified version of this formula in creating my character's names and personalities
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Post Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:00 pm   View user's profile Send private message
hdm



Joined: 04 Nov 2004
Posts: 138
Location: Eau Claire, WI
 Reply with quote  

Hey CU,

I heard something like that, except it's your porno name:

First name= your childhood pet's name
Last name= street you grew up on

So my name would be Sasha Omaha

Hokay.

Post Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:13 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

hdm wrote:
Hey CU,

I heard something like that, except it's your porno name:

First name= your childhood pet's name
Last name= street you grew up on

So my name would be Sasha Omaha

Hokay.


We did this once and noone believes me, but our boxer's name was Duke, and my first childhood home was on Seaman Road.

That's right, Duke Seaman is my porn name. It's like I'm in the wrong business.

Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:54 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
 Reply with quote  

Quote:
From Chris:That's right, Duke Seaman is my porn name.


You know the script would have to be some weird medieval thing, and, instead of being "Duke Seaman" you'd end up as "The Duke of Semen", right?
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Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:09 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
Hillary



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
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I don't know where to start talking about the awesomeness that is Duke Seaman!

Totally needs to be a character in your next book, Chris.

I would be Rosebud Thayer. Wow. I feel all swanky now.

Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:33 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lloydface



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 459
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Duke Seaman. It NEEDS to be in the next one, that name is crying out for it.

I would be Darth Dunsink. Sounds like a super-villain alter ego.

Darth was our first goldfish (I had a liking for Darth Vader) and I grew up on Dunsink Lane.
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Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:48 pm   View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lloydface



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 459
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Duke Seaman. It NEEDS to be in the next one, that name is crying out for it.

I would be Darth Dunsink. Sounds like a super-villain alter ego.

Darth was our first goldfish (I had a liking for Darth Vader) and I grew up on Dunsink Lane.
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Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:48 pm   View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Lib



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 3423
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I'd be Winky Church. Maybe out of a Dicken's tale.
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Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:59 pm   View user's profile Send private message
John



Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 521
Location: Massachusetts
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You guys are going to be jealous of mine;

Bubbles Maryland
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Post Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:11 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
jeannie



Joined: 14 Apr 2004
Posts: 71
Location: Vancouver
 Reply with quote  

My name would be Stubby Greenwood. Hmmm....
j

Post Sun Jan 09, 2005 5:47 pm   View user's profile Send private message
KatarinaNavane



Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 908
Location: Athens Ohio
 Reply with quote  

I'm Alex Rivoli
or Becky Latamore
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Post Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:56 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
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