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I'm writing a story where one of the characters is taken in by three other characters, but they don't know the first character's name. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to write this scene, since they can't refer to the first character by name.

Noah couldn't help but nervously glance over his shoulder at the unconscious (person??) in his backseat. He didn't know why he felt like the had to look, it wasn't like the kid was just going to disappear.

Siloh sat on his right, Thomas on his left, and both were wrestling to buckle the middle seatbelt over the ______

(I know this scene looks rough, it's my first draft.)

They aren't going to know his name until at least two more chapters, and I have no idea what to refer to him as until then. How should I handle this?

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3 Answers 3

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Maybe add this situation into the story. As the 3 friends discuss what to do, one suggests a name so they don't keep calling him "the Kid".

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"Boy" seems a good start.

Noah couldn't help but nervously glance over his shoulder at the unconscious boy in his backseat.

Obviously you will want some more variety. In many cases you can use "child" as alternative, or "kid" (as you actually did in your own question). In specific situations "guest" may also be appropriate.

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Use a nickname based on the character's superficial physical characteristics: "Red" or "Floppy" or some such.

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    This works for my case, great idea. Feb 1 at 22:13

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