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In my historical spy thriller, there are five different characters named Miku that our protagonist has to fight. So initially, they're refered to as Idol Miku, Vampire Miku, etc. etc. etc. But then our narrator switches to calling each of them "Miku" in their respective fight scenes.

Sample:

Right at that moment, a girl with teal space buns and a black leather jacket swung on a rope and jumped onto the remains of the mammoth.
Street Performer Miku.
“So you came,” Miku said to KAFU and James. “You guys stand no chance against me.”

So, how am I supposed to refer to our Mikus? Because writing each Miku's full title is kind of cumbersome, and I'm worried that if I call all of them "Miku" it will get too confusing.

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  • Why are they all called Miku? What is their relation? Are they all variants of the same person (clones, different incarnations)? The answer will depend on that.
    – Ben
    Nov 13, 2023 at 20:06
  • Yes, it's because they're variants of the same person. They're all from different worlds and came together to destroy this one. Nov 13, 2023 at 20:28
  • Then I would call them with their epithets, as you have done: Idol Miku, Vampire Miku, Street Performer Miku etc.
    – Ben
    Nov 14, 2023 at 12:36
  • Expanding on what @Ben said, once you introduce the full title of the variant, you can simplify them to "Idol" or "Vampire/Vamp" or "Street Performer" or "Mime". If writing the title for readers to identify them is cumbersome, perhaps give them different names (Not all the Spider-Men in the Spider-Verse films are Peter Parker.).
    – hszmv
    Dec 13, 2023 at 20:28

1 Answer 1

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Two examples from literature come to mind. One is from Champions of the Force by Timothy Zahn (Star Wars legends) where

Luke Skywalker fights a clone of himself called Luuke. The villain was also a clone, and his name was spelled slightly different than the original. (Jorus vs. Joruus)

If you don't want the story spoiled (if so, don't read the above text), let it suffice to say that spelling the name of the variant character different than the primary name is one method.

The second example is from A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle, where

Meg is confronted with three copies of Mr. Jenkins and has to determine which is real (Jenkins 1,Jenkins 2, Jenkins 3)

In this one, the variants are numbered to tell them apart.

Based on this, I have four total suggestions to differentiate them:

  1. Change the spelling of the name(Miku/Mikuu, Mikku, Miiku, etc.)
  2. Give each name a number (Miku1, Miku2, etc.)
  3. Don't change to calling them Miku--keep the names as either Idol Miku/Vampire Miku, or Idol/Vampire.
  4. Don't name them all Miku (of course, I don't know the plot of your story, so if there's a good reason, disregard this option)

Additionally, if your protagonist has to combat them all separately (that is, there are never two Mikus in the same place), then it would probably be fine to just refer to them all individually as Miku (after clarifying which one, of course).

Hope this helps!

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