Questions tagged [naming]

Questions about creating and using names.

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How do I write about a character with no name?

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, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
38 views

How to list complex Spanish names in Last + First order in an index?

I am writing a book that covers Latin American history, but is written in English. There are many Spanish names. Here I've listed some examples, and marked their surnames in bold: Francisco “Pancho” ...
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  • 185
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Should I use real world names for specific objects in my fantasy world based on history? [duplicate]

I'm in planning stages of a war fantasy story that is based on specific historical events in Burma, and I've kind of hit a wall when thinking about how close to make the fantasy world to the real ...
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4 votes
2 answers
123 views

When is it better to use a generic term rather than a specific title when referring to fantasy elements in worldbuilding?

Something I've noticed when worldbuilding fictional setting is that there are generally two distinct ways of referring to fantastical elements in a story. Using a general descriptor with broadly-...
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1 vote
4 answers
96 views

How can I distinguish between the same character from different universe with the same age?

How can I distinguish between the same character from different universe with the same age? There's a similar question that was asked not too long ago, but it involved time-travel. In this case, you ...
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0 votes
2 answers
153 views

Do you have to explain why you're using German and Latin names in a novel?

Do you have to explain why you're using German and Latin names in a novel? Let's say it's a fantasy setting and you use German and Latin names for your cities. Do you have to explain any of it, or you ...
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2 votes
3 answers
130 views

If a character has an unusual name, should I use nicknames and initials?

I'm writing a contemporary romance novel. The hero's name is Jovanne Diedi De Rossi. Other characters call him by a variety of nicknames, Jay, Jo, Jove, Dee... I chose to go with JD as the narrator, ...
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  • 23
1 vote
2 answers
268 views

Will using "Jeep" as a character name cause copyright issues?

As the title says I have a character named "Jeep" and I would like to know if it will cause any copyright problems for me or not. (P.S: By the way, it's for a script for a game.)
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  • 177
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Character name trademarks and copyrights [duplicate]

I've had some characters for a while for a comic I'm wanting to write, and until now I never thought about name copyright and trademarks. After looking it up, quite a few of my characters have the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
104 views

When is it better to use a real life versus a generic fast food company name when talking about a regional chain?

So, I know that questions regarding the usage of real-life company names has been brought up before, but this is a really weird example that I've run into that doesn't seem covered by the previous ...
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1 vote
4 answers
194 views

Should I use pre-existing names for mythical creatures, or make up my own names?

I'm researching about different mythical creatures for my book, and I want to use Nymphs in it, there are different types of them such as mountain nymphs and sea nymphs. In Greek mythology they have ...
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30 votes
13 answers
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Is there a more modern version of "Acme", as a common, generic company name?

Yes, Acme is an actual company name used by many real companies - bricks, bikes, food, real estate, etc. But more relevant to this point, it has also been used for ages for fictional purposes - not ...
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6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Should I name my characters based off of their personality? [duplicate]

So I'm writing a book, and in my book, I have a habit to name every one of my characters based on their personality. My main characters, Luna and Cyrus mean sun and moon, but not only are they soul ...
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1 vote
2 answers
99 views

In a Novel, What is the Proper Way to Refer to a Group by Their Self-Styled Label?

In a novel, what is the proper way in US English to refer to a group by the character's self-styled label? For example: In a novel, assume a group of software coders are working on an extremely ...
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0 votes
2 answers
143 views

My Middle Name Is Amara And I Want To Add It To My Book [duplicate]

I'm writing a series that has to do with vampires. My middle name is Amara, and I personally find that name really, really pretty. I wanted to add it to my book as the name of the main character but I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
70 views

Can I use the name of a character if they have totally different traits? [duplicate]

I'm writing a 7 book series and I wanted to use the name Roth in my series. However, I've seen this name used before in The Dark Elements series by Jennifer Armentrout. If my Roth is a totally ...
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11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Dealing with annoying quirks: Long names

In the story I am currently writing, the culture has an obsession with unique names for each individual person. For some poor saps, this means ridiculously long, quintuple-hyphenated names. Of course, ...
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12 votes
10 answers
2k views

Character with two names

I have a character with two names. Well not two distinct names, but rather two forms of the same name. My story is set in the later Roman Empire, but the characters are Romanized easterners living on ...
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  • 221
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

How late in the book editing process can you change a character’s name?

I am on the last edit before I send my book to beta readers for the first time, and I'm not sold on two of my characters names since they sound similar. One is Zeidric, with the "ei" ...
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  • 1,533
0 votes
5 answers
454 views

Can I use they/them pronouns in a medieval style fantasy novel?

I'm writing a book and I'd really love to include a person with they/them pronouns. However, the novel takes place in a sort of medieval style fantasy world, and I don't think anyone would have used ...
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2 votes
1 answer
188 views

Should a fantasy book only have fictional names?

My book is totally fantasy, full of made up countries and places, all with fictional names I created, but most of my characters have real names. Some are English, others are Asian, and some are even ...
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0 votes
1 answer
203 views

Two of my characters have the same names as two characters in a comic book/show. Should I change one of them?

So I'm currently starting to write this idea that I've had in my head for a long time and a couple of months ago, I realised that my main female characters have the same names as the main female ...
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0 votes
1 answer
118 views

Can one of my POV characters have the last name Thibodaux and get published?

I live in Louisiana, and names with french origins are very common here. So we all know how they're pronounced. I'm worried that a publisher will want me to change the name as it may not be so obvious ...
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2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Introducing secondary characters

The dilemma I find myself in is introducing secondary characters. Say, this character - a family relative - only exists fleetingly in my story. The first time I introduce the character, I mention it's ...
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9 votes
6 answers
2k views

Naming Side characters

So, basically, how do you name side characters? I get that you should give the main characters meaningful names, but finding suitable names for all of my characters is distracting and time-consuming. ...
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  • 388
3 votes
5 answers
176 views

How to show a character with multiple personalitites?

To preface this, I have seen the question multiple personalities characters speech in text and I feel that my question is different enough, to warrant a separate question. In my book, a character has ...
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1 vote
2 answers
209 views

Characters with apostrophe names

I have created a world, and one of the cultures has mainly apostrophe names - Vax'Ildan, Vex'Ahlia, Soih'Ym... How would this work grammatically - possessive and nicknames, in writing? (To forestall ...
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4 votes
1 answer
154 views

How can I learn about the aesthetic rules behind composing new names for things?

This is kind of difficult for me to describe, so let me lead with an example. Suppose I tell you there's a creature named Humbarum and another named Axratax. I'll ask you to start imagining what they'...
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2 votes
2 answers
332 views

Referring to groups and unnamed individuals from groups in a screenplay

The following extract is from a screenplay I'm writing. I could really use some advice on how to format it, particularly around referring to groups of people and an unnamed person from a group. Bob ...
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1 vote
3 answers
173 views

Would it be bad taste or honoring to name a Starship after historical places, ex: Pompeii?

In my book, Earth is gone and are all the counties and a majority of the population and cultures. A small population is left and they make a home on another planet. Now, just under 200 years later, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
62 views

The seller or the trader [closed]

I'm having difficulty choosing the seller or the trader when describing a character. He is selling things at a flea market and I personally prefer the seller, the sound of it. As English is not my ...
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  • 155
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

How do I refer to an unnamed protagonist in third-person narration? [duplicate]

I am writing a story about a man who doesn't know his past, or his name. I have to reveal his name later in the story. Until then, how do I refer to him or narrate his dialogues? My story is in third-...
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2 votes
2 answers
127 views

Character name change

In my story I am writing in third person, my character is kidnaped and finds out his real name towards the end. Do I start referring to him with his real name or the name I used previously?
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1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Hierarchies and Role Titles - How do come up with them

I'm looking to see what everyone has used in the past to come up with hierarchies and position titles for your novels. For example, instead of using "President", "Prime Minister", "Pope", "Bishop", ...
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20 votes
5 answers
10k views

Current events may have ruined a name I was going to use

In the middle-grade series I'm working on, there are two organizations: one led by the antagonist, and one that opposes them, which the protagonists join. In the setting of the series, a very small ...
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2 votes
3 answers
160 views

I'm having a bit of trouble fleshing out a character

I am having a bit of trouble getting into the head of one of my characters. He isn't one of the main protagonists, but he is allied with them. He is the husband of the leader of the group the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
201 views

Will naming a character Sindri make it too obvious that he isn't trustworthy? [closed]

I am writing a middle-grade series where a character is introduced early on as a supporter of the protagonists. He is enthusiastic at first, but grows more and more pessimistic as he realizes that ...
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1 vote
3 answers
228 views

Thinking About Fantasy Names

One of my favorite parts of writing is naming my people/places/systems. I look up synonyms of common words and add prefixes, or base things off of Latin roots, or just pull some cool letter ...
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  • 1,780
0 votes
2 answers
50 views

Proper use of first-last name in a obituary?

I have to write my fathers obituary. I am not sure when it is proper to use a full name. We have kids, grand kids, and great grand kids. Are there rules or guidelines for using full names and what ...
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  • 101
3 votes
3 answers
273 views

How to name MC after revealing body change?

The plot of the novel is the following: The villain has body-swapped with the MC and I want to keep this hidden and reveal it as a plot twist in the middle of the story. If MC real name is John and ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
124 views

Naming characters: Physical v. Personality [closed]

Suppose my fictional character is a plastic penguin which happens to be very pompous. What do you believe is a better way to name a character? 1.A name which describes them physically Ex. Plastic ...
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  • 719
2 votes
2 answers
154 views

Awkward language translation

So I’m currently writing a book that takes place in Finland, though I am American and speak English. My main character’s name can be used as a play on words, and people use it to mock him throughout ...
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13 votes
11 answers
7k views

How to differentiate between two people with the same name in a story?

I am writing a story in which at some point two characters with the same name interact each other. I can't use their last name to differentiate because it's necessary for them to have no last name. ...
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21 votes
12 answers
6k views

Character is called by their first initial. How do I write it?

A character's name starts with a hard G, as in Gary. Another character (dismissively) calls him by his first initial "G", said with a soft G, as in gee whiz. I've been using the letter G, but it's ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag?

Do we have to introduce the character's name before using their names in a dialogue tag? I am wondering if we can use the names without saying it's a man or a woman, and then making the characters ...
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  • 2,966
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

How should one refer to knights (& dames) in academic writing?

In ordinary English usage, one would refer to a knight called 'Forename Surname' as Sir Forename, not Surname, e.g. Sir Forename is distinguished in ... But in academic writing, one would typically ...
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13 votes
3 answers
6k views

I gave my characters names that are exactly like another book. Is it a problem?

Ok, so, I am currently writing a book and 3 of my characters have the same name as in another novel. I didn't realize it until someone pointed it out to me. The names I picked are fairly common and ...
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  • 131
23 votes
8 answers
3k views

Referring to different instances of the same character in time travel

I am writing a story that involves time travel, and I have a chapter where a character from the future interacts with his present-day self. This chapter is written from the present-day self's POV. ...
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8 votes
5 answers
835 views

What are some standards in naming a software/hardware version?

I am wondering if how we name a version of a spacecraft differs from how we name a version of a software. For software, I usually see things like "2.0.32.32" or something like that and sometimes they ...
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4 votes
5 answers
277 views

What are the ramifications of a character sharing the same name as a famous and established character?

A character in my fantasy novel is called Beowulf. I named him such at a time I was unaware that this character existed in mythology, and was at least a little established. I didn't think much of it ...
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