Questions tagged [naming]

Questions about creating and using names.

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8
votes
6answers
2k views

What are good resources to get fantasy names?

I have trouble coming up with fantasy names. I've used random name generators but they weren't very helpful. Is there a website that would have fantasy names or Norse, or Celtic names?
0
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1answer
72 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 ...
0
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1answer
69 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

How to name characters of unspecific nationality and race?

I am writing a generic story. I have a setting that is not tied to a specific region on earth, though the story certainly does occur on earth, and there are numerous references in the setting that ...
41
votes
14answers
12k views

Do hard to pronounce names break immersion?

I have a character in my book named Jiolluav (with the correct accent, Zholl-you-of or /ʒōl-'yoo-äv/), and I've written my entire "novel" (it's a work in progress) using this name. When I asked a ...
4
votes
1answer
117 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'...
18
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11answers
7k views

How can I make names more distinctive without making them longer?

In the point-of-view culture in my story, all of the women in priestly families have two-syllable names beginning with vowels. (There are reasons for this, but they're completely unrelated to my ...
4
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5answers
2k views

Writing a character that has many names

So one of my main characters uses three different names throughout the story. There's his nickname Warlock, his name Andreas, and his shorthand name Dre. Warlock is probably used the most, enemies ...
9
votes
6answers
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. ...
5
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2answers
416 views

Using accent marks in Fantasy novels

I'm wondering what are the basic ways that accent marks should be used when coming up with fantasy names of people, places, etc. Sorry if this might be a little vague of a question.
3
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5answers
132 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 ...
9
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4answers
3k views

What are some good strategies to use when naming a fictional city?

I've read a lot of the questions on here concerning naming characters and deciding on whether to use a fictional city. I have already decided to use a fictional city in the piece. But, my problem with ...
1
vote
2answers
101 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
95 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?
1
vote
3answers
137 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the copyright limitations for adopting a fictional character's name as your Pen Name?

I wanted to use 'Dumbledore' as a part of my pen name. But I was told that by doing so I might, I just might subject myself to suing by J.K. Rowling (if she intends to). Is that true? Can't I use ...
3
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
57 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-...
1
vote
1answer
101 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", ...
19
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5answers
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
318 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 ...
2
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3answers
110 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
179 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 ...
0
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3answers
4k views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
1
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7answers
207 views

Where to take names for characters?

Where to take names for characters? This is not about names, themselves. This is only about source for them. For examples: Cassandra, queen in post-apocalyptic age of my fantasy world, has name of ...
2
votes
7answers
339 views

Help! Character naming similarity

Okay so I am coming up with ideas for a potential story. I am naming my strong female protagonist and I looked up some character names. I like the old german last name Stark, it fits with my character ...
1
vote
3answers
188 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
44 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 ...
4
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8answers
2k views

Does the protagonist need a name?

Does the main character in a short story need a name? My story gives lots of other details about the character.
1
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3answers
209 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
7k views

Help creating a name for a series [closed]

I am writing a series and need help creating a name for them. An example of what I am looking for would be something like Cassandra Claire's Mortal Instruments or Christopher Paolini's Inheritance ...
2
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
13
votes
11answers
5k 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. ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

On copyright laws and plots

I was pondering a lot on the issue with copyrights on plots. Is having an identical plot infringing someone else's copyrighted work? I am fully aware that the character names are copyrighted and ...
22
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How to have a character be nameless for the first few paragraphs of a book?

Let me first explain what is going in in the beginning of the story: My main character belongs to a tribal culture that requires their children pass a rite of passage to earn their name. So I'm kind ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Can I name a male character Artemis?

So I'm writing a story and there is a character that is a male that I want to name Artemis. The reason, simply put, is that he has a sister with a name I really like that is TECHNICALLY a boy's name (...
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
698 views

Is it better to avoid names with a difficult pronunciation in Middle Grade fiction?

Many languages are written using Latin letters, but often these seemingly familiar letters aren't pronounced in the way that we are used to. For example, an English speaker might read the name ...
22
votes
8answers
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. ...
4
votes
5answers
238 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 ...
17
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3answers
2k views

What is the art of designing names?

If you read names from popular novels you feel like the names define characters. They fit perfectly to the personality of character. For an e.g. Harry Potter, Robert Langdon, Jason Bourne, etc. I ...
18
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4answers
4k views

Would it be a copyright violation if I made a character’s full name refer to a song?

I want to write a realistic fiction book similar to Thomas Hardy’s works, where he used techniques and Biblical references (they were also called allusions) to make his writing more meaningful, and to ...
4
votes
3answers
298 views

Why do authors use variations on a character's name within a single story?

I am having trouble understanding why authors use multiple version of a character's name in the same story. I feel it can make it harder to follow the story. Why do writers sometimes write the same ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

In a stage play, how should the script refer to minor characters whose names are irrelevant?

Problem I'm writing a play that includes a number of minor characters who only exist for a scene or two. They are defined by their personality traits, not by their professions, and their names are ...