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Questions tagged [naming]

Questions about creating and using names. Note that questions asking people to come up with names for you are off-topic.

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1 vote
4 answers
156 views

Can the narrator refer to a character with an alias instead of their true identity?

This is related to my previous question. Let's say I want the readers to not be sure of who my character really is. They'd know her as Olivia, but think she might be Beatrice, or maybe Helena... One ...
1 vote
2 answers
135 views

How to refer to different versions of a character?

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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
318 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
63 views

Should non-English organizations/ministries/governments (as authors) be translated into English in APA 7th edition citations?

Should I translate the name of my country's government/ministry into English for references and in-text citations in a publication using APA 7th edition guidelines? My paper is in English, and I'm ...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Can I use a song lyric as the title of my theatre production?

I'm starting a theatre company and one of the ideas I have thought of for a production is an ongoing series of monologue/scratch evenings. I want to have the premise of each night to latch onto the ...
1 vote
5 answers
226 views

How to write character names in mystery novel where they are supposed to have their mind erased?

I'm writing a story about 5 characters without any recollection of their past and their journey to get their memories back. I want to reveal their identity at the end of the story and I am struggling ...
4 votes
1 answer
95 views

First name or last name(s) in a biography?

I'm deep into a biography of a well-known person. He was born with a last name, took his mother's last name following her divorce, took his stepfather's last name following her remarriage, then took ...
43 votes
16 answers
13k 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 ...
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can I create good character names? [duplicate]

I find that a problem that I run into quite often is the fact that I can't create names that sound real, but also have a nice ring so that they fit the character. Does anyone have any suggestions on ...
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Should I change my character's name if it's a variation of mine?

I'm trying to name a character, and I found one that fits him perfectly. It makes sense for the setting, it supports the theme and his character arc, and it supports his parents' characters (mainly ...
1 vote
7 answers
606 views

If a character has multiple names, how can my narrator refer to them?

I'm writing a story about a spy. The narrator is third person omniscient. However, our spy has multiple names. Her fellow spies refer to her as "Spy 94" but her real name is "Kafu"....
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

In historical fiction, should the narrator call the characters by their last names or by the nicknames used by other characters?

I'm writing a historical fiction. For context, it's about Robert Oppenheimer and how he swapped lives with a modern-day kindergarten teacher. Here's a little piece of dialogue between him and his ...
1 vote
2 answers
913 views

Is it okay if I use a historical figure's name for a work of fiction completely unrelated to history?

I was planning at some point to write a mystery fiction unrelated to history. I was inspired by writers who used literary figures as a name for their characters, yet the plot was completely unrelated ...
1 vote
2 answers
183 views

What are the rules for using mythological names in characters?

Are there any of such rules applicable to this case? For instance, if a story has various character groups, should all characters from one group be named after gods from a single mythology?
1 vote
2 answers
317 views

How can I know if my character name is already taken? If it is, can I use the same name?

I am creating an action/adventure comic strip in the vein of Indiana Jones. Currently the character’s name is Panda Jack. The strip will have a title like “Panda Jack and the… fill-in-the-blank”. I am ...
3 votes
2 answers
178 views

What if the narrator forgets the names of the characters?

My writing project involves flashbacks and explanations that may already be hard to follow to the reader. But the most important point in it, is that in the end, no one remembers what ever happened. ...
1 vote
4 answers
227 views

How to tell whether a character name is "too difficult" for the reader?

In my story are non-human characters who naturally have their own languages and set of personal names. I have no problem devising interesting names like "Saþil Duqhuãn" (pronounced /sə.θil ...
4 votes
8 answers
6k views

Can my character's name match someone in real life?

Is it legally OK that my character's name by coincidence matches someone's in real life, famous or not? (For example I am naming a character Aaron Hale.) The character's appearance and everything else ...
2 votes
5 answers
427 views

Is it okay to use words from other languages as names?

I am writing a book that I planned out as a kid; I've completely changed it around so that only the characters have stayed the same. I love them a lot and I love the names I gave them back then, ...
11 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

In dramatic dialogue, would it be okay NOT to drop the definite article from a character's name?

The tradition of dropping the definite article in dramatic dialogue seems to go back to William Shakespeare's days and beyond. Thus, in Romeo and Juliet (to pick a play at random), the Apothecary is ...
30 votes
13 answers
10k views

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 ...
-2 votes
2 answers
152 views

How to handle the 'sorting' of a list of names

I'm developing a naming system for a video game, where a player or NPC's name can and in some cases will be mononyms, and in other cases a full name with a first and last name. This leads to a problem ...
4 votes
1 answer
234 views

Handling alternate spellings of a personal name

I'm dealing with a text that mentions several times the architectural historian Siegfried Giedion. A number of Giedion's books feature his first name as "Sigfried" and others as "...
1 vote
2 answers
216 views

Proper term for the name format of just calling someone by their family name

Say you have a person 'John Smith', If you were to address him formally you would call him 'John Smith', if you were his friend 'John', in an academic or military environment you would refer to him as ...
2 votes
3 answers
121 views

Are there other ways to tie a character's name to a mythological character's name without using the same name or anagram?

Are there other ways to tie a character's name to a mythological character's name without using the same name or anagram? Sometimes, we just use the same name like Loki, Detective Loki, or an anagram ...
0 votes
4 answers
303 views

How should you name an imaginary machine?

How should you name an imaginary machine? I was thinking of naming a time-machine/transdimensional teleportation machine Proteus, but I am not sure if giving it a generic name like that makes sense. ...
-1 votes
1 answer
102 views

Would the plot for my short story, "Bread earner in the family," be suitable for a play?

I have a plot ready for the title "Bread earner in the family". Genre: Family emotional drama. It's a short story based on facts a non-fiction genre. Summary: How the bread earner in the ...
3 votes
3 answers
172 views

Is it okay to use mythology names of creatures in a fantasy world?

In creating my world, I am trying to write down and create mythical wildlife and monsters. I had been thinking of using sirens as one of them. Not a creature based off of them, but the actual Greek ...
2 votes
1 answer
256 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 Asia, and I've kind of hit a wall when thinking about how close to make the fantasy world to the real world,...
0 votes
1 answer
382 views

Why is the usage of a character's name not always trademark infringement?

In most cases, using a character's name from a fictional universe is not a trademark infringement (unless the character is being reused, that would be a copyright infringement). Why does this happen?
2 votes
2 answers
83 views

What is the format for referring to un-named characters?

I have read some scripts recently which features a scene that refers to a group of background characters without naming them, but to distinguish between them uses "descriptive names" instead....
0 votes
5 answers
7k views

How do i properly name a fictional species and describe it?

I'm currently developing a fictional species set in a fantasy world, and I want to name it, but I don't want it to sound too... scientific? For example, our scientific name is Homo sapiens, but we don'...
3 votes
3 answers
402 views

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, ...
0 votes
1 answer
102 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” ...
3 votes
6 answers
52k views

How to create a good name for a fictional nation in my story?

I really have problems giving the military nation of my protagonist a unique, but also serious name that fits into the whole military nation thing. So here are my questions: What makes a name sound ...
27 votes
10 answers
15k views

Any Technique to See if Your Idea is Original?

I usually get quite a lot of ideas for stories, but every time I want to develop them into a full fledged story, I get paranoid about how it might not be an original idea, and how it might be ...
2 votes
3 answers
147 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, ...
4 votes
2 answers
153 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-...
1 vote
4 answers
181 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
225 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
882 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.)
14 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 ...
9 votes
6 answers
3k 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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
212 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
125 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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
240 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
563 views

Is thematic character naming off putting?

Is naming a character to go with a theme or setting of a novel off-putting for the reader? Does this pull them out of the story? For example: A character named digit in a cyberpunk future or one named ...
5 votes
5 answers
527 views

When naming a character, is thematic naming or realistic naming more important?

Or is there a way to strike a balance between thematic naming and realistic naming? Thematic: When the name relates to the character directly. Example: someone who only wears black clothes has the ...

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