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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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 ...
Syntax's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Izaak's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
59 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 ...
jumblejim's user avatar
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 ...
Ravenr1r2r3's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
100 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 ...
WriterFromEarth's user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
589 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"....
WriterFromEarth's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
WriterFromEarth's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
894 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 ...
Alink's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
156 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?
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
177 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. ...
akirq_'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
R. McFaddin's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
222 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 ...
Ylahris's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
361 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, ...
Anny noumous's user avatar
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 ...
Ricky's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers
146 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 ...
RWolfe's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
231 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 "...
Typothalamus's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
196 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 ...
RWolfe's user avatar
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1 vote
5 answers
196 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 ...
OctoberEnd's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
119 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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
285 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. ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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-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 ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
168 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 ...
Crafter's user avatar
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1 answer
338 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?
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2 votes
2 answers
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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....
FrontEnd's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
369 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, ...
art's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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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” ...
Village's user avatar
  • 383
2 votes
1 answer
236 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,...
JP90's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
152 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-...
user2352714's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
174 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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
221 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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
145 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, ...
ZeeDaye's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
843 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.)
Arian_ki's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
192 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 ...
NeoPolitan 's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
122 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 ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
1 vote
4 answers
235 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 ...
SiJean's user avatar
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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 ...
Jim's user avatar
  • 419
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 ...
Aaron E. Gabriel's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
109 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 ...
Plane_Wryter's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
178 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 ...
Hailee's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
2 answers
82 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 ...
Hailee's user avatar
  • 21
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, ...
Weckar E.'s user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
Lgndry's user avatar
  • 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" ...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
  • 1,551
0 votes
5 answers
710 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 ...
Clara 's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
236 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 ...
Alcino Albino's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
245 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
128 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 ...
Leviathann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
84 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 ...
Deep's user avatar
  • 23
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. ...
Dark's user avatar
  • 398
3 votes
5 answers
281 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 ...
ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizzaMonica's user avatar

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