Questions tagged [naming]

Questions about creating and using names.

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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. ...
3
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5answers
122 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 ...
1
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2answers
94 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 ...
3
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0answers
52 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'...
2
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2answers
76 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 ...
1
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3answers
133 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
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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
56 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-...
2
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2answers
94 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
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1answer
99 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 ...
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
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2answers
177 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 ...
1
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3answers
187 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
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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 ...
1
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3answers
208 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
113 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
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
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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. ...
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 ...
6
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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 ...
21
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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 ...
13
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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 ...
22
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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. ...
8
votes
5answers
301 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 ...
4
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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 ...
4
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3answers
288 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 ...
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
2answers
101 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 ...
0
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1answer
72 views

In fiction, can I write about Downing College, Cambridge? [duplicate]

I have included, in my fictional book, several mentions about Downing College, Cambridge. Now they have a fete on their lawns. Two Russians are killed there during the fete. No mention of staff ...
8
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2answers
737 views

Character had a different name in the past. Which name should I use in a flashback?

One of my characters has a flashback to when he was 5 years old. At the time, he didn't have a name (he goes by a physical description instead). What's the correct way to refer to him in this ...
7
votes
1answer
822 views

Referring to a character in 3rd person when they have amnesia

A section of a story I am writing is being told in third person from the perspective of a character who does not know anything about herself due to amnesia. The reader is also unaware of anything ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

Is it ok if some of my city names are the same as the ones in other books/series/video games/ pieces of work?

My book has a few place names that are also present in other pieces of media, for example, one of my cities is called "Manalin" and I just found out that there is a planet in Star Wars also called ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How can I introduce the names of fantasy creatures to the reader?

In the story, these fantasy creatures are everyday animals that most people in the story already know. How can I introduce them in an natural way that instantly makes readers remember their names? The ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How to name indistinguishable henchmen in a screenplay?

A large group of indistinguishable henchman feature throughout my screenplay. What is an acceptable naming method for them? Let's say I wanna call them 'Red shirts'. Can I ... A) Call them all RED ...
16
votes
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 tangential to my ...
9
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4answers
274 views

How to create place names that feel like they belong to a culture?

As somewhat of a follow-up to my previous question: How to create a consistent feel for character names in a fantasy setting? Once I have named the characters in a given setting, how do I create ...
12
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4answers
2k views

How to create a consistent feel for character names in a fantasy setting?

Recently while doing some world-building for a role-playing game with a friend we were seriously struggling with naming character consistently. By consistently I mean make the names feel as though ...
10
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9answers
3k views

Stereotypical names

In every country, some names are particularly common: 'John' in the UK, 'Juan' in Spain, 'Ivan' in Russia. Those names are common almost to the point of being stereotypical (consider 'John Doe'). If ...
2
votes
5answers
277 views

What to call a nameless character in a 3rd person narrative?

How do I present a nameless character in a 3rd person narrative who has never known his parents? And has never had extended human interaction with anyone long enough to even be called “Boy” or “Child.”...
16
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6answers
3k views

Naming Characters after Friends/Family

I drafted a book two years ago that I'm now polishing to publish. When I drafted it, for speed's sake, I named one of my primary characters after an old school friend who I'm still in contact with on ...
10
votes
5answers
984 views

What should the omniscient narrator call a character?

Let there be a character. Let the character's name be, for example, Alexander. Now, Alexander's parents call him 'Sasha'. His friends call him 'Xander'. His girlfriend calls him 'Alex'. In formal ...
8
votes
3answers
405 views

Naming things the POV character doesn't know

My middle-grade novel is third person with one primary and one secondary viewpoint character. Sometimes the narrator hovers a bit more, sometimes the narrator is more in the character's head. The ...
9
votes
4answers
415 views

How to tag distinct options/entities without giving any an implicit priority or suggested order?

An example of the problem in an aggravated form surrounds the controversy of France changing ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ in official paperwork - where the controversy suggests ...
20
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9answers
2k views

Every character has a name - does this lead to too many named characters?

My tendency when writing is to give every character a name. Even the most minor ones. It says something about a nobleman when he knows every guard and stablehand by name, and it's something I want. So ...
0
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1answer
77 views

Giving nonsensical names to things [closed]

https://dgrayman.fandom.com/wiki/Innocence Well, I always thought that the name Innocence in D.Gray-Man never made much sense. It's not explained anywhere why it's called that, so I always thought it ...
-1
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2answers
119 views

Naming non-living things [closed]

I know two ways of naming things. One is to use latin prefixes and suffixes and try to have them match the object you are naming with its definition. The other is to use metaphors based on how it ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Mafia name usage in writing

Is it safe to include names of mafia organizations in your fiction or will they read your work and come after you?
0
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1answer
106 views

Latin names of European places

The novel I am writing is set in Europe. For the setting, I'd need to find the Latin names of places, e.g. villages and geographical features, in the regions corresponding to modern-day England and ...