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60

Hard-to-pronounce names suggest a different culture. If War and Peace had its characters named not Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky and Pierre Kirillovich Bezukhov, but Andrew Bolk and Peter Bek; or if the characters of the Kalevala were named not Väinämöinen and Joukahainen, but Van and John, that would ruin my immersion. It would break my immersion because ...


55

Let me start with a disclaimer: some languages are naturally more tolerant of long names (and long words) than others. In Finnish, you've got names like Väinämöinen. In Hebrew, if something has more than two syllables, you can be sure it's a loanword. So your definition of "long" would have to be language-specific. And now to an actual answer. As you've ...


39

While names have connotations, those are, most of the time, different connotations for different people. Hearing the name 'Brad' one person can think of Brad Pitt, another of Brad who bullied them at school, and yet another - of their best friend Brad. You cannot account for every association a reader of yours might have from any name. However, just like in ...


38

You have a few choices here: 1. You can group each person's actions together more (I've also edited a couple errors). The tall figure was overwhelmingly tall. It stood in the corner of the room then moved to the opposite side of the room and started palpating the wall, as if it was looking for something. Then it started laughing loudly and ...


35

In a written medium, your readers can only identify your characters by what you give them. We cannot "see" your characters. So, if at any point in the story there's a John, and then again there's a John, they're the same John, unless you give us something else to distinguish the two Johns. "Something else" might be a surname. It might be a nickname. It ...


33

Like your reader, if I'm unable to pronounce a name, I replace it with something simpler so I don't have to try to pronounce it each time I see it. After the first few times of seeing it and trying to get it right, I'll just replace it (once I really get into a story, I barely even see the correct spelling). For instance, I pronounced "Hermione" as "Her-Me-...


31

You can criticise me, but if I get a name like the one you have used (I can't easily see how you get to the pronunciation you give), I simplify or skip it. The consequence is that hard-to-say names get forgotten. Trying to work out who is who does break immersion. An alternative, assuming you don't want to change the names, is to spell them more phonetically....


31

Naming your character Violet Raine does not violate copyright. You can throw in a joke about the mom being a Prince fan but the father drew the line at naming the kid Purple. This would be contextualizing your story in the real world. Since he has passed on, you can even make Prince a character in the story – I know that's not your question, but it's my ...


31

I don't think you need to expand it, but you can. Anyone who goes by two initials is usually called "P.J." or "PJ" in writing. Anecdotally, I knew a guy who went by G (for Gerard), and written down it was always G. That said, we weren't in the habit of transcribing our conversations. If you don't want it to be just the letter G, I'd recommend writing it ...


27

Interesting question. Changing a character's name is definitely jarring to the reader (at least it has been to me). The best suggestion I've found to deal with that is to create tension about the name. If the reader spends half the story wondering what the true name is and building up to that, they'll want the name to be revealed, and it won't be jarring at ...


27

We are good at pattern recognition and if you keep the bizarre names to a minimum you should be OK. Long is fine, so long as they can be scanned and not confused with one another. I rather like Tey-filen as it suggests a compound word, and for whatever reason evokes the adjective-noun construct. It's easy to say, too. Exopeildelivur-thneya is not easy to ...


27

I think it may be solved using the same term consistently. From what you wrote: "the man", "his older counterpart", "his future self", "his older self", "Older Adrien", and "his other self". Those are a lot of synonyms. While they are correct and they do convey the idea, a reader is going to be pulled out if you change "the name" of a character every ...


26

Here's a set of guidelines I really like: You can refer to each character by the moniker most appropriate to him, so long as you use the same one consistently. Readers will happily accept any name that seems appropriate; the important thing is not to confuse them by referring to one individual by a dozen different tags. You can have different characters ...


26

Using more compound sounds is a good start. Part of your problem comes from the syllables you're using - most of them are only 1 or 2 letters. The longest of your sample names is all of 5 letters - there's not a lot of room for variety when all the names are 3 or 4 letters long. I recommend adding more consonants to most your syllables, especially some of ...


26

The answer to your question depends on how strongly the set of names is associated with the preexisting work of fiction. Not just the individual names, but the set of names together. For example, individually Romeo and Juliet are common enough names, if you set your story in Italy. However, if you name the main characters in your story Juliet and Romeo, it ...


25

Besides the real world repercussions Arcanist Lupus has mentioned, there are story-internal considerations to be made. In fiction, names carry meaning and therefore certain names fit certain characters better than others. For example, in the Lord of the Rings, if the hobbit had been called Gandalf and the wizard's name had been Frodo, the names wouldn't ...


24

You can look for other ways to identify the characters. For example: The tall figure stood in the corner, towering over the unmoving skinny figure in the chair beside it. It moved away from the seated figure to the opposite side of the room and began palpating the wall as if looking for something. The other figure crawled from the chair and began ...


23

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is my understanding of the law. (a) You can't copyright a name. By definition, using the same name as someone else's character is not a copyright violation. (b) You can TRADEMARK a name. But in this case I think the authors of this French comic you refer to -- sorry, I never heard of it before just now -- would have a ...


23

There are no pros. The cons are people will not read them more than once, so your story becomes confusing, and they will stop reading altogether. They may sound exotic to begin or appearing once or twice in a book, but if they are not replaced by nicknames of 2 or 3 syllables, I think people will just put your book down, it gets tiring to skip over gibberish ...


23

I'd leave it G. The letter G is pronounced the way you want it to be pronounced, so it's clear. If your test readers find it confusing (which I doubt they will), you could use some exposition the first time the character does that. "Yeah, right, G," said Thomas, reducing Gary's name to a single letter, and not even the hard "G" of "Gary", but the weak, ...


22

You can be sure you'll offend someone. This is unavoidable in this day and age. Peppa the Pig offends Muslims, Bob the Builder presents patriarchal stereotypes, Teletubbies are satanistic, and NASA is the HQ of Them. I can guarantee anything that isn't dead serious about nazi themes will be met with some offense. Satire, though, is mostly accepted. "The ...


22

Names definitely carry connotations. It may be totally unfair to the people having these names, but certain names bring up an image in our minds. For example, I would be very surprised to hear, "The winner of the Nobel prize in physics this year is ... Bambi Desire." I've occasionally wondered if there's any real correlation. Does having a certain name ...


21

The problem you're describing actually has an associated TV Trope: the One Mario Limit (obligatory warning, now that I've added a link). Some names become so strongly associated with one character/person, that any other characters/people with the same name will inevitably be compared with them. Mario is a well-known example: the only other famous Mario I can ...


21

You don't try to be accurate, you anglicize it. If you are writing in English about a Korean family, the reader expects you to translate dialogue into understandable English that is not awkward. If the speaker is male, then his older brother is 형. If the speaker is female, then her older brother is 오빠. But doesn't a Korean boy/girl do this automatically ...


21

The easiest way is to have someone say the name while looking at the animal and having a frame in your comic where the animal is the center. If you have an animal that plays the role that cats play in our real world for example you could have someone angrily say "Get the damn qutie from our table!" with a frame where this person is getting a water spray ...


19

I always feel that names are a big problem for me and coming up with some meaningful names that sound pleasant is one of the hardest parts of writing for me. That's why I never stop to come up with a name. Before starting to write I normally have a plan for the next few pages at least and I know which characters will come up and what they will basically be ...


18

From a literary standpoint, having to change a character name is kind of an hard choice to make. Names, rare or common as they may be, tend to stick to the character. You have gotten used to "Bob Snow", any other thing will seem downright strange. As testimonied by Taserface in Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2: I'm not qualified to give you legal ...


18

Any time you get two or more people in a group (or a family) with the same name, they are almost immediately given a nickname or some extra appellation so everyone knows who is being talked about. As an example which I used in a different answer: Take an Italian neighborhood with five friends all named Joseph. One will go by Joey D (for his last name). ...


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