Character Names - Page 3


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Thread: Character Names

  1. #21
    I thought names were always supposed to be meaningful though...

    For, as someone mentioned, don't parents choose their babies names before they are spawned?

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by danielstj View Post
    I thought names were always supposed to be meaningful though...

    For, as someone mentioned, don't parents choose their babies names before they are spawned?
    Yes, but there are people who name their babies really dumb things. Sometimes, a name is just a name, or the author couldn't come up with anything else.

    Or they name them something with the subtlety of an anvil, such as John Allman.
    Last edited by Bishop; April 15th, 2014 at 03:31 PM.
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  3. #23
    Sometimes, it's better to just snag an imperfect name and run with the story until you suddenly go, "Ah! Her name should be Rachel." Then you do a find and replace, and Rachel's staid parents no longer have a daughter named Moonbeam.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Trygve View Post
    Sometimes, it's better to just snag an imperfect name and run with the story until you suddenly go, "Ah! Her name should be Rachel." Then you do a find and replace, and Rachel's staid parents no longer have a daughter named Moonbeam.
    Hey! Just remember what Frank Zappa named his kids: Dweezil, and Moon Unit.

    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  5. #25
    I'm pretty sure ole Frank was stoned out of his gourd when those kids were born. LOL
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

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  6. #26
    Dweezil was in The Running Man.
    “On the chest of a barmaid in Sale, were tattooed all the prices of ale. And on her behind, for the sake of the blind, was the same only written in braille"


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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by danielstj View Post
    Isn't the choice of names, and creation of characters, our own psychological imprint on what we, as authors, think those human beings would be like considering the environment they are put into?

    That's what I thought...
    if you want to think about it philosophically then everything we write is really an extension of our psychological imprint--which really means that you can't just take the names and say "this is the author's dislike for the color blue" (bad example) without also taking the entire work and looking at it as a whole.

    Honestly, I think people--including and, maybe especially writers--look into what's written too much. Sometimes blue curtains are blue curtains and the floor is the floor.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by amsawtell View Post
    Honestly, I think people--including and, maybe especially writers--look into what's written too much. Sometimes blue curtains are blue curtains and the floor is the floor.
    Sometimes, a story is just a story.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by -AT View Post
    How do you decide on your characters' names? Do they have importance?
    I choose names for their combination of meaning + how it sounds/reads.
    As you used Japanese characters, I'm going to use the protagonist of my first novel as an example.

    Airi Guerreiro: A gentle 16 years old Brazilian girl who is 1/4 Japanese, 1/4 Indigenous, 1/4 Portuguese, 1/4 I don't remember.

    Airi (愛理) is a Japanese name that may be written with the ideograms of "love" (愛) and "reason; true; management" (理). A delicate name for a delicate girl. I like it because it is short, it looks clean on the page, and has easy pronunciation for westerns (I know names like Mitsukuni are readen as Mijtskjuitynkuni by who is not used to Japanese names). By coincidence, it also happens to be an Indigenous name, which is perfect because the girl is connected to an Indigenous ancient curse.
    Guerreiro is a common name in my country and literally means "warrior" (somehow equivalent to the surname Knight, I guess?). I chose that name because the girl needs to overcome her fears and fight for what she believes if she wants to stop the curse and protect the ones she love.

    That's just how I choose my character's names, though. As a reader, I don't care if the names mean nothing, as long as they are easy to remember/distinguish (no Lyria and Lidia on the same story) and easy to read.
    "I wonder... Could there be a Roman (story) there...?" - Hiver Laurant
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    Non-native English speaker here! Please, forgive my eventual grammar mistakes! ^^'

  10. #30
    Unlike many people, I don't think that names really mean anything. Sometimes I use names in that way, but many names don't have symbolic meanings. I just try to use names that I happen to like - and ones that make sense for the setting.

    The main character of a story I wrote that takes place in Crimea is named Anton. The name is of Etruscan origin (the original form being Antonius), and it really doesn't mean anything. He's not named after any famous Anton, either - I was looking for a Russian/Ukrainian name and Anton was a name that I happen to like, so I stuck it to him. Sometimes I name characters after people I know. I used the name Florian on a character in a story I wrote about France because I met a French guy with that name.

    I try to be flexible, and sometimes I use names that I like on evil characters and names that I dislike on good characters. After all, you're not going to like everyone with your favorite name. Anton's evil mother is named Valeria, which is a name that I happen to like.

    Names don't always fit their bearers. In real life: A girl named Ida or Shirley can be beautiful and delicate, and a girl named Francesca or Aurora can be ugly and butch. A guy named Melvin can be a jock, and a guy named Chad could be a D&D player. A guy named Muhammad could be blond and blue-eyed (there are blonds in the Muslim world), while a girl named Britney could be Asian. In many fictional works, all of this isn't the case. My name is Erik, probably one of the most stereotypical Scandinavian names of all. Most of my family is from southern Italy, and I'm dark-haired, dark-eyed, and olive-skinned - I'm not Scandinavian in the slightest.

    I try to avoid meaningful names. I do use them for fanfiction, though, but not much in original writing. It's to reflect real life, where names are usually meaningless.
    Last edited by skitty; April 20th, 2014 at 01:18 AM.

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