Should I use colors as codenames for my villains? - Page 3


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Thread: Should I use colors as codenames for my villains?

  1. #21
    This is a sad example of lack of imagination.

    I don't understand you, ironpony. I would personally relish this kind of opportunity if I were you. They're criminals, right? That sets up some excellent (and easy) black humor. Like in the movie "Point Break" when the bank robbers gang is called the "Ex Presidents" and they all wear masks of LBJ, Reagan, Nixon, etc and adopt their personas. It's funny but also menacing.

    Name them after something cute and fluffy and innocent sounding. The Seven Dwarfs (Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, etc) is one that came to mind. My Little Ponies? I don't know. That juxtaposition of innocence and evil always works and its funny.

    For Christ's sake don't rip off Reservoir Dogs.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  2. #22
    Well the reason why I didn't relish it too much is cause I thought if I got too carried away with it, that it would draw attention to itself in a gimmicky way possibly. And in Reservoir dogs, even though the idea was that they don't know each other, in my story, eveeryone knows each other and they are all really tight.

    The idea was they would use nicknames while talking on walkie talkies and burner phones, in case any police were listening in. The Seven Dwarfs is a good idea, it's just there is only seven of them where as with my gang I might want more than seven. I can keep thinking.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Well the reason why I didn't relish it too much is cause I thought if I got too carried away with it, that it would draw attention to itself in a gimmicky way possibly. And in Reservoir dogs, even though the idea was that they don't know each other, in my story, eveeryone knows each other and they are all really tight.

    The idea was they would use nicknames while talking on walkie talkies and burner phones, in case any police were listening in. The Seven Dwarfs is a good idea, it's just there is only seven of them where as with my gang I might want more than seven. I can keep thinking.
    So...The Twelve Apostles?

    The reason it feels gimmicky is probably because it's a gimmick. But sometimes gimmicks work. They can be funny. They present opportunities for ironic use of names. Like in the dwarf example "Happy" would be a total sadist or something. "Bashful" could be a womanizer. Sneezy could be, I don't know, a cocaine addict. Get it?

    The funniest part of Point Break was when while in the process of robbing a bank the guy in the Richard Nixon mark randomly quipped "I'm not a crook". This stuff should be bread and butter to creative minds.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  4. #24
    From a reader's standpoint, lines like:

    'Cyan! Where the hell are Mauve and Periwinkle! And why is Yellow-green sulking? Oh, he's Celery, not Yellow-green? Since when? Since you talked to the guy with tetrachromacy? So Green, isn't green, he's Maple Leaf in June...'

    Fine, you can be Perfect Princess Purple, just get to your damn post!

    Douglas can you hear me?
    My name is not Douglas, it is Lawrence, but I'm not supposed to tell you that...
    Douglas, is your code name, idiot!
    Why Douglas? Why not just pine tree?
    Plants aren't the gimmick, colours are.
    So how did you arrive at Douglas?
    Green like the needles of the tree...
    So why not just say Green?
    That would be cliche and I was asked to specify, thusly Douglas Fir Needle Green.
    And you called me the idiot?

    Shit, Cinnamon! Do you think we should tell Ocher? Or was his name Umber, Amber...I forgot.

    These and more keep springing to mind...Sorry, but it is tough to take seriously...
    Last edited by Darkkin; December 5th, 2018 at 03:59 AM.


  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkin View Post
    From a reader's standpoint, lines like: 'Cyan! Where the hell are Mauve amd Periwinkle! And why is Yellow-green sulking? Oh, he's Celery, not Yellow-green? Since when? Tetrachromacy? So Green, isn't green, he's Maple Leaf in June...Fine, you can be Perfect Princess Purple, just get to your damn post!' These and more keep springing to mind...I cannot take it seriously...
    Uh well sure, anything is going to sound dumb if you make it sound dumb...

    I'm sure Ian Fleming probably thought twice before naming the head honcho of his lesbian cat burglar gang "Pussy Galore", but it doesn't mean that Goldfinger isn't a serious novel and its certainly a successful one. It's down to how its written. Otherwise names are mostly just names.

    Either way, there's no need to exacerbate the OP's already staggering self-doubt issues.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #26
    Names can be infused with meaning, clever kenning adding layers to a piece. Hence the multifaceted layers of definition with a single word. But if it is just a handle to identify Party A and is not meant to add depth to the writing, why fret one's self to flinders over sounding like Example X? As long as the reader knows who is who and who is where, the names really are not important.

    A gimmick is a gimmick and punny names if not handled lightly can come off sounding contrived. Consider writing the scence without a gimmick, just a letter, this gives basic structure. Once that is in place try different gimmicks if one so choses. Maybe all vowels.

    A...have you heard from E?
    No, I haven't.
    Not I, A...E

    Akin to 'Who's on First?' context of a gimmick can make or break a piece. It is for the writer to decide what works for their skill set and individual piece. It is not for the public to cast a vote on what the OP should be using as handles for their characters.

    Heck, there is another group of objects to consider, hardware and tools...Names can be a lot of fun and fodder for creativity. And there is nothing wrong with approaching a basic idea with a bit of humour. While it might be reprehensible to some, it is an honest observation. Consider conversations throughout one's day...and take into account how many people use puns, how they react to them. Foibles of the human condition, basic characterisations, active conversations. It is how scenes evolve, take the idea and run with.

    Name characters using old nursery rhymes for example:

    Ding. Dong. Ditch. Hickory. Dickery. Doc. Mouse. Clock.

    Don't want to sound like examples A and B, then don't use the theme. Find one you can make your own.

    Hardware and Tools theme:

    Tack. Hammer. Level. Primer. Phillips. Flathead. Ratchet.
    Last edited by Darkkin; December 5th, 2018 at 04:11 AM.


  7. #27
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    Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta.... Should I continue? How many bad guys am I assigning designations to?

    What? They're Japanese? *sigh* Damn... Okay... Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, Go, Roku...

    ...Oh come on, 'Pony. Even you have to get the idea by now.






    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Either way, there's no need to exacerbate the OP's already staggering self-doubt issues.
    They are phenomenal, aren't they? Truly remarkable.






    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  9. #29
    If one is looking to have names that have an added depth of context, check out a technique called kenning. Yes, it is more commonly used in poetry, but like LS's Pussy Galore example, it is an excellent tool. Consider the context of the piece and ask, what is the function of the name, merely an identifier, or does it serve a greater purpose? e.g. Topic of conversation, possible humourous inferences, cause for misunderstandings, so on and so forth.

    Try approaching from a different angle, start with the context and content of the scene (players and their conversations), instead of should I use Gimmick A? Write a draft of Scene X. Does Gimmick A fit the scene and its cast, does it function well with the characters without distracting from the plot? If it does, then use Gimmick A. There are some things only the author can determine and the names (regular and code) are among the most basic.

    Just like with some narrative pieces I've critiqued, a writer will have a great premise, but fails to give Questing Guy a name. Readers need something to empathise with, names are the first step in that process. A writer asking others to name (yes, even code names) their characters defeats the creative process. How can a writer get to know their own characters if Mary Sue and Questing Guy came up with the monikers?

    And look at past horrors like the Holocaust. People were striped of their names, identities, reduced to numbers. Prisons today still use inmate numbers and have throughout history. A couple of notable ones, fictitious and non, Prisoner 64389000 and Prisoner 24061. They started as numbers but like every individual, they still possessed a name, an indentity.
    Last edited by Darkkin; December 5th, 2018 at 05:02 AM.


  10. #30
    Oh okay. Well I don't mean for it to be come off as a gimmick. I mean the police have their own code talk like when they use 10 codes, or when they read suspects their rights, but it's not meant to be a gimmick. So I thought I would treat the codenames like that and just have it be something that naturally plays into the story, but nothing more.

    I could have fun with it, just not sure if I should for this particular story. I can think about it more...

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