Nonstandard name use


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Thread: Nonstandard name use

  1. #1
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Nonstandard name use

    One of my characters, whose name is changed here obviously, introduced themselves as "Hi, I'm First Last, the Job in town. Just call me Title Last." That particular formation is relevant to their subplot.
    How do I reference them in blocking, not dialog though?

    Title Last verbed..?
    Ttl. Last verbed..?
    Last verbed..?
    First verbed..?
    Or something else?

  2. #2
    This might be easier to understand if you used the actual names/titles/etc. I'm also not sure exactly what "blocking" means in this instance. Even after looking up the term, it sounds like it's just exposition (particularly concerning exposition of scene setting). The scene setting, however, can be easily done before or after the dialogue, with or without the name/title/etc.

    If you're writing in first-person or limited-third, just call the person whatever the POV would call them. Nobody is called the same thing every single time they're referred to, nor are names the only things by which a person might be referred by. Before a POV or reader has learned a character's name, it's a good idea to just describe the person. Just to avoid repetition in the narrative, if nothing else, you could use of the above formulations of a name.


    As I walked down the street, I saw a rotund ginger man with a thick beard sweeping the stoop in front of a shop. As I approached, he leaned his broom against the wall and offered me a sweaty hand. "Hi, I'm David Surrey, the local butcher. Just call me Butcher Surrey," he said. "Everyone else does." We shook hands, then Butcher Surrey resumed sweeping his stoop.

    A handsome man in a nice suit walked into the bar and sat next to me. He pulled out a card and offered a hand. "Hi, I'm David Surrey. I manage investment portfolios. All the locals call me Mr. Surrey, but you can call me Dave." The bartender slid Dave a cold beer.

    "Hi, I'm David Surrey, professional curmudgeon. Just call me Corporal Surrey." The wrinkly old man slunk back into his hovel and shut the door. I could feel Corporal Surrey's eyes on me every time I walked past his house after that.

    Same person might be referred to by description, by nickname, by occupation, by full name, by last name only, or by title only. Thus, David Surrey could be "Hey, mister", "Daddy", "Davey", "Surrey", "Mr. Surrey", "Mister Surrey", "the stock trader/butcher/curmudgeon", "The handsome/fat/wrinkly old man", "David the Trader/Butcher/curmudgeon", "Trader/Butcher/Old Man Surrey", "Trader/Butcher/Old Man David" Tons of combinations, but it mostly depends on who is referring to the character and what sounds better for the narrative.
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  3. #3
    I think that what you mean by blocking is narrative or dialogue tags. How you must call your character when not in dialogue. I think it's up to your preference when the story is in third person, but if it's in the first person, use the name (title last) that your character wants to be called. Personally, I think you should stick to the name your character prefers, may it be in dialogue or narrative. It will strengthen his/her voice.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    One of my characters, whose name is changed here obviously, introduced themselves as "Hi, I'm First Last, the Job in town. Just call me Title Last." That particular formation is relevant to their subplot.
    How do I reference them in blocking, not dialog though?

    Title Last verbed..?
    Ttl. Last verbed..?
    Last verbed..?
    First verbed..?
    Or something else?


    I don't even understand the question.

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