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Aliases in Fiction (1 Viewer)

FrancisD

Senior Member
I have an MC who uses an alias. He is known to the reader by his real name at the start. There is a shift and the reader is told in this way: 'Frank, as Danny now called himself,...'. From there on in, until it is revealed to the other characters that he is using an alias, he is referred to as Frank by both the narrator and the characters. I did wonder if the narrator should continue to call him Danny, but feel this would lead to a lot of confusion for the reader. Any thought on this? Has anyone had a similar scenario?
 

JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
Yup.

Late partway through the plot of Book III, it comes to light that a major character has been using an assumed name. I kept with the alias because it made for better continuity and also because the change happened for a reason (personal safety, in this instance). The character's full birth name is only mentioned on a couple of occasions prior. Afterwards, pretty much all alias all the time.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
I have an MC who uses an alias. He is known to the reader by his real name at the start. There is a shift and the reader is told in this way: 'Frank, as Danny now called himself,...'. From there on in, until it is revealed to the other characters that he is using an alias, he is referred to as Frank by both the narrator and the characters. I did wonder if the narrator should continue to call him Danny, but feel this would lead to a lot of confusion for the reader. Any thought on this? Has anyone had a similar scenario?

You need to give him a tag. Something that refers to him uniquely.
For instance, my character Mickey Stubbs. I referred to him as the redheaded mechanic, but he was also a big guy so I could shuffle that so I had more names for him.
example:
Redheaded mechanic
the big mechanic
...scratched his red hair...
redheaded one
big redheaded mechanic

Tags are a way to deal with the he-his-him-Dave problem. (In larger paragraphs you run out of ways to refer to a character and have to reuse one...which sounds funny.) Tags give you a couple more ways to refer to a character before you have to start reusing the old ones.
 
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