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  #1  
Old April 28th, 2008, 9:07 pm
LupinsAngel  Female.gif LupinsAngel is offline
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Your Favourite Character Names

I've been having loads of debates with my friends recently, because they all think that the names I give my characters are all too "out-there". Maybe it's true, but I want to know why I should conform to their own ideas and give my characters names like Bob and Jane (got nothing against those names, but they don't fit in my story). Why should I change the character names just because my friends want me to give my characters "normal" names. They aren't "normal" characters! If I was writing about, say, a girl who went to school everyday and had a boyfriend who might be cheating on her and had friend problems, I'd give her a name like Allie or Sarah - nice, normal names that I like and suit a girl in a regular story like that. As it is, I happen to like the names I've given my characters. Here are a few from my planned novel. At the end, we see them all celebrating Christmas fifteen years on, with their families.

The Hikaru Family

Mom - Kali
Dad - Riku
Aran, 11
Alex, 8
Kit & Rory, both 6
Maxie, 1
Bradley, 4 months old.

Maxie and Aran are girls, the others are boys. Riku is Japanese for "land", and Kali comes from the Greek "kalos", which means "beauty".

The Truscott Family

Mom - Terasinha
Dad - Theodore
Thomas Jackson, 3

The Taylor Family

Mom - Carita
Dad - Helios
Rebekah-May, 9
Angel Aki, 6 (Aki means "sky" in Japanese)

Just a quick note: Helios is Aran's Dad. Aran was born when Helios and Kali were 17, and they later broke up and married Carita and Riku, respectively.

Two questions - a) What do you think of my character names and b) Do you think there's a problem with "out-there" names for "out-there" story characters?

Please feel free to post some of your character names here!


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  #2  
Old April 28th, 2008, 9:37 pm
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houseelf25  Female.gif houseelf25 is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I think your character names are really good, so long as they fit the character. There's a pretty good balance of "normal" names in there that they're not too weird.
I love trying to find "out there" names, but sometimes I feel like the characters should be weird enough to fit them, and I'm afraid that they aren't, so I make my names more normal...
Some of my characters:
Joan Weaver-Late 30s
Jason-Her son, 16
(Re)Becca-Her daughter, 18
Andrew (Andy)-Her late husband
Steve-Late 30s, abusive boyfriend she's trying to run away from

I have other characters for that particular story, and they all have just as boring names...any ideas on how to spice them up?
Other names I'm fond of using: Brooke, Derek, Lucy, Jane, Will...
I really need a new name bank. Back when I was more into LOTR I liked using Arwen and Eowyn, but I got over that.


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  #3  
Old April 28th, 2008, 10:50 pm
KeeperOfAranja  Female.gif KeeperOfAranja is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

My favorite character names are ones that are unusual and pretty, but not completely bizarre. I was writing a book called Flying Colors until about six months ago, and their names were my favorites. When you took on the job my main character was training for, one of the duties was to give up your name and any ties to society, like titles. Here are some of their names:

Main character: Jara Delacy (De- is a title; a military name)
Others:
Garrick Woodard
Violet Tanager
Angel De Fraisia (De only is pronounced Day and is a noblity title)
Oliver De Derachella (Yes, that's a militant noble there)
Benjamin Staller
Eldafire (formally Jenna De Kinklic)
Oriole
Brackencolt
Willowflower (Formally Candice Weed)
Jaggedboulder (affectionately called Jags)
Shroudedmoon (Formally Jedidiah Farmer)

Now my names are much plainer, but still odd enough to fit my tastes. I find it easier to spice up names if you go to a baby name site and look up meanings related to your person. for instance, my "bad guy" in Colors was Untroth, troth meaning faith. He betrayed the country. You can also try other languages. Ancient pieces of literature are other sources. I currently have a character named Perdita, from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, which is a totally awesome play, if anyone cares (what by Shakespeare isn't awesome?). Have fun with it; naming your characters is the best part!


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  #4  
Old April 29th, 2008, 9:38 pm
LupinsAngel  Female.gif LupinsAngel is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperOfAranja View Post
My favorite character names are ones that are unusual and pretty, but not completely bizarre. I was writing a book called Flying Colors until about six months ago, and their names were my favorites. When you took on the job my main character was training for, one of the duties was to give up your name and any ties to society, like titles. Here are some of their names:

Main character: Jara Delacy (De- is a title; a military name)
Others:
Garrick Woodard
Violet Tanager
Angel De Fraisia (De only is pronounced Day and is a noblity title)
Oliver De Derachella (Yes, that's a militant noble there)
Benjamin Staller
Eldafire (formally Jenna De Kinklic)
Oriole
Brackencolt
Willowflower (Formally Candice Weed)
Jaggedboulder (affectionately called Jags)
Shroudedmoon (Formally Jedidiah Farmer)

Now my names are much plainer, but still odd enough to fit my tastes. I find it easier to spice up names if you go to a baby name site and look up meanings related to your person. for instance, my "bad guy" in Colors was Untroth, troth meaning faith. He betrayed the country. You can also try other languages. Ancient pieces of literature are other sources. I currently have a character named Perdita, from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, which is a totally awesome play, if anyone cares (what by Shakespeare isn't awesome?). Have fun with it; naming your characters is the best part!
Those are all some pretty awesome names, and so are yours, houself25! I love Brooke and Jason, but that's just because they're characters in The Sleepover Club and I'm still a fangirl of that show from back when I was about ten. Three years !!!

And, in answer to your (rhetorical) question, EVERYTHING by Shakespeare is pretty darn awesome.


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  #5  
Old April 29th, 2008, 10:40 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I thought that the names that you have for your storys are exotic, fun, and cool names. Why should we all have to stick to the basic names that are in this world such as Mary or John. Here are the names to some of my charectors in my newest short story.

Mom-Anastasia
Dad-Akbar
Anya, 10 year old daughter to Akbar and Anastaisa.
Edward, man who overthrows the royal family.


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  #6  
Old July 1st, 2008, 8:53 pm
shleb  Female.gif shleb is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I love the name Rory. Do you use it as a boy or girl? I really like it for a boy and have used it a couple of times (maybe I'm biased since it's my dad's name!)

Other names that I like are Emory, Elliott, Murray, and Liam.

I agree in using a mix of average names like Ben or Lily with less orthodox names. It's neat that others are such name-o-philes


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  #7  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 8:24 am
DancingMaenid  Undisclosed.gif DancingMaenid is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I think names should ideally fit the characters and story. Fantasy and science fiction writers often have a lot of leeway when it comes to names because, if they've created their own world, who's to say that more unusual (or even made-up) names aren't common there? Even in more mainstream stories, sometimes I like to choose slightly uncommon names.

The guidelines I use for naming:

* Should be appropriate for the setting of the story.
* Should work well for the particular character.
* Ideally, I also try to have names that can be pronounced fairly well, but I'm kind of flexible on this. I couldn't pronounce "Hermione" when I first read Harry Potter at the age of 11, but I think that's a good name for her.

I'm better now, but when I was younger, whenever I would start a new story, a lot of times I'd used the same names. For a while, all my main male characters were named Eugene. :P


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  #8  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 4:42 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

My characters:
Ananya
William ...you see I absolutely love this name, and hey it suits him too..
Marianne
Ariana


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  #9  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 5:29 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I like the name Jamie. I always use it for one of my character names.

I am not too creative when it comes to names. It is one of my downfalls when it comes to stories. There are so many possibities for names, and you can never pick the right one


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  #10  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 5:48 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

It all depends on the setting of the story, really- if I were writing a book or short story set in,say, early 19th-century rural China, I wouldn't name my heroine Kristin. As long as the name fits, anything's ok.


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  #11  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 6:39 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I tend to labor for a while on character names. But sometimes I'll have a name pop into my head and the character will spring from it.

My all-time favourite character name from someone else's fiction is Professor Grubbly-Plank. That is the best name EVER.

I was writing a fantasy novel years ago (which I haven't touched in a very, very long time) that had two mercenary elves named Duvok and Rublar (Duvok very short; Rublar very fat). I always liked those names. And the main character in that story was named Aaron.


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  #12  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 9:57 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I kind of borrowed JKR's idea of having names mean something, so I always use latin dictionaries or try to twist random god's and goddeses names or do stuff to normal english, just to get a good name. I don't like using normal names that much, just because i want to be as original as possible with this stuff . I've been using tons of names that start with Au, and i've been playing with the sei in the middle of Poseidon.


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  #13  
Old September 3rd, 2008, 12:13 am
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

Every single story I've ever written (or had the idea for) has taken place in the modern-day, even sometimes there can be futuristic concepts and such. I usually don't have way out there names, but I don't stick with the most typical and overused names ever. One that it seems I always use is the name Allen. I don't know why, I just really like that name. The only name I've ever used that IMO would make someone say, "where does he come up with that?" is Raposhethrinius, which was the name of an island-native dude for a story I once came up with.


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  #14  
Old September 6th, 2008, 6:04 am
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I don't think your names are too out-there, and a lot of them are pretty normalish anyway....I figure your characters are Japanese or part Japanese, though...or at least have parents who are the eccentric types of people who would give Japanese names anyway. Otherwise I think it would be too out-there. I mean, for the parents, it's a bit odd that all of them seem to have really unique names too....I assume in your story they're all acquainted, and I don't know, that is a bit strange.

I use really normal names in my stories...I'm a big fan of the name Gwen for some reason. I actually wrote a story with main characters called Linda and Jane. Once I met a girl named Corriander and thought it was a really neat name...so I think I'm going to end up using that. For males, I've used Alexander, Alan, Kaden, Jesse....I guess I'm boring-ish with names. I don't usually like them to mean anything that fits the character because that's just not realistic to me, but it's still interesting when I read a book in which the author does that.


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  #15  
Old September 7th, 2008, 2:55 pm
LupinsAngel  Female.gif LupinsAngel is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I'm writing a less out-there story now, about kids who go to a normal comprehensive school and have normal teenage problems. So, what do you think of the names -

Adam Taylor - aged 14, MC.
Allie "Squirt" Rowlands - aged 14
Peris "Loser" Harper - aged 14 (eccentric parents named him after the street in London where his father was born, Peris Avenue)
Aidan Marks - aged 15
Angel Stone - aged 15.

I'm about to post chapter one of the story to the boards now, so...read it and see what you think


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  #16  
Old September 8th, 2008, 10:05 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

Honestly, I like to use ordinary names for the most part. If I'm writing a story based in the "realistic fiction" universe I often will look for names being used around me. For one novel, I had a group of girls who coined themselves on their unfortunately androgenous names:

Antonella "Toni" Leonardi
Filomena "Phil" Piekarczyk (please don't ask for pronunciation, I asked my polish friend for the name)
Mackenzie "Mack" Dwyer

others from this piece include

Massimo Montesano
Raymond Mellard
Kim Gorshuck
Bree Jameison
Lisa Brennamen
and Kyle Thompson

That's the only "normal fiction" I've started but I have some others where they are rooted less in reality and are more science fiction the names get stranger. Some Favourites include:

Stone Rigby (originally named Digby after a street in my city, but I changed it, because Rigby sounds better)
Cleary ("Cheaters" or "Cheats") Scofield
Molly Scofield
Emerson Scofield
Ingrid Bonks (that one always puts a smile on my face)
Maxwell Hostess


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  #17  
Old October 6th, 2008, 9:52 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

I like using a bit weird or uncommon names, but only if it suits the character it is given to. I often have meaningful surenames when I write in English, but almost never in Norwegian because it mostly sounds weird.

I once wrote a little story about Harry Humble and his neighbour Peter Porch (I think it was Porch, I'm not sure though) for an English essay. It was important to me that their surenames said something about the characters, so I just sat for a while reading in my dictionary until I found some good names.

The weirdest names I ever made, was for a Norwegian essay about a girl named Tomine (a pretty uncommon Norwegian name) who survived a plain crash an found an undiscovered native population. These natives only spoke with vocals (except the incredibly handsome king), and all the female names started with Ea (example: EaUoia) and the male names with Ae (example: AeEiaoiaćia). That's a bit difficult to pronounce, and definitely bound to sound weird! But it fitted in my story, and I was 13 at the time. Then (two years ago) I used to be very creative in a strange way, so there you are.

Right now I'm particularly fond of the names Jenna (only for English stories, sounds a bit weird when used in Norwegian), William and Mortimer. I don't know why, that's just how I feel now


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  #18  
Old October 18th, 2008, 6:40 am
shaylee_ann  Female.gif shaylee_ann is offline
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

[quote=katsumi;5128707]I tend to labor for a while on character names.QUOTE]

Me too! I take great care in picking names that are fitting and all that.
for historical fiction, I think the name David is perfect for almost any male character. I have used it several times. For girls, (in historical fiction) I like the names Anna, Hannah, Sarah...common and normal names. For more modern stories, I like way too many names to list. Let's just say, I have way too much fun with it.


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  #19  
Old October 20th, 2008, 6:15 pm
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

Ethan is right now my favourite character name. I love the name Edward too, long before Edward Cullen came about and no, I havent read or plan to read Twilight either.


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  #20  
Old October 21st, 2008, 12:00 am
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Re: Your Favourite Character Names

Just go with what you see fit. However, make sure that the names you're giving your characters make sense. It wouldn't fit to have a Canadian born girl, whose parents originate from London, England, named Luminita.


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