Questions about creating and using names.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

37
votes
20answers
4k views

How to name the characters of your story?

I find it hard to name my characters. Every normal name sounds funny if applied to a product of my fantasy. If I take a common name, I may get the image of someone I know into my head. And that may ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

Any Technique to See if Your Idea is Original?

I usually get quite a lot of ideas for stories, but every time I want to develop them into a full fledged story, I get paranoid about how it might not be an original idea, and how it might be ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Are Names of Characters Copyrighted by Authors?

Are names of characters copyrighted by authors? For example, the character "Eragon" from the Inheritance Cycle series, or a name that you've generated using an online name generator that you'd like to ...
12
votes
6answers
255 views

How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?

Until now, I have mostly written in settings similar enough to Earth, mostly with human beings. For the first time, I am writing a short story set on a different planet, where the protagonists are not ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Characters with no names

I've got a few short stories going, and I've foregone naming any of my characters. It started because I just didn't have any good names in my head and I was going to take care of it later, but now I'm ...
8
votes
7answers
424 views

Potential confusion: referring to home planet as “Earth”

I'm writing a science fiction story and it's based in another galaxy, colonised by humans originally on a geographically equivalent "Earth". My current usage refers to it as "Earth" and provides a ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Inventing names for Sci-Fi characters

How can I invent names for fictional characters in a future-setting Sci-Fi story so they won't be connected to any existing culture? I considered the following options: Invent some random names. ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it OK to refer to some characters by first name and to others by last name?

I'm writing the outline for my first novel, which has three main characters. I'm very happy with their names, however I recently noticed that I was naturally referring to the first two by first name, ...
7
votes
5answers
230 views

About using authentic historical name for teenager material

I am writing a (short) story set in Ancient Egypt, and the intended audience are junior high-senior high school students in the US. I am trying to use authentic Ancient Egyptian names for the ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Coming up with names for species in fiction?

When you are writing a story that is set in a fantasy world (maybe our world with just one made-up element, or a completely different world), what is a good way to come up with names for species that ...
6
votes
2answers
230 views

How to have a character be nameless for the first few paragraphs of a book?

Let me first explain what is going in in the beginning of the story: My main character belongs to a tribal culture that requires their children pass a rite of passage to earn their name. So I'm kind ...
6
votes
8answers
692 views

Tools for generating characters' names

I found this name generator: http://www.fakenamegenerator.com And I'm wondering if maybe there are others? Has anybody found this kind of tool useful? What about tools for fantasy names? Should I ...
6
votes
4answers
169 views

Should I translate foreign names of companies, organisations, political parties etc?

Is it okay to keep foreign names of companies, organisations, etc even if they have official English translations? Example 1: A now defunct limited company in Sweden "Norrbottens Järnverk AB" has ...
5
votes
3answers
680 views

On copyright laws and plots

I was pondering a lot on the issue with copyrights on plots. Is having an identical plot infringing someone else's copyrighted work? I am fully aware that the character names are copyrighted and ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Is it legal to name a character in a story after a disguised trademark?

I'm writing a sci-fi book series. As a true nerd, I want to use some characters to "do homage" to famous scientists, acronyms for experimental methods, and (here's the question) trademarked ...
5
votes
2answers
302 views

How do you come up with a fictional character name in a historical era/region?

How do you research to find character names? Especially when it's long ago, not European, and the culture was totally different from what the region has now. For example, how would you generate names ...
4
votes
5answers
199 views

How to handle a character when she is lying about her name

I am in the midst of writing my second NaNo novel, and I have encountered a problem I didn't anticipate. It is similar to this question, about changing a character's name in the middle of a story, but ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Referring to people in a book

I'm writing a book (travelogue) about Japan, comparing it to Sweden, where I'm from. During my travels I communicated mostly in Japanese but occasionally in English and Swedish. The book is in English ...
3
votes
4answers
591 views

Does it confuse readers if a character name is similar to the name of an object?

It has been said that you should avoid similar sounding character names. One recommendation is to let character names begin with different letters of the alphabet, and not having them rhyme or ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Should the word “The” be included in a label when labelling a character?

If I reference a character, whom, for the current context is given a label, such as "The Skull", should I include the word "The"? The following snippet should clarify my question: Our mission is to ...
3
votes
4answers
161 views

Not knowing a character's name. Would this be frustrating for the reader?

I have a project I have been working on for many years. It is quite personal and is intended for a small audience. In the story, the protagonist is trying to find/help another character, who for ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

What is the correct casing for a character's title?

I'm currently writing some fiction about a lord and I'm struggling with when I should capitalise his title. There are a number of circumstances. When someone is referring to him or about him using ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

How do you mention the same character with two very different descriptions?

In a screenplay, if you have a single character whose appearance and significance changes at some point - how do you note/explain that it's the same character? For example, I might have a MASKED ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Do I correctly utilize my naming adjective concept in this book?

In my story THE GOSPEL OF THE RETURN OF A CHRIST THAT WANTS ANSWERS I wanted to evoke a sense of the middle ages in a modern book. So I utilized a technique where whenever I referred to a character, I ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Legal issue of naming a character after a song character

Legally can you name characters after songs (poems, etc.) so long as those characters don't purport to affiliated w/ the song or the song writer/author? A similar question here asks the opposite ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

Chapter names: The various ways of implementing them and why should I care

I see many times, that authors use various name formats for chapters: "***" "Twenty Four" "Chapter 5" "XIX" "Last Resort" "Ad notam" (or something Latin or any foreign, (!not author!) language) ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

What connotations do these character names confer?

I'm currently brooding over good character names for a novel I want to write. I was looking at some of the books I read recently, trying to understand why the authors picked the names they gave their ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

The president, the nickel and the dime [closed]

Not sure if this is on topic here: I remember back when I was a kid, I read a story about a US president. When he was a kid, he was stupid and fooled by people. They often gave him a choice of a ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Screenplay format: Can character names be shortened after the first mention?

For example: TED DIBAR, (40s) swings his cape to the side, as he approaches Felix. Do I need to continue to use the character's full name, or can I shorten it in subsequent mentions?
-2
votes
1answer
299 views

Ideas for nicknames of characters in a story

I'm translating a short story into English. 1). The protagonist is a woman in her mid-forties. There was a time when she used to copy out verses from poems and paste them on her wall. The people in ...
-4
votes
1answer
89 views

What is a good name for a character who loves money? [closed]

His name is going to be Mr. Price. What should his first name be?