New answers tagged naming
With global media, mobility and communication, certain names can be found worldwide. There certainly is a John in most countries around the globe today, there are few countries without a Chen or Wang, and Muhammad is the most common name on Earth. Simply find names that are present in all the cultures you care about. If you use several globalized names, ...
You could provide fodder for those doing literary analysis and chose names for deep symbolic reasons from history, literature or for their meaning. This provides the dual benefits of layered meaning and non-regionalism.
Frankly, I think this would be very difficult to pull off. You could give all the characters made-up names that don't come from any nationality. But this has two catches: (a) One or two characters with unusual, made-up names would be plausible. Like if the characters are named Bob and Sally and Mamber and Fred, a reader might think, hmm, Mamber, what an odd ...
My first thought was why not use non-typical/atypical names (or even codenames as another person suggests)? You know, names such as "Dasher", "Dancer" and "Prancer" or "Onedwarf", "Twodwarf" and/or "Threedwarf"? How about descriptive names such as "Oneeye", "Haircut" (could be great for a bald character) or "Beefchop" (for an especially muscular ...
Firstly, I think that whatever you write will have a distinct flavour of your cultural background, no matter how universal your story is or how hard you try to conceal your upbringing. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage. Think of Shakespeare's Macbeth: The story is firmly rooted in a specific time and place. But does this affect the universality ...
Depending on how many characters, it may be possible to avoid naming them explicitly by using identifying characteristics or their role. If that is a suitable option, more ideas on how to implement it effectively can be found on this question.
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