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Author Topic: A question about names...  (Read 658 times)
Addison Trent
Gunner
**
United States United States



« on: January 23, 2010, 04:01:58 am »

So here's the situation. I'm writing a story and both of the main characters have names which are often shortened by other characters. The characters are Tanemos and Emelise, referred to as Tan and Em respectively. I'm wondering whether it is okay for the narrator to refer to these characters by their shortened names and switch back and forth sometimes or if, for whatever reason, they should only be called by their shorter names by characters in the story.

Thanks in advance for any input on this. I'm probably just being overly concerned about nothing, but I am a bit curious.
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H. MacHinery
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 04:48:44 am »

Personally, I think that you need to refer to the characters narratively by a single name, although other characters may call them by various names.  A good example is
Jim Butcher's Furies series - the main character is called "Tavi" by the narrative voice at all times, even though the other characters call him by other names at various times.
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sunrain
Deck Hand
*
Canada Canada


« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 08:33:06 am »

I think it's mostly perspective.
For instance if you are writing from the perspective of Emilise you would generally use their full name in the narrative.
But if you are writing from the perspective of someone who refers to them by their nickname , you would say Em in the narrative.
That's what I think anyways.
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JesterfieldGrimm
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


Ph.D. in Horribleness


« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 01:42:54 pm »

Well, you write how you want to right, that's my first bit of advice.  If it makes sense to you go for it, you can always change it on re-reads or get second hand opinions on it later.  Sometimes you can't properly judge things till you get a little more down the road first.

Anyway, in my humble writing experience if I'm writing from a 3rd person somewhat "storytelling narrative person" I always use their full names (Or their established name) unless it's a character who is specifically calling them by their nickname.  I think H. MacHinery gave good advice, if you establish the narrative voice's name for a specific character changing it around would be confusing at times.

That is just totally my opinion though, don't take it as biblical, I'm only trying to help! 
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Captain Harland Setherin Verona of the Colette Maleficarum

"Rumba Rumba Rumba Rumba Rumba"
Nikola Feist
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2010, 04:26:36 pm »

I agree with H.

And "being overly concerned about nothing" should be a synonym for "writer". At least the good ones.
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Addison Trent
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 01:54:31 am »

Ah, you guys are fantastic. Thanks so much for the input. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing since this really is just a first draft I'm writing. We'll see how things go.
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