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 Picking Names for Characters

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Dick Stodghill
Five Star Member
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Number of posts: 3795
Registration date: 2008-05-04
Age: 89
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:57 am

A Stodghill Says So blog:
As a young fellow I developed a liking for odd names. I also liked sports at the high schools and Akron U and they offered a veritable treasure trove of great monikers.
The football team at the municipal college, now a state university, was a poetic pleasure. In the backfield were Al Abdullah and Frankie Zazula. On the line were Mike Fernella and Dominic Patella. The captain was Walt Kominick and playing center was a tough Irishman named Shanty Hogan. I liked Joe Zemla, Andy Maluke and Collie McCombs.
East High athletes had great names. Jim Comedy was a favorite of mine, as was Sam Serves, pronounced service. Walt Gezzar (geezer) and Charley Nurse were fine ones and so were Joe Yen, Willie Lee and Bob Royal. Gene Woodling went on to play baseball for the New York Yankees.
There were good names out at Garfield High, names like Mike Feduniak, Ernie Stadvec and Kenny Batman. It almost seemed unfair to have Batman carrying the football. At South High were Fritz Nagy, Wyndol Grey, Joe Papp and Ara Parseghian. The latter went on to coach Notre Dame football. North featured Ralph Vinceguerra, Tony Campanella and Chuck Palazzo. Central had Felix Latona and at West was Friend Van Fleet.
Latona went on to coach football at his alma mater, then died of a heart attack at practice while still a young man. Van Fleet was killed in WWII.
I have always enjoyed picking names for characters in short stories and novellas. Memory and the Akron phone book ensure a steady supply of the memorable variety, but it's best not to turn on the spell checker.
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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Number of posts: 1076
Registration date: 2008-01-13
Age: 26
Location: Crystal Falls, Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:48 pm

This is my list of invented names so far. it took many years for it to get this long.

P. Gordon Kennedy’s List of Invented Names
Aniitron
Arcadivo
Asachanci
Bictengal
Bikiia
Bracophlor
Caanteris
Dalic
Deltick
Drakintech
Dunahy
Eptannia
Eptonon
Eratol
Exxcelcis
Gattomine
Holliphlor
Immahyr
Intaevvian
Intigulus
Jarranal
Jarronal
Jijjon
Kelluphlor
Laegomarine
Laegophlor
MacMurtagua
Medize
Medronidon
Mernomus
Merriphlor
Orpilliar
Paeletani
Selturg
Sunuphlor
Thallanstal
Xeoromir
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Dick Stodghill
Five Star Member
Five Star Member


Number of posts: 3795
Registration date: 2008-05-04
Age: 89
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:21 pm

I like them. Good list.
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dkchristi
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Number of posts: 7579
Registration date: 2008-12-29
Location: Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:02 pm

Ghost Orchid is in final edit and I am having name trouble. It's short for a novel and does include a "mystery" so it might have minimal appeal to you Dick. Since you enjoy naming; here's a chance to read a short novel (50,000 words), perhaps tell me your opinion in general, and name the characters whose current names are quite dull with the exception of one name with which I am thrilled, Neambh (Neev in English) for the red-headed Irish girl. It's open season on the rest of the dull names. This is the final manuscript before the publisher continues with their many steps.
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Dick Stodghill
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Number of posts: 3795
Registration date: 2008-05-04
Age: 89
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:27 pm

I'm no good at critiquing manuscripts but I'll be glad to read it and see if any names leap to mind. If you're going to email it the address is: dstodghill6071@juno.com
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dkchristi
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Number of posts: 7579
Registration date: 2008-12-29
Location: Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:54 pm

Thanks for the look and the thoughts!
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Betty Fasig
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Number of posts: 3993
Registration date: 2008-06-12
Age: 71
Location: Duette, Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:06 pm

Dear Gordon,
The name I liked the best is Jiijon.

I love names. A name kind of defines a character. Well, maybe just in the author's mind.

DK,
I am glad that Dick is looking at Ghost Orchid.

Love,
Betty
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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Number of posts: 1076
Registration date: 2008-01-13
Age: 26
Location: Crystal Falls, Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:00 pm

Jijjon is the first name of a minor character in The Tale of Medize, a 10,000 word story I wrote when I was 14. He's only mentioned in a sentance or two. I like all my invented names.
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dkchristi
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Number of posts: 7579
Registration date: 2008-12-29
Location: Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:19 pm

Two of my characters are nondescript, just moving through life. I had trouble naming them at all!!!
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Betty Fasig
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Number of posts: 3993
Registration date: 2008-06-12
Age: 71
Location: Duette, Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:23 am

When my chickens hatched their eggs, I named the chicks, Feeney, Sweenie, Herminie and Flo.

I smile every time I look at those chickens because their names have a nice cadence when said all together and they are always all together.

Love,
Betty
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alj
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Number of posts: 9381
Registration date: 2008-12-05
Age: 71
Location: San Antonio

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:53 am

Some years ago I read a series of historical fiction by Sharon Kay Penman: Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, and the Reckoning, all set in the British Isles during the reigns of the Plantagenet kings of England. One of the heroes was David ap Llewellyn, a son of Llewellyn the Great, who might have changed the history of Wales had he not died young. I liked Penman's portrayal of that character, and put the name, David Llewellyn, into the list of characters inside my head. He eventually became one of the major characters in And Adam was a Gardener. Since the character's backstory involved his having been born on a different planet, he needed a name for his earlier life there. I came up with Dawilan. And as the story developed, I decided to tie him to another major character. I called this one Brian "Briny" Devlin. The main female character in Adam is Maggie, for Magdalene, a woman who has sometimes been thought to be the bride of Christ, at other times, a prostitute. She was definitely an independent woman, as was my Maggie. In some ways I believed then, sometimes still do, that in a culture where women are expected to marry and be supported by their husbands, rather than having a purpose not tied to their husbands and children, the result is a form of prostitution. All of these thoughts went into the creation of Maggie.

I wrote a series of short stories several years ago, all revolving around a hidden cave, and a magical stone inside the cave, that was lit by its own, red-orange light. The individual who discovered it (but kept it hidden) started calling himself Redstone. I later learned that a red stone was one of the alchemists' later stages in turning lead into gold.

Ann
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dkchristi
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Number of posts: 7579
Registration date: 2008-12-29
Location: Florida

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:47 am

An acquaintance of mine used the name "orangedog" in email. I asked why. He said the orangedog is a caterpillar that is ugly beyond expression; however, when it becomes a moth, it is an exquisite beauty. Therefore, orangedog to him meant hidden beauty just waiting for its maturity. As he pointed out to me, the caterpillar and the moth bear a striking resemblance in their eyes.
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Malcolm
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Number of posts: 1498
Registration date: 2008-01-11
Location: Georgia

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:40 am

Gosh, y'all make my character names actually sound normal. In the upcoming book, the police are named after pastries (Hank Kruller and Parker House), the rich guy is named Cash, the protagonist's first name is Jock (to sound tough), and his best source is called Coral Snake. Needless to say, I spent no time whatsoever mulling these over. :-)

Malcolm
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Dick Stodghill
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Number of posts: 3795
Registration date: 2008-05-04
Age: 89
Location: Akron, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:14 pm

Just popped into your head, did they? Yeah, sure.
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Malcolm
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Number of posts: 1498
Registration date: 2008-01-11
Location: Georgia

PostSubject: Re: Picking Names for Characters   Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:27 pm

Well, I had to drink three fingers of Scotch first, Dick. That's basic to my creative process.

Malcolm
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