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villain name

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by valiant12, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    I spent a lot of time thinking how to name one of the main villains in my books. When i first envisioned the character I knew that his servants refer to him as the Dark lord, and In his head he calls himself the " The chosen one".
    My priorities for choosing the name were

    -Not giving him a evil or wierd name. I have a lot of sympathy for the character. A lot of really bad things happened to him in his youth and maybe if he was born in some different circumstances he would be some great hero fighting to save justice and peace. And in his version of history he is the true hero. i wanted to reflect that in his name- giving him a nice not evil name. Besides that what kind of parent will name his kid maleficent or something similar.

    - Not naming him after someone I know to avoid unfortunate implications. Not naming him after someone famous for the same reason.
    - easy to pronounce

    After some research I found the perfect very rare name, which fit perfectly in the universe where the story take place.
    And then I google the name and found that there is a writer with the same first name.

    Now i feel bad for naming a sadistic , narcissist , sociopath who also happened to be a parody of the stereotypical male character in romantic novels with a normal name. How do you avoid this ?
     
  2. I have a malfunctioning give a dang, so I don't really care if my villains have the same name as someone famous or that I know. To be honest, I think that his the best method. If you use any name that sounds or is the same as an IRL name then you will always run up agaisnt this problem. So you can either make fake names weird or you recognize that the villain may have the same name and you stop caring.
     
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  3. Velka

    Velka Sage

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    Unless you name your character an intelligible string of consonants, there will likely already be someone who also has that name. If it works for your character, use it!
     
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  4. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    First of all you should think about the naming conventions in the character's culture. Do his/her people have a certain style in names? Once you've done that i would take a name with softer sounding vowels and consonants such as "f" "h""a" etc... Basically make names based around sounds that are appealing. For example "Adam" or "Phillip" sound more pleasant than "Görrsnark".
     
    spectre likes this.
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Here's the thing. If it's a real name or is very close to one, then there is going to be at least one person--most likely many many people--with that name. That's why it's a name.

    With that said, you can't avoid it. You really can't avoid naming someone... well... a name, unless you go completely off the wall and name them something like Table or Chair. And even then, watch out for the Hollywood types who name their children Apple, Bronx, Ocean, Sonnet, True, Kyd, Jermajesty or Satchel. That last one is a real name, but still, the kid's name means bag.

    To me it's like trying to write a story without ever using A,E,I,O, or U.
     
  6. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I agree with the above posters. I usually give my characters names that suit their appearance or personality in some way. The villain in one of my Fae novels is Fiachra, which is an Irish name that means "raven", because he has dark hair. The MC of that story is named Ariel, after the Little Mermaid, because she loves to sing. Just to name a couple. :)
     
  7. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I wouldn't sweat a name.

    I don't know, but I'm sure there are some fantastically awesome villains out there who's names are about as pedestrian as you can get. In fact I think I'd go as far as to say I'd prefer names like that as long as they fit the fantasy society in question. Look at some of the most evil people in our world. Almost none of them are called Bloodbone McDarkness.

    Maybe that's a bad example...
     
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  8. spectre

    spectre Sage

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    Just find some romance or repulsion for you syllables and if ur looking up the language behind real names why veer away from a name that is suggestive of your character?

    Sent from my LGMS345 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    One wizard I named Agamemnon because it sounds cool. But later I remembered the historical figure that had this name.

    The main problem I run into when naming characters is finding names where the pronunciation isn't difficult to discern.
     
  10. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    I never thought about the naming convention in his culture.And it's completely irrelevant to the plot.


    The weird names ruin the hunger games for me. And even Suzanne Collins didnt named a charecter True or Ocean or Eggsbacon.
    The sad thing is that being named after food is not that bad compared to .....................
    [​IMG]
     
  11. spectre

    spectre Sage

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    Lol fa sho u right lmao

    Sent from my LGMS345 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Ok than, sorry for trying to help you out mate.
     
  13. spectre

    spectre Sage

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    I agree with mcfarnham and banten. Name him yvgeny, even the russians fear yvgeny!

    Sent from my LGMS345 using Tapatalk
     
  14. evolution_rex

    evolution_rex Inkling

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    I would have liked the names if the series was more in the tone of Harry Potter. The names imply whimsy, and nothing about The Hunger Games is whimsical.

    As for the topic, don't think about it too much honestly. As long as it's catchy, most readers aren't going to recognize how obviously villainy it is. Hell, I don't even mind Star Wars Sith names because their catchy. It took me years to actually realize where the name 'Darth Sidious' came from. And just because the first name is the same as a famous author means nothing.

    The only thing to worry about is if it's a historical novel or takes place in a specific real life country, then you want to make sure your name is accurate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  15. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I think you could still get away with it, but perhaps just used a variation of it or spelled it differently.

    I always think of Cercei Lannister in this instance… totally name for Circe, the goddess in the Odyssey who turns men to pigs then devours them…

    But yeah, I can't stand difficult pronunciation that is only that way because it seems 'cool' or foreign. That drives me nuts.

    Especially in a character heavy book where I have to keep track of a hundred names with apostrophes in them. This is why I prefer low fantasy I guess. Eddard Stark. Sansa Stark. I was even relieved when I stared reading Sword of Truth a the MC was Richard Cypher. Ok, Rick is maybe a bit too modern lol… but at least I could keep it straight.

    And please oh please try to avoid names the sound the same,

    Sauron and Saruman drove me nuts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  16. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I agree with Bantan about naming conventions though… it may not be important to the plot but it could be important to the world building and characterization.

    For example here on earth we typically take our names from nature, or the jobs we do, or historical figures, or religious figures. If you do the same in your world then names become significant and actually meaningful then to the world.

    So what if a character was named Artur Stoneman because he is named for an ancient god Artur who built the mountains, and Stoneman because that is what his job is? A stone or brick cutter?

    My name, Jennifer, is the welsh word for "white wave" or "white water", just like the first nations people of North America took names from the natural world.

    I had a character Raidne in a novel I was working on who was named for one of the world's moons and her role in the story was as a sort of moon - a beacon of light in the darkness and the guide down a dark and terrible path…

    You get the idea.

    In the Lord of the Rings Tolkien had to be very careful about how he named his characters.

    Hobbits are very simple creatures, so they have very simple names. Frodo, Samwise, Pippin, Perigrin, Merry etc…

    Where as Elves are much more majestic, noble creatures who have much more majestic names:
    Arwen, Celeborn, Eldrond, Galadriel

    And then the dwarves are gruff, tough little guys with gruff, tough little names:
    Gimli, Thorin, Balin, Fili and Kili, Durin etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    Ban likes this.
  17. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    All fantasy villains should be named Lord Foul.
     
  18. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Ok, here's an easy trick:

    Take an unpleasant word and change one or two letters...

    Krute
    Garlock
    Hecrosis
    Xile
    Korrible
    Tazi
    Adolg Gitler

    I call it "the Sith method".
     
  19. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    I think this work better in sci fi for alien names and weird future human cultures from isolated colony worlds.
    I actually considered naming another character Malin. Like stalin combined with malice.
     
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