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Stylistic Nightmare

Haha, I always tell my friends that if they don't like it, they can go fuck themselves. They don't own the name; I don't use their last names, and I'm pretty sure none of my friends have completely unique first names. And for last names, I just use the last names of hockey players and singers. Not very creative perhaps, but effective.

4/23/2010 #331
Matthew J. Brown

I avoid this by writing fantasy and making up names that, most likely, do not exist. Some of my characters are based in some ways on people I know, though!

4/23/2010 #332

I understand the debate on the whole names thing. I use my friends' first names as it is much easier to just pick one of those than to think up a new one. Of course if you don't like to do this( as many people don't) you could always just pick the first names of celebrities and rondomly match them with another celebs last name. I mean it's not like they will care is it? And you can't always just make up names that don't exist. It's a brilliant idea and very creative but I just don't have the imagination. Besides friends would be well chuffed if you got a book published and you had used their name XD

4/27/2010 #333
Matthew J. Brown

Yes, sometimes making up names is hard, but they eventually work out. If I can't think up one I'm really happy with, I use the best one I came up with so far and make a note to replace it with a better. Sometimes the temporary name grows on me and I don't need to change it.

4/27/2010 #334

I always enjoy my trips to ^^ They also have a nice little article for writers with some do's or don'ts--though I'm sure for those here most of them are pretty obvious:

4/27/2010 #335
Matthew J. Brown

Their point about nicknames is dead on, too. It's not infrequent for people to not be called by their full name, and in some cultures & social classes it's normal to give a long official name that's then "cut down to fit" for a day-to-day name. Also, exactly what's used as the actual use-name may differ depending on who's speaking.

I do this in my fantasy stories too. For instance, my undead army officer is named Anhelia Aescar, in normal personal-name family-name order. (She may grow a middle name, but one hasn't shown up yet).

Professionally, her full first name is used; contrary to our world, last names are not the form of military address. Two reasons; one, the use of the bare family name is a proper address only for the head of a family, and two, because not everyone has last names (the very lowest social classes do not) and the armed forces are trying for egalitarianism.

"Anhelia" is the feminized form of "Anhel", her father's name. It's considered somewhat old-fashioned.

Informally, her soldiers and peers call her "Hel".

The use of the personal diminutive "Annie" is reserved for those on fairly intimate terms, mostly her lovers over the course of the story.

This is a fantasy example, but similar considerations take place in less fantastic settings. Someone has a name they are given by their parents or guardians, generally for a reason -- family history, fashionable names, meaningful names, names of people the parents admire, or whatnot. There's quite frequently a diminutive version used by a child's parents, and perhaps later by other intimates. There'll be what they're known as at work. There's the nickname they pick up among their friends. There's the handle they use online. All of those tell us something about a person, and it's worth thinking of a name not just as one static lump, but rather a whole cloud of names and descriptives that are used in various contexts.

Some cultures historically have also given epithets, poetic descriptors -- think "Ivan the Terrible" or the like. I believe old Norse cultures did this a lot, particularly if you got famous enough for stories to be told of you.

In some cultures, names are so common that nicknames are essential to identification; this was historically the case in Wales, for instance, where a large proportion of the population had the same small number of last names and many first names were very common as well. Identification of which Dafydd Jones was by nickname, which might be a physical descriptor, their occupation, or simply something memorable.

4/27/2010 #336

Yes, very true. In Russia they use diminutives as well, is that the word? I think Sophie's the expert on that lol.

4/28/2010 #337
Matthew J. Brown

Yes, the Russians are big into them. It obviously varies from culture to culture exactly how such things are used, but names and forms of address are often a complex thing. In complicated cases, such as Japanese and Korean, there are a LOT of different modes, each appropriate to a certain type of relationship between the speaker and the subject. English is less formal, especially American English, but it's still not exactly infrequent for people to be called different things by different people and groups.

When writing fantasy, or historical fiction, or other kinds of fiction where the culture and linguistic conventions of one's characters are different from those of one's readers, it's always a balancing act between approachability and ease of reading on the one hand, and giving an appropriate feeling of being immersed in a different, foreign culture on the other.

4/28/2010 #338

When writing fantasy, or historical fiction, or other kinds of fiction where the culture and linguistic conventions of one's characters are different from those of one's readers, it's always a balancing act between approachability and ease of reading on the one hand, and giving an appropriate feeling of being immersed in a different, foreign culture on the other.

I find it really difficult to take fantasy seriously when the names are too weird, but I think that's because I don't have much experience reading fantasy. So I'm just not used to it. But I get what you're saying about the balancing act, for sure.

On the culture thing, traditionally Maori don't really have nicknames that are derivitaves of proper names. If anything general tags of boy, girl, elder female, sister, younger sister and so forth are employed. But that's a different language. And English is really informal, it's awesome. You can call people just about anything!

4/29/2010 #339

Okay this is a really weird deviation of a topic and I must say that I should be working on studying for my German final but I'm just going to run with this and continue procrastinating.

Thank you everyone here for being nice about vampire fiction. I am at the end of my rope here as far as "I hate this genre, but..." comments. I am so, so, so angry at Stephanie Meyer right now that I can't even--I can't even describe it.

I mean, I've been writing vampire fiction for SUCH A LONG TIME, and it's something I love so much and to just have it so...not taken seriously AT ALL, has become really, really difficult for me to continue "not letting it bother me or caring". I mean I know vampires and shit are stupid anyway, before Meyer--but at least it wasn't a genre that whored itself out so completely that it would never have even a sliver of anyone taking it seriously. I'm so SICK of people making fun of it ALL THE TIME. It has come to a point. Where I just want to take down VATR, so that it never existed. I swear. I mean like--it's like a joke. The audience has become a joke. It is a joke to "serious" authors, and I just can't do it...not after Meyer. It's so stupid.

I can't even talk or discuss vampires with someone without them going "Oh, I'm not going to discuss vampires over the Internet."

ARGH. If I could send Meyer hate mail I would do it. If it was possible for her to actually read it, which it wouldn't be so I won't bother.

That woman. And her stupid vampires. Have ruined the enjoyment of an entire genre for me! *kicks something* XD

Okay. De-stressing happened. Now, I am good. I can study with a clear mind. Woo.

5/3/2010 #340


That was a rant.

I can't say I feel the same way because I never talk to anyone about fiction -correction- I have no one to talk to. So nothing has been ruined for me! But you know what really sucks is that you've gotten so frustrated you want to take down one of your stories. That's awful! Specially since it's such a cool, well-written, interesting story.

And now that you mention it, vampire fiction is what really started me off with writing. I think it came before Harry Potter!

But Meyer has definately revolutionized vampire fiction. Not in a good way though.

p.s good luck for that German final :)

5/3/2010 #341
Stylistic Nightmare

People are stupid. To quote Homer Simpson: "It's because they're stupid; that's why everybody does everything". I really enjoy Vampire fiction, and even though I truly dislike Twilight, I'm not going to pass over a good story just because it involves Vampires. Anybody who does, or people who act all fucked up when the topic comes up, whether it be because they love Twilight or hate it, are just plain stupid. I enjoy talking to people about Vampire fiction; if they want to get all bitchy about it, they can just leave the conversation. I want to tell you to not let stupid people get to you, but that seems to be easier said than done; there are always gonna be shitheads out there. At this point in time, the shitheads appear to outnumber everyone else, but that'll change eventually. And you can always have discussions about Vampires or whatever here; I'm always up for a good Vampire conversation, and I'm sure everyone else would be happy to join in with their own viewpoints as well.

Good luck with the German thing.

5/3/2010 #342
Matthew J. Brown

I'd vote along the lines of "Refuse Stephanie Meyer the right to ruin vampires forever!"

5/4/2010 #343

I'd vote along the lines of "Refuse Stephanie Meyer the right to ruin vampires forever!"

Too little, too late I'm afraid. The days of vampires being the spawn of satan are looking to be over.

5/4/2010 #344

Thanks guys--I got in a little bit of a freak-out last night, XD

My German final was a complete fail, haha, and I have Am. Lit in one hour...

But anyway, though I'm freaking out about it I think I'll just leave it up. Thank you for listening to me vent in freak-out mode.

This week is much too stressful. It's like one giant week-long transition scene. and I HATE writing transition scenes, so this relates back to my creative writing, haha

5/4/2010 #345

How-do Globers? It is I, Songbyrd! Long time no see. Anywhoodle, the bf turned out to be a lying jerkface (again. Yes, apparently I am that desperate-and crazy.) Soooooooooo, I'm redoing Perimortem with different Characters, more of a backstory, diff title, etc. But I do have a question/in need of suggestions.

So far, the only name I can come up with for the main male character is: Nathan Blake. Bleh. What a yuppie name. He is a not a yuppie-he's a tough, school-of-hard-knocks, drinking, smoking, skirt-chasing, motorcycle riding asshole. I'd like to leave Blake in there somewhere-first name or last, I do not know. Ryan Blake? Blake Ryan? I need help.

Main female character is easier, but I can't decide whether to call her Mirielle ("Miri") or Sara. Thinking her last name will be Fox(e) or maybe her last name could be Ryan.

Suggestions? Hints? Opinions? Fire away! Please and thank you.

5/14/2010 #346

I like Nathan Blake! But if you shorten it it'll be Nate Blake, and that's lame. My suggestion, seeing how he's supposed to be a badass, is to cut the last name and just leave it as Blake. Sure he's got to have a last name somewhere underneath all that facial hair, but really cool guys don't actually need one.

Sara Ryan sounds good. I guess. Just because?

I love names and story planning (that's a lie, I just like names)

Hope that helped! Sorry about the bf drama.

5/15/2010 #347

Ah, good. Just Blake, then, I think. I like Sara Ryan, too. Yay! That hurdle has been cleared. Now on to the rewrite!

5/16/2010 #348
Stylistic Nightmare

Haha, I was just reading over the last few posts and I realized something; the names I used in planning for the two main character for my story "South Of Heaven" are Kane Ryan and Alexander Blake. Funny coincidence eh?

5/16/2010 #349

That is funny, JR. hehe. Bah......I hate rewrites. And all because jerkface screwed me over. _

5/16/2010 #350

appologies for the lack of updates, work sucks.

6/6/2010 #351

No problem, you're talking to someone who took two months to update their "active" story, so meh, I know -_-

At least you're still around, it's good to see you Drew!

6/6/2010 #352

Hullo all. I have a problem that I'm unable to figure out on my own. I hope someone can help me, because it's driving me nuts, and I'd really like to get this chapter(s) out of the way so I can proceed with the rest of my story. Here we go:

I'm working on a flashback scene that explains a great deal of a certain character's past. Now, there are about three major events that make her the way she is, all of which are kind of crucial to her plot line. I was thinking of trying to include three events in one chapter, but I don't like to go over 3 000 words for each chapter, and there's no way I can stay within that word count. So, I was thinking of doing three separate chapters, one for each flashback. Is this a wise choice? I know some people are a little weary of flashbacks, but this is the only way to do each event justice.

I'm also playing with the idea of only doing one flashback scene, and then have her slowly remember other bits of her past (she had her memories stolen btw) and then replay them either through dreams (ick, so overdone and I'm afraid of the angst), seeing/hearing something that brings the memory to the forefront of her mind and having her mull it over, or through dialogue with another character (the man who took her memories).

The other problem I have with this though, is that my story contains multiple plot lines. I've already remained with this character for about five chapters now, and if I add those three flashback scenes, it'll be eight. The average amount of chapters I stay with each character is about four because how everything plays out lets me keep it like that. I'm worried that if I remain with this character for three more chapters, people are going to forget what happened in the previous plot line. I was thinking of going back over to the other plot line for three chapters or so, but I've built up a lot of tension and expectation in the current chapter, and it would just be cruel to not continue it (I can think of at least three people who would throttle me if I did that).

I hope that all made sense and didn't sound like incoherent blather.


6/7/2010 #353

Hey Liana. So, by your reasoning having the flashbacks as three whole chapters will be too long with one character, right? And your readers may forget the previous plot lines? Well then I think it would be good to move on and have one flashback scene, maybe reveal her memories bit by bit through all of those things you mentioned, and then wham, have one big one, maybe the most important one, triggered by something big/intense. That would build up some more tension? And chunks of flashback may slow down the flow a bit.

Hope that helped :)

6/8/2010 #354

This is for Shadows no doubt? :D I like Xen's idea, actually. Otherwise I would go with maybe the way the memories come back when triggered by something familiar too. I really like Xen's thoughts on it, it'd be cool to see that worked into Shadows!

6/8/2010 #355

That definitely seems to be the best route with this. It'll actually make it a bit easier for me as well; I won't have to write out all that happened, and it'll be nice to throw some triggers in there. Thanks for helping me out with this, it's been eating away at me, and I really just want to crank out some more chapters.

I'll try my best to do it all justice. And no giant block of flashback all in italics. ;)

Thanks again!!

6/8/2010 #356

yay no italics, my eyes won't fall out! :D

Liana you always have the coolest icons, XD

6/8/2010 #357

I reckon. That is a pretty awesome icon :/

6/8/2010 #358

Thanks. It's a painting called Dream of the Hungry Ghost by Colette Calascione. She has quite the imagination; a lot of her paintings are quite.... interesting.

6/9/2010 #359

How do, Globers? Long time no see. So, I totally can't write any original fic right now because I have a stupid Ironman/I2 ff running through my brain. I feel like SUCH A NERD. :/ Don't think I'll be doing any "original writing" for a while.

There is a question in here, if you are familiar with the Ironman movies.

I'm having trouble working out how one would go about resucitating Tony Stark if his heart "stopped" due to the arc reactor that keeps his heart going. Standard CPR is out of the question, due to the electrical unit in the center of his chest, basic compressions would be ineffective, and electric debfibrilation would basically fry Stark to a crisp. Any ideas? It's central to the opening of the story, and I want it to be " accurate". Don't hate me for doing fanfic-I simply cannot help myself. Much thanks.

6/10/2010 #360
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