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January 2, 2013
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His name is WHAT?

:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
What does one do, in terms of abbreviation, with characters that have large first names. Are there certain names that should be abbreviated? Is it okay to do it during narration? Must it be kept up if used in the narrative?
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
You imagine what their friends and family would actually call them, and use that.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
That makes it sound simple.
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:iconkinola14:
Kinola14 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
If a character has a long name, give him/her a nickname.
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a character named Krshoth'Ailon and dumb people in the story call him Kevin.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"Kevin" sounds perfectly legit to me. How many English speakers are comfortable with glottal stops?
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They could've called him "Wandering Soul" which is what it supposedly translates to, or "Soul". The character who called him "Kevin" didn't bother to figure out the name's meaning and went with with something that started and ended the same. :shrug:
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Names are arbitrary signifiers, so as long as they all use the same one it's a perfectly valid solution. I think the guy expecting to be referred to by the silly name is the dumb one.
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:iconlaemperatrizmariana:
LaEmperatrizMariana Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
How is he dumb? I never said he hated the nickname the other characters gave him. Besides the "silly name" is his actual name, his own kind call him by that name.

Since they speak to each other, it's obvious they would've hear him pronounce his name and give him a mispronounced name instead of a completely renaming him.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What =vglory said. Happens all the time in the real world.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Most people who have a name not suitable for use by the people around them offer an alternative. If they don't, then they get one assigned to them. I see nothing dumb about that.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Kinda depends on what you mean by "large first name."  Care to share it with us?
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Aeimnestus
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Not exactly sure on the pronunciation of the Greek, but 3-4 syllables isn't that bad.  The "i" is really the only bit that's tripping me up.  I don't know enough about Greek to say what the conventions on dimunitives or shortened forms are, either.  Probably the best place to start if you wanted to shorten the name.  Or the character could have some sort of snappier nickname.  Doesn't have to, though.  The main character in Perdido Street Station is named Grimnebulin and Mieville gives him no snappy nickname.  I don't recall the name being a problem, but then it's easily pronounced and rolls off the tongue.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I read the Aeim as Aim. So it's 'Aim.nest.us'. Maybe I should reread through my Steven Pressfield collection, or Jim Butcher's Codex Alera. They all had greek/roman settings.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I don't think the name is that bad.  If it's realistic in the context and you don't repeat it too much, should be fine.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Thanks.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional Writer
You need the voice to be believable, so like someone above said, do what a regular person would do...do what your narrator would do.

Or, you could avoid this by reconsidering your characters' names.  Is an epically long name necessary?  Does a hard-to-pronounce monicker add more the story, or is it just going to trip up your reader?
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I think it's up to the author to abbreviate a name or not. It's up to the setting, the character, the culture to which the character live in, and how much the author feels about typing that name out over and over again whether that name would be shortened or not.

For example, I've a character named Nicodemus. It not really long but long enough that I don't want to type it out every time I need to use his name. I just use his abbreviated name, Nico. He tells everyone to call him Nico. It's what his sisters and his father call him. There are a few instances when he is referred to as Nicodemus for formal reasons, to get his attention, and one character who uses his full name as means to show respect. I figure if the character wants others to call him Nico, and I introduce him as Nico to the readers, that is what I will continue to write in the narration.

I was told you should pick a name to write and stick with it unless there is a reason why someone else refers them by another.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Thanks for this. I'll see what use I can make of it.
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:iconavenvia:
Avenvia Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Writer
Use whatever the character prefers to be called, or whatever other characters call them.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Type it out in full every time, first, last, middle, clan, cognomen, and dynastic number. Can't be too careful about nomenclature, after all, and nothing says ACTION like spending half a paragraph just on the subject of a sentence.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
... How very helpful of you... I would never have guessed.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I suspect, therefore, that you already know the right answer.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
XD What about my other questions?
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
On some level the narrative voice is you, and you're telling a story to your readers. Don't try their patience with needless verbiage.
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:iconalansteenhouwer:
AlanSteenhouwer Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
There's a certain rhythm that needs to be reached.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You, sir, should write a Roman history :P
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I was once at a SF convention waiting for a reading from a particular author I was interested in. The author who had the slot before hers didn't understand that he'd been allocated only a half hour, so I had to suffer through a bit of his "Lovecraftian" story before staff cleared the situation up. For some reason, his POV character was always referred to by first and last name. Lovecraft never did this himself, so I have no idea why this guy thought he should do it in a pastiche, but he seemed to think it important because he didn't even shorten it as he read. The story was boring for other reasons -- he had used up a full half hour and hadn't even gotten to the horror part yet -- but this certainly didn't help.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Woooooow.

I'm confused as to what sort of person thinks everyone wants to hear their story read out loud unless explicitly asked to do so. Clearly the same person who thinks his readers will forget who the character is if they only go by one name.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
He was explicitly asked, in a way. It was a scheduled room for author readings. Presumably, those who showed up for them knew what they were in for. I think even his audience was tired of it, though. He got no support from them when staff asked him to pack it in.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahhh. Honestly, the whole concept sounds kind of terrible. Modern prose is meant to be read, not heard.
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:iconbalaria:
Balaria Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nickname the character.

For example Ed Greenwood does it pretty early for Elminster Aumar. He starts calling him El as do many of the characters he encounters.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Use nicknames.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What would a real person do?
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