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All my characters' names sound the same


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#1 LibraryDenizen

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

Soooo...

 

The (potential!) story revolves around seven friends in a boarding school. They belong to a tribe whose babies are taken away by the government at age three and put into foster care/boarding school. Usually they get renamed, as part of the campaign to integrate them.

 

The problem is that all their names sound the same. They are all different ages, from all parts of the country, and yet their names all are similar styles. Also, I can't get into some of their heads, because their names just don't fit them. You know what I mean?

 

The Names:

Four girls: Jasmine, Titāli, Olivia, and Tor (Titāli is a half-breed, so her name wasn't changed)

Three boys: Michael, Elisha, and Calder.

 

They just all sound the same!

 

Elisha, Titāli, and Tor's personalities are already fixed in my head. Jasmine and Calder are sort-of-there, but I'd be open to changing them if something just struck me as perfect. But I am desperate to get rid of Michael and Olivia, and replace them with names that aren't quite so similar in style to the names I already have.

 

HELP!

 

Thank you all and sorry for the rant :) 



#2 Bewitching

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:41 AM

How is their personalities? Is Olivia/Jasmine a nerdy girl or popular? Calder is okay, but  Michael could be Ezekiel?



#3 LibraryDenizen

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:22 AM

Olivia is a bit of a drama queen and a rebel. She likes to shock people. At the same time, though, she's still an innocent 13-year-old. Calder is her older brother and he's very protective of her.

Jasmine is quiet and serious. She is the oldest and the leader of the group. She comes from the tribe's ruling family, and has a supernatural gift for making peace between people.

Michael is 15. He is a genius and very funny, but extremely clumsy. I can't seem to get to "know" him any better than that. That's why I'm fishing for a new name.

 

I don't know about Ezekiel...I would rather cut down on the number of L sounds in the names. (Elisha. Titāli. Calder. Olivia. Too many L's!) Plus, Ezekiel and Elisha are both Biblical names. I want to get more diversity in the bunch.



#4 LibraryDenizen

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:18 PM

Hey c'mon people, help me out!

Sorry if I scared everyone off by nitpicking Bewitching, but pleeeease can I get a few more suggestions?



#5 Sunny Mummy! :)

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

Is this story based on what really happened to the Australian Aboriginals?

Alternative Names for Olivia - McKenzie/Madison/Deanne

Alternative Names for Michael - Quincy/Alwin

All the best with your Story! :)

#6 LibraryDenizen

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:51 PM

Ooh, I like McKenzie! Thanks!

 

The story's based on what happens (in slightly diluted form) to any minority whose culture doesn't perfectly match mainstream America's.

 

If you look at polls where a parent proposes an ethnic/indigenous name, the comments are full of people advising them to change it to something more pronounceable, more fitting-in--for the kid's own good, of course. And every minority's children are "taken away" at a young age (by going to public schools) where they learn a new culture.

 

Not saying that public schools brainwash kids--of course not. This story is trying to make the point that if you are a minority, you will be subtly and slowly pressured to fit in. And that if you are a majority, maybe you should think about it.


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#7 Sunny Mummy! :)

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

You are making a very important point! I currently Home School my children to give them the space to embrace who they are without feeling pressured to conform to other people's expectations or criteria! Both my Girls are exquisite free spirits with strong concepts of who they are and what they believe and enormously compassionate hearts. My older daughter, who is 8, is a passionate defender of the beauty of diversity and embracing your natural true self! She inspires me daily! :)

#8 neverland

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:03 AM

Okay here goes:

Olivia:  I like Sloane (Sloane seems like a troublemaker to me). But, it does have that pesky L in it so maybe Samantha nn Mantha.  I like Mantha instead of Sam for the nn because it goes against the flow but hints at some underlying softness.  Maybe a pet name between her and Calder.  I can see him calling her this when he wants her to "go along to get along" which he probably does a lot in the process of protecting her.

 

Michael:  When I think of funny.. I think short names.  How about Pax?  If you you want it to be short for a longer more substantial name then Paxton (kinda unisex, no?) but I would refer to him as Pax most of the time.  He would probably be embarrassed at Paxton!  Or I can see him being Jasper nn Jas/Jaz.  Jasper is a little bit soft and kind while Jaz is all fun and tripping over things.

 

If you wanted to change Calder (though I like Calder)  he reminds me of a character named Christopher in VC Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic.  In the novel she always calls him by his full name... which I think hints at his strength.  So I think a full name that is more frequently nn (but don't nn it) is a cool idea.  So in that case I like Jonathan.  When people try to call him Jon he can just patiently smile and say... "No, just Jonathan" .

 

Jasmine does not seem quite there to me as far as a name.  Maybe 80 percent on target.  I like Caroline/Catherine/Cate/Cassandra/Cassidy.  Maybe with a K instead a C.  I like Cassidy nn Cass if you want.  Not sure I would nn a leader like this.  Maybe have everyone else call her by her full name (denotes her position) but have her call herself Cat/Kit/Cate/Cass in her mind.  I like that idea of a Katherine who really just wants to be a Kit but has no choice.

 

Did any of this help you at all??  Please let me know! :)



#9 LibraryDenizen

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:07 PM

Thanks for your suggestions! My thoughts:

 

I LOVE Mantha...but I also love McKenzie. I'm gonna have to hop over to the poll section for help! ;) "Mani" or "Mickey" might be a cute pet name for Calder. What do you think?

 

I don't particularly love Jasper (especially since Jasmine's nickname is Jas), Paxton's also great. Someone in real life suggested Joey--WDYT? I also stumbled across Kepler, which I liked, but it was too similar to Calder, so I shelved it. Buuut...I do like Jonathan. I think it suits "Calder" nicely. So if I change Calder to Jonathan, I can use Kepler for Michael, unless I keep Calder, and then I can use Paxton or Joey, and pretty soon my brain is going to explode from all these calculations. :wacko:

 

Jasmine's staying Jasmine, though. That much became clear as I wrote. Nickname Jass, but only her best friends call her that.

 

Thanks for all your help, guys! It's getting hard to keep track of all my "XXXOLIVIAXXX" placeholders I'm sticking in everywhere...






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