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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Minnesota
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    123

    Question Bird Name Theme- too obvious?

    So, I'm working on a YA novel about the musical Grease and one small town theater's production of it. The main character, Cordelia, wants the lead role as Sandy more than anything because her older sister Ophelia, who has gone off to college, has always gotten the main role. Anyway, she does get her first lead as Sandy, and then the theater starts to get sabataged, and she has to find a way to keep it from closing. The theater is also owned by her parents.
    Now I'd named the main characters Cordelia Juliet Larkin and Nathaniel Romeo Hawking and my friend pointed out that Larkin and Hawking were both bird names. I'd gotten Hawking from a random last name generator and Larkin from the musicals Newsies and Hairspray- the characters of Medda Larkin and Link Larkin.

    Since I had to name the rest of the people in the cast, I had to come up with a lot of names, so I decided to go with bird names. But I'm wondering if it's a bit obvious. Anyway, I'm going to list a whole bunch of characters, who they play, and what bird they're named after if it's not obvious.

    Cordelia Juliet Larkin- named after Shakespearean characters, plays Sandy. (Family: parents Rose Larkin, George Larkin, and sister Ophelia Kate)

    Nathaniel Romeo Hawking- plays Danny Zuko (Family: parents Markus Hawking and Blythe Hawking, named for Blyth's Tragopan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blyth%27s_Tragopan)

    Robin Hammerkop- plays Rizzo, named for the Robin and the Hammerkop http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammerkop. She has a brother named Jack, after another kind of Robin called the Jacky Winter- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacky_Winter.

    Drake Cotinga- plays Kenickie, named Drake because one of the meanings is "male duck". Cotinga is a type of bird as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swallow-tailed_Cotinga

    Maggie Gannet-plays Jan, named for the Magpie and the Gannet bird http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Gannet

    Zachery Avocet- plays Roger. Zachery comes from the Gaelic Sgàire, which means "sea-mew," a type of seagull. Avocet is a bird as well-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-necked_Avocet

    Jay Cassowary-plays Sonny, named for the Cassowary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_Cassowary and the Jays-blue jay

    Gavin Whimbrel- plays Doody. Gavin means "white hawk" and Whimbrel is a kind of bird http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whimbrel

    Phoebe Kiskadee- plays Frenchy. Pheobe comes from the Eastern Phoebe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Phoebe and her last name is from the Great Kiskadee- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Kiskadee

    Ava Kestrel- plays Marty. In Latin, Ava means "bird" and comes from the word "Avian" Kestrel is a type of hawk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Kestrel

    Martin Cormorant- plays Eugene Florczyk, the nerd. His first name is from the Martin birds- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Martin and his last name is from the Great Cormorant- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Cormorant.

    Linnet Asity- plays Patty Simcox. Her name is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linnet and her last name is from the Velvet Asity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velvet_Asity

    Corbin Pardalote- plays Johnny Casino. His first name means "crow" and his last name is from the straited pardalote- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striated_Pardalote. He has a little sister named Tori, whose name comes from Victoria's Riflebird- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria%27s_Riflebird. Tori plays a Beauty School Dropout Angel

    ZuZu Coquette- plays ChaCha DiGregorio. ZuZu comes from Izu's Leaf Warbler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izu_Leaf-warbler and Coquette is from the Frilled Coquette http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frilled_Coquette

    Jonah Tern- plays the Teen Angel. His first name means "Dove" and his last name is from the many types of Terns- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Tern. He has a twin sister named Evelyn, and one of the meanings of Evelyn is "bird" She plays one of the Beauty School Dropout Angels.

    Jenna Lorikeet- the stage manager. The Arabic meaning of Jenna is "small bird" and her last name is from the Rainbow Lorikeet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Lorikeet

    Elliot Woodcock- plays Vince Fontaine, named for Elliot's Pheasant and the American Woodcock http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliot%27s_Pheasant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Woodcock

    Rosella Finch- plays Miss Lynch. Named for the Crimson Rosella and the Finch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson_Rosella

    Now I'm trying to name the director. I dont' know if it will be a a boy or girl.
    For girls I'm thinking Scarlet, Gail, Olive, Savanna, Anna, Adelie, Raven, Narina, Violet, Oriole/Ori/Oriana, Emerald, and Jacinta (all bird names or variants of- ie Hyacinth->Jacinta)
    Last names: Harrier, Brambling, Griffon, Merlin, Aracari, Plovercrest, Fernwren, Dowitcher, Pratincole, Plover, Fischer, Vanga, Shrike, Verdin, Starling
    Boys: Griffon, Harry, Regis, Jacob, Chuck, Clark
    The director will probably mostly be known by last name.

    I also need a name for the town- I was thinking Winging or Wingington, but then I thought it was too close to Little Whinging. Now I'm thinking Fernwren or Brambling-it's in Maine. I'm also willing to trade around names for Elliot Woodcock and Rosella Finch with the director. What do you think? Too obvious with the last names or not?
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    731
    Sorry, but yes, it's too much. In a typical group of unrelated people you would never find so many themed names, and I think it would be distracting for your readers. Maybe just do it for your main characters, and stay away from obvious ones like Cassowary and Lorikeet. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone with either one of those as a last name.

    Also, middle names Romeo and Juliet? And they're playing Sandy and Danny? Obviously they're either already romantically involved, or you'r planning that they would be. You might want to avoid his too.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,398
    I agree with blue juniper, esp. about the Romeo and Juliet middles. Sorry.

  4. #7
    I'm yes totally... Pretty obvious...

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    302
    I don't think having the entire town have bird name is such a stretch if it was an isolated town (such as in Hunger Games or The Village). But if it's just a normal town I think that would be distracting.

    Especially with the main characters having all of those connections: Danny and Sandy in the play, Romeo and Juliet middles, then both have bird last names? That is far fetched and corny to me. Sorry.
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