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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    704

    Appropriate to use a name I've used in a novel?

    Other than my day job, I write on the side, and thus it was likely inevitable that I'd run across this conundrum sometime. Can I get some honest opinions on this problem - whether it is kosher to utilize a name that I have named a character already.

    Notes
    -Story is currently unfinished, but I am serious about doing so in future.
    -Would it matter if the name were "recycled" as a first or middle name for a son?

    In case curious minds wanted to know, the name I am having this issue with is Harlan, and he is my main protagonist in the novel.
    moving to new account with username I like more... since we can't just change them

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,505
    I, too, have had this issue - I also have it with the fact that I named my axolotl Archibald "Archie because I thought the name was totally cool but that I would never want to use it on a future son. Little did I know, I know would love to use it as either a first or middle, but anyway, that's a tad off topic, sorry about that.

    I think that it would be okay to use the name on a future son. Apart from your own feelings about the issue, I don't think other people will find it inappropriate. Unless, of course, you decide to send your book to a publisher and it gets published.
    [FONT=Times New Roman]
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    915
    If your book gets published then it's a little weird but if not I think it's perfectly fine! Eg. if J.K. Rowling had a child named Harry or Hermione people would find it really weird but if I named my baby June or Patrick no-one would find it strange because they have never read my book
    The 3 Princesses in my life...

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    Madeleine Pearl

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    150
    I think the main consideration isn't what other people think, but what might your future child think? e.g. if the character is really positive, then I think the child would find it perfectly acceptable. On the other hand if he is a flawed hero (e.g. alcoholic, divorced, difficult relationship with his child, even though he's still the protagonist), I think that might send an awkward message to your son.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4,081
    Quote Originally Posted by evelyns_mom View Post
    I think the main consideration isn't what other people think, but what might your future child think?
    I have a friend whose parents wanted to name their store after her when she was five and she felt like they had "given it away" so she started asking people to call her by a completely different name. (Luckily the store wasn't open yet so the renamed it but she still hated it).
    Not all children are going to react that way but I still wouldn't give my child a name I had used in a short-story, novella, screenplay etc. (Except if the character is a very minor side character and even then only as a mn).

    You could always see it as the chance to se GP names for characters or to find new names you love.
    MAJOR CONSTRUCTION ZONE
    newlywed!!! (not trying...yet)

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