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rowena
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[*] posted on 7-16-2011 at 01:16 PM
Name vs. Nickname


So, in my JulNo, my MC has a name (duh) but is later given a nickname that she ends up liking better than her name. I'm not sure how to write that transition - I'm doing third person selective (I think that's the proper term?) so I have to use one of the names to describe her. I think what I'm going to do is use both of them, and then just start using only the nickname, to sort of show the transition of how she starts liking the other one better. Does that make sense, or does anyone have a better way of doing it?
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[*] posted on 7-16-2011 at 01:23 PM


Both of my MCs have nicknames that are shortened versions of their name....Phillip is Phil, and Jazelle is Jazzy. When I introduced them to each other, they say "Hello, my name is..., but you can call me..." Does that help any? I use the nicknames in their dialog sometimes if I don't feel like writing out their whole name. Their the only two characters in my novel with nicknames aside from Jazelle's father who is sometimes called Jake because his name is Jacob. Usually, only his wife (Jazelle's mother) calls him that.



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[*] posted on 7-18-2011 at 09:56 PM


It might make sense to think about who is "speaking" in each part of the narrative, and refer to your characters accordingly. I tend to break up my text into chunks, and each section focuses on one character. So I when I'm writing as, say, my MC, then I call her what she would call herself. But when I switch to a character who calls her by her last name, I would use that to refer to my MC.

It may not work as well if you don't have multiple narratives, but you could use your MC's nickname in dialogue only at first, then intentionally switch her full name out for her nickname when she (either conciously or not) starts to accept it as her "real" name. Does that make any sense? Sorry if I tend to babble... :P
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[*] posted on 7-21-2011 at 07:30 PM


Thank you both for your help :) What I ended up doing is using both of them for a time and then switching over, based on what I was thinking of her as when I wrote it. I'm hoping it will read as her coming to accept her nickname but I'm not sure it will :P Then again that's what editing is for!
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[*] posted on 7-23-2011 at 06:49 AM


Honestly, I'd find it weird as a reader. I think it's better to keep the name used in the narration consistent even if the character does answer to multiple or changes the one they prefer over time. :)



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[*] posted on 7-23-2011 at 11:09 AM


Hmm...good point. As of now I've pretty much switched over, but if it's too weird when I re-read it later I might change it. Or just not have the whole name-change thing happen.
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