But, does that mean I want to be referred to as a metal object or an auxiliary verb? Not really. Do you find yourself wanting to shorten your character names? I have two characters, in two separate stories, where I've shortened their names. I've mentioned them as examples below in blue.
Ex: Josephine (an inherited family name), I shortened to Josey. There is a significant reason she's named after her great-grandmother, and it's revealed in the end of the story, but she's referred to as "Josey" for the entire ms.
I guess if a character reveals a "Cathy" instead of "Catherine," then by all means, shorten her name. Reveals being the key word. It's more about who the character is, rather than typing a shorter name.
I'm currently reading a YA Paranormal Romance, which I will refrain from giving the title. My point for this post is not to bash other authors / writers. I'm in no position to judge. I'm merely making a writing style observation.
This particular author chose to give each character a shortened first name, like a nickname. Ex: Can for Candy. I can (no pun intended) see doing this for maybe a character or two, but all of them? I'm talking every character brought into the pages of this story has a shortened name.
I'm so crazy-busy flipping back the pages to figure out who Ran or Til are, that I'm losing plot focus, majorly! (I made up the nicknames Ran and Tin, btw.)
On the other hand, I think if it fits the character, use a nickname. Ex: I have a character named Magdalene, in which she goes by Mags. But, Mags fits her personality. She can't help it that her mother is an artist, born of German decent, and merely adored the classic biblical name when Mags was born.
As writers, what do you think about an author's use of shortened names? When you read novels with shortened names such as, Bal or Tin, do you find it distracting?
On a slightly different note...
Speaking of character names, when I'm naming a thug, criminal, sketchy or questionable character, I like to use the following pattern:
Pet name + Mother's maiden name = character name. I've used a few pet names and maiden names in the family to put together some great names!
Ex: Moochey Smith, Tweetie Greene, and Bones McCall
I can't recall where I picked up that trick years ago, but feel free to pass it on if you find it useful.
Upon my research about naming characters or using nicknames for characters, I went into information overload online. But, here are a few great sites:
Click here for an in-depth post about naming characters: A Guide to Naming Characters
This site has a free downloadable name generator: Character Name GeneratorGreat naming resource! http://www.yeahbaby.com/
To find cool names for almost anything such as, monsters, organizations, taverns, strange beings, places, settings, worlds, diseases, etc. CLICK HERE *I particularly found this site helpful!*
This naming site gives you all you need to know about names! Behind the Name
For fantasy or sci-fi type character naming: Go here
Here's a funny name generator if you're looking to name a pirate: What's your pirate name?
(My pirate name is "Cap'n Misty Cannonballs". No kidding.)
Do you have a favorite technique for naming characters and want to share?
Does anyone else remember the Name Game song by the lovely Shirley Ellis? We used to have so much fun "doing" everyone's name in the family. Enjoy!
"Candy, Candy, Bo Bandy, Bonana Fana Fo Fandy,
Fe Fi, Mo Mandy, Candy!"