Oct 15 2007

How to Name Your Character–Superheroes and Otherwise

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

This article will cover how to name characters effectively and how to avoid the most common naming problems.

Character names serve several important roles, like differentiating characters and evoking an emotional response from readers.

Readers use names to tell characters apart, obviously. Authors sometimes complicate this by using the same letter to start character names, using similar-looking or similar-sounding names. We will keep John and Hideyuki apart in our minds, but maybe not Clinton and Cliff (or Kevin).

As a rule of thumb, once you have used a given letter to start a character’s name, you can’t use it again. If your work is long enough that you name 15+ characters, then you can start sharing the letters of minor characters who appear in completely different parts of the book. Also, try to mix up the number of syllables in your character names.

Names also serve to define characters. A character’s name should establish or at least suggest a defining trait of the character. If you’re writing a superhero story, you may be able to get away with a wacky name like Captain Carnage or Devil Dog, like Superhero Nation does.

Obviously, most writers have to be more subtle than that. “Neville Longbottom” is a great example of a name that suggests a trait without being too ridiculous. However, giving effeminate and insufferable guys names like Percy is annoying and over-done. It’s like his parents knew he was gonna be a wuss!

Finally, names evoke an emotional response from readers. If your character is a hero, an excellent name will make readers feel he is heroic. This is usually subconscious and relies on word sounds. For example, if you want to associate a character with energy and activity, you’d want to use a firm and short name. Typically, protagonists are active go-getters– otherwise the story would be pretty boring, right?– so they have firm, short names.

When you name main characters, you should also consider whether reading the name 25-75 times an hour will annoy readers.  Because of the cold ‘br’ sound, Brian will probably grate readers more than Harry or Gary. Another consideration is the syllable count. Single-syllable names are fine, but not all are created equal. If you compare Joan to Jane and Joe to John, Joan and Joe are usually stronger because they end more pleasantly.

Some other elements of sound you can consider:

  • K, V, X and H are harsh. Korvax and Havoc are probably not nice people. (On the other hand, if Korvax is a pleasant newscaster, that could be hilarious).
  • B, J, M, F and R are examples of letters that sound firm without being menacing. Frank, B. Mac, Brad, etc.
  • L, U, S and O are smooth, soft and sometimes sensual. (Did you like the alliteration?)

Characters immerse your readers in your world. Names help make the audience feel like they’re on your page, that they get what’s going on. For example, we aren’t meant to understand Judge Dredd and The Punisher as even-headed men of justice. If those guys were named John or Mike, we might feel confused and disorientated.

Alternatively, the use of several names for a character can indicate authorial ambiguity to the reader. For example, my Agent Black is also known as the Manhattan Mangler. If I gave you only one of those, you would probably reach a different conclusion about how just, unique and proper he is. Readers would also visualize a different character. The Manhattan Mangler is probably a loose cannon with tattoos, long hair, leather jackets, etc. Agent Black is more kempt, septic and fits more with what we imagine a federal agent should be like. I hope that readers subconsciously associate respectability with conformity.

Common Naming Mistakes

  1. Using “exotic” names like Xsdajk’Uiopds is completely unacceptable. Generally speaking, extraterrestrials and orcs won’t have names like Dave, but that’s no excuse for randomly stringing together letters. A better approach is stringing together familiar sounds to make new names. For example, your readers are comfortable with Brad and Darian, right? Together, they make Bradarian. If that isn’t alien enough, you could add a prefix or cut out letters to make Bradar, for example. Tim and Milly could make Imilly or Intimilly.
  2. Names that are too long irritate readers. Generally, I’d recommend limiting a character’s name to three syllables.  Maybe five if you often use a tag, like Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Fantastic.
  3. Naming a character for reasons your readers can’t appreciate is ineffective. I’ve seen writing guides (plural) suggest that you name characters based on the literal meaning of the names. For example, “Sophia means wisdom in Greek, so name a wise character Sophia!” That advice is awful. Your readers have no clue that Luke means high-born in some language they’ve never heard of. There are drastically better ways to show that Luke is noble, like giving him a corny last name (Skywalker, anyone?)
  4. Naming a character in an attempt to pay homage to a favorite author is a lose-lose proposition. Let’s say I name my superhero Clark or my dragon Kazul. At best, the name is a lame in-joke. But these scenarios are far more likely.
    1. A reader picks up the Superman reference and it distracts him whenever he sees Clark’s name.
    2. He picks up the Superman reference and he thinks I’m a hack.
    3. He misses the Superman reference (and I wasted an opportunity to give my superhero a name that’s effective for my story).
    4. My dragon named Kazul is such a blatant ripoff of copyrighted material that I get sued.
  5. Foreign names may cause readers to stumble. Keep in mind that your readers probably don’t speak Tagalog or Farsi or French or whatever. A good example of a foreign name is Temeraire. The word nicely suggests a consistent pronunciation (TEM-eh-rare). French people might not pronounce it that way. But that doesn’t matter! Your readers will feel they are pronouncing it correctly, even if they aren’t. In contrast, something like “Huitzilopochtli” will bewilder your readers. Is Huit pronounced like Hewitt or Hwit? Is poch pronounced liked poach or pock?
  6. Last names lead to overcapitalization. Sometimes your characters need last names, but often they don’t, particularly in the beginning. It’s easy to overwhelm Readers by hurling Capitalized Noun Phrases at them. If you do include a last name, either keep it to one syllable or make it easily readable and memorizable. For example, in the story Barbara Bloodbath, everyone will remember Barbara’s last name.
  7. Using different names to refer to characters often confuses and disorients readers. This can apply to secret identities or titles. For example, if a character is Mrs. Smith at the beginning, she should be Mrs. Smith as much as possible, unless we can easily understand why someone would call her something else. Her kid will call her Mommy, which is self-explanatory. But if someone addresses a line to “Candace” or “Dr. Smith,” we won’t necessarily know if they’re talking to Mrs. Smith. Even if you mentioned that Candace Smith got a medical degree, readers may have missed or forgotten that.

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799 responses so far

799 Responses to “How to Name Your Character–Superheroes and Otherwise”

  1. Jessicaon 23 Oct 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Wow, thanks. I had been having a lot of trouble naming my characters. Keep up the good work!

  2. KooLon 01 Apr 2008 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for the advice… Thanks a lot!!!!

  3. Armondon 17 Aug 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Ok. I’m writing a superhero novel about a character named Jamal Yager. I think that’s ok. But I’m having trouble coming up with his superhero name. The story uses a phoenix-esque bird and genetic manipulation as a driving force behind his abilities but I don’t want to call him Phoenix. Any thoughts?

  4. Jacob Mallow, Geneticist Extraordinaireon 18 Aug 2008 at 12:30 am

    I like Jamal Yager for his regular name. For his super-identity, I think genetics sounds like an interesting source of inspiration. I’d be a bit more cautious around a phoenix-based name both because X-Men got there first and because phoenixes are a slightly overused, two-dimensional symbol.

    I’m not sure what the tone and atmosphere of your story are, but I can offer some generic suggestions. What do you think about Vector or Helix? (A vector is an agent of genetic change). Alternatively, you might try some variation of seed to tie into the phoenix-like cycle of rebirth.

    I could probably offer more satisfying suggestions if I knew what kind of story you were writing. Could you give a few details about the character and the plot? What is the main character’s main reason for being a superhero? In the story, who gives the character his super-name?

  5. B. Mac, an Extraordinarily Inept Geneticiston 18 Aug 2008 at 4:40 am

    For a slightly harder sci-fi feel, you might want to try Operon or Plasmid, assuming you are a fan of using single real-life words as superhero names, like Carnage and the Hulk. Which superhero names have you found the most impressive?

  6. Armondon 19 Aug 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks, Jacob. My story is still in the planning stages so I’m experimenting with plots. The basic gist I’m thinking of using is that Jamal is hanging out with a friend whose dad is a military researcher on a base in a made-up city. The genetic researcher father notes that Jamal is of exceptional build and could be a possible test subject for genetic experiments. Jamal agrees and has his DNA reconfigured, which gives him superpowers.

    Jamal is an inner city kid growing up in the projects. At first, he uses his powers recklessly and ends up putting his mother into a coma. After realizing that he has amazing gifts for a reason, he decides to put them to good use.

  7. B. Macon 22 Aug 2008 at 4:57 am

    Yeah, I think the ship has sailed on both the warm-and-fuzzy Captain America military experiments and the cold-and-sinister-military-project. If you write that the secretive branch of the military has an accident, that would probably work.

    I like that the character isn’t military. I vaguely remember that the television adaptation of The Six Million Dollar Man failed miserably in part because it made Steve Austin from a civilian into an airman. Rigid command hierarchies are excellent for many things, but they aren’t typically dramatic. (I think that the writers for police shows like to include ludicrous scenes where the protagonist mouths off to his boss to demonstrate that the hierarchy isn’t very rigid).

    Ooh, also. Readers will probably give you a lot of leeway with military details, given that there’s a lot of material for a civilian author to attempt to take in. However, I would suggest against describing the secret military agency as a “branch of the military.” Could I suggest “office” or “agency” instead? (Typically, military branches are pretty enormous, like the Army and Navy).

  8. Jacobon 22 Aug 2008 at 9:20 am

    Using mass genetic experiments for the hero’s origin story will make it easier for you to write in villains. In contrast, Superman’s stories suffer because the writers can’t easily create new villains and sometimes stretch to make a supervillain out of a character that would hardly count as a minor villain in any other series (like Lex Luthor). So I think that plays in your favor…

  9. Armondon 22 Aug 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks. Now I just need to write the story. You guys do beta-reviews, right?

  10. J.Bon 23 Aug 2008 at 3:50 am

    I’m having trouble naming my hero and villain. Both are psychics. The synopsis for the story is that Paul Evans is a superhero that gave up in his prime to become a loner. When killings become more and more frequent, he sets out to determine who is responsible, only to find out that it is a person he trusts. It gets revealed that the villain, who the hero locked up before he quit, is mind-controlling him.

  11. Jacob Mallowon 23 Aug 2008 at 6:49 am

    I have some generic suggestions, but I think that I could probably do better if I knew what kind of mood you have in mind for your story. Also, have you decided on an origin story for the character?

  12. J.Ron 17 Sep 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I am brainstorming some superhero names but can’t decide on one. My superhero is a psychic mutant that works as an assassin.

  13. B. Macon 17 Sep 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Hmm. Are you a fan of real-word names? If so, I’d recommend the anti-heroish Renegade or, if you’d like to be more direct, Hitman or Psycho.

    If you’d like to use a name that isn’t a real word, you could use something that has a mental sound, like anything that starts with Ceph, Psy/Psi or Cer/Ser). If your character is an assassin, I’d recommend ending it with a hard sound. Maybe something like Cephite or Seros. Some other permutations include Cephil, Cerid and Serran.

    If any of those are up your alley, I could probably offer similar suggestions.

  14. J.Ron 18 Sep 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks, that helps a lot.

  15. Bretton 24 Sep 2008 at 11:35 am

    I’m writing a book and the main character’s full name is Alexander Leonhart Tafari, but his full name is rarely used. Most characters (with the exception of his parents) call him Alex. Your comments? I’m also considering having him go by the alias Wildfire.

  16. B. Macon 24 Sep 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Readers will be able to easily understand that Alex and Alexander are the same person. In contrast, nicknames like Chuck (Charles) and Jack (John) sometimes confuse readers. So I think that will work out nicely.

    I’m not really sure what ethnicity Tafari is, but it sounds OK. I like Leonhart better. Are both names necessary? If possible, I’d recommend cutting out one or the other.

    I like Wildfire. If for any reason you decide that Wildfire is not quite right, Blaze or Inferno might work, too.

  17. Bretton 24 Sep 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I used three names because Alex is biracial. His last name is inherited from his father, a human. (His father has a specific lineage which is important to the plot.) His middle name comes from his mother’s side. She is elvish (again, her specific lineage becomes important to the plot.) As long as I mentioned elves (even though it’s irrelevant to this article), I read your article about how using Tolkeinien races can kill your book. In light of this, I have gone to great pains to differentiate my elves and dwarves from those found in LOTR. My elves, or Jianai as they prefer to be called, are one people, but exist in three nations with three independent rulers, who will meet together only when deciding something that will affect the entire race. Also, rather than Tolkienien “pale” elves, I have made my elves more cosmopolitan, and they have a variety of “shades” or skin colors as well as eyes, noses, hair etc. Also, rather than having them assume the stereotypical “elf attitude” they vary greatly in outlook depending on their background, especially which nation they come from. Elves are crucial to my plot, but I have tried to minimize their appearance as main characters so they don’t become cliche.

    I have tried to differentiate my dwarves by basing them slightly on medieval/pre-Britain Scotland, rather than Norsemen. I make this clear by their speech, and their fierce loyalty both to their individual clans, or “kins” as they call them, and their High Chieftain. Also, I have decided to make my dwarves not so much gruff as talkative and argumentative (often in a friendly way). I also wanted to make them jolly (picture a mini-Santa, only not so much) Ironically, I have a she-dwarf who really does not say much except in the way of sarcasm. My dwarves also wear plaids to represent their lineage. Comments? I was searching for a way to make my Giants individual as well. Could you help me out?

    (This all sounds like too much to cram into a book, and that’s absolutely true. I’m planning to develop a series, which is why the scope might seem a bit large. Especially when you consider that this is the tip of the iceberg.)

  18. B. Macon 24 Sep 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Maybe your book will be uncomfortably crammed. But I think your could comfortably handle three nations of elves and assorted dwarves, humans and giants. For example, the first Harry Potter book introduced us to four groups of Hogwarts wizards, developed the relationship between wizards and nonmagical humans and included a variety of goblins and half-giants and guard-dragons. Of course, Rowling also managed to craft impressive locations (like Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and Gringotts) as well as one of the more compelling fantasy plots of the last 50 years.

    So I think the issue probably isn’t how much content you have, but how well you can pace it. Can you pace it slowly enough that readers can understand everything you introduce, but not so slowly that we get bored? I recommend that you try to introduce things as separately as possible. For example, instead of introducing all three types of elves at once, it would probably be easiest for readers if you introduced one and then moved on to the next only after we had a good grasp of the first.

    Then it’s pretty easy to overcome the main remaining problem: readers might not be able to remember the first breed of elves when they’ve moved on to the second and third. You can help them keep the elves straight by giving evocative names for each breed. If one breed of elf were particularly belligerent, say, you might call them something like the Bloodbringers or an imaginary word that sounds harsh (Jaggen, Mylon, Pilth, etc.) I’d recommend using names that are rooted in English words (like Bloodbringers) because it’ll probably be easier for readers to keep track of the groups you’ll be throwing around. (That’s not an ironclad rule, though. Rowling successfully used many imaginary words like Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Hogwarts, Gringotts, Diagon Alley, Muggle, etc…)

    I like the idea of your dwarves being jolly and argumentative rather than gruff. Jolly-and-argumentative sounds like a really interesting combination of character traits. As for your giants, I think the standard giant is violent-and-stupid. The easiest way to tweak that would be violent-and-philosophical. Or violent-and-urbane… aggressive-and-sensitive… pleasant-and-stupid (like hobbits but bigger)… friendly-but-oblivious… etc.

    If I had to voice one concern with your book, it would probably be that your plot and world-building do not seem tightly wound together. I think Harry Potter does a great job of linking the two. For example, Diagon Alley is more than just a cool location: it advances the plot by introducing Harry (and the readers) to the magical realm. What is the relationship between the plot and, say, your three breeds of elves?

  19. Bretton 24 Sep 2008 at 6:24 pm

    The Elf-Clans are important to the plot because they are part of Alex’s heritage, and so the way Alex interacts with Elves gives us glimpses into his personality and how others see him. They also introduce key plot points.
    1- Alex is dogged by elvish nobility triplets who dislike and persecute him because he’s only half-elvish, and therefore an insult to the race (they overlook the fact that his genetic variability technically makes him superior, even though Alex himself doesn’t know this). Throughout the plot, Alex has to deal with this, as well as the emotions that spring from it. Later it is revealed that Alex is actually successor to the throne of the same Elf-clan, which is ironic considering that they’ve been abusing their ruler, which makes it interesting. They aren’t pleased, but they don’t have a choice. Alex does rub it in for revenge of course, but after a while he gets bored with that, and tries to make friends of them.

    2- Alex’s main love interest, Amorelia, is pure elvish. This creates a barrier because of the obviously high rejection potential (complicated by Alex’s emotional unsurety). Eventually, he finds out that she is also a princess, which makes her even more unatainable. They do become close friends over time, but he continues to struggle with his feelings for her.

    3- Alex has to deal with a political conspiracy within his elf-clan that involves not only him, but also the “shadowy master villain” character, who is not quite as much a person as he is an elemental force. I’m still working on that.

    4- purposes of comparison. once I’ve established the elves, I can use them in contrast with other races, or to describe the difficulty of a task. For example, a task that “a Zhudai elf warrior would shrink from” is going to be insanely difficult, because Zhudai are known for their fearlessness.

    5- The reason for the creation of three elf-clans rather than one elf-state are related to the origin of the World and the conflict that has been raging since its beginning.

  20. Look at the pretty colours!on 26 Sep 2008 at 6:02 am

    I’m trying to write a book. I have my characters and story plotted and ready to go, but I feel like my writing style is too fast paced. The characters escape from trouble too quickly and easily, I can’t think of any filler for scenes and other annoying things. There’s one scene where a character is in hospital waiting for her mother to arrive, but I don’t want to bore people by repeating why she’s there, or how she drinks a cup of coffee as she watches TV. It’s boring.

    So I’ve taken a break and started fleshing out every detail of my five main characters by describing their bedrooms and habits etc. Will it actually help me, or am I being subconsciously lazy? I write down the colour of their bedroom walls even though it will not do a thing to aid my unskilled flow of events. How can I slow it down a bit without boring readers?

    I have the characters in my mind and described in several worksheets I both found and made up. Though, for some reason, I cannot write about them the way I want to. There are lots of exciting parts, but I haven’t gotten up to them yet and I’m getting frustrated because I know I can’t write them until I have written up to them. I feel like I’m a kid in a sweet shop and I’m just one dollar short of buying a huge lollipop.

    Then there’s the other problem I have with my choice of viewpoint. I don’t know whether first of third person is best, because the story switches regularly between two characters. I’m afraid it might annoy some people. It is also about a diary, and I’m not sure whether switching from third to first person for the diary entries would be best.

    I know what I want but can’t get the right words out. It sucks because I’m normally very creative and even make up metaphors.

    Sometimes I can look at things and rearrange the letters to make a new word that someone else might not see. For example, I was looking at a storage crate just this morning and realised that with an added C it was an anagram of escargot. I could read almost before I could walk, so what’s stopping me in my tracks when I try to write?

    I’m not new to writing at all. I have written original stuff before; ever since I was ten. Why is it that I’m stuck now? Am I lazy?

    So, you see how much trouble I’m in. I’m probably a pretty tough case, with all my problems. I would be so grateful if you could just answer one or two of my questions. I’m not necessarily inexperienced, but I’m young compared to other aspiring authors and I need a different perspective and opinion. Anything will help me.

  21. B. Macon 26 Sep 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Hello, Pretty Colors!

    “I have my characters and story plotted and ready to go, but I feel like my writing style is too fast paced. The characters escape from trouble too quickly and easily…”

    Don’t make it too easy on them! Here are a few ways you can make their struggles more intense and flesh out the story.

    –Add complications. Your characters might solve one problem, but they end up causing or revealing another. For example, in the Ironman movie, when Tony Stark learns how to make his powersuit, that’s only the start of his journey, not the end. Building the suit and escaping from the terrorists brings him to an epiphany about the morality of selling weapons, which leads him to become a combatant in the Middle East, and finally propels him into conflict with the profiteering Iron-Monger.

    –Add and toughen external obstacles. What sort of villains and antagonists are you working with? Perhaps the villains should be tougher.

    –Maybe the heroes should be weaker than they are already. If the objective is freeing hostages from heavily armed terrorists, it would be pretty easy for Superman or Rambo to save the day. But it would be pretty slick for an unarmed police negotiator and downright heroic for a pacifistic priest. Frequently, the less direct path– in this case diplomacy rather than kick-down-the-door violence– is more dramatic and interesting.

    –Differentiate your characters more and develop their relationships. With five characters, you could do your very own opera. In fact, the potential for developing the relationships between the five characters is so strong that it might even be overwhelming. If you feel like the challenge of developing five characters is daunting rather than exhilarating, you might want to consider getting rid of one. It sounds like your story is very ambitious.

    Fleshing out the details by describing their bedrooms might be a good characterization exercise, but in the context of your story it’s likely filler. I like the idea of developing their habits more. For example, if one of your characters were deeply religious in an almost anachronistic way, you might have him do the sign of the cross whenever he hears anyone take the Lord’s name in vain. A ridiculously geeky mechanic might start fiddling around with electronic equipment whenever he sits down, even if he’s talking to someone. As long as the habits bring the characters to life and develop important character traits, they’re definitely useful.

    Plotting your story might be easier if you regulate the level of urgency. For example, is there much urgency as a daughter waits for her mother at the hospital? If that’s all there is, probably not. Listening to a daughter idly muse that she wished her mother were nearby is probably not very interesting. But let’s add some details. The daughter is scheduled to have a dangerous (potentially fatal) operation today. Her mother has known this for weeks but still hasn’t shown up today for what might be their last conversation together. The daughter doesn’t know whether her mother is just late or still at work. Alternately, the mother might be SO overwhelmed by the prospects that this would be the last day her daughter is alive that she can’t bring herself to come because she doesn’t want to admit that.

    In any case, let’s try to imagine a conversation between the daughter and the father about the mother’s absence, or a phone-conversation between the daughter and the mother about why the mother isn’t coming. Either one would be pretty intense and dramatic, I think, even if they didn’t devolve into shouting matches. (“I’m sorry, honey. I don’t think she’s coming…”).

    “I don’t want to bore people by repeating why she’s there, or how she drinks a cup of coffee as she watches TV. It’s boring.” That’s an astute observation about pacing, I think. I’d recommend giving the characters more ambition, something to hunt for.

    “There are lots of exciting parts, but I haven’t gotten up to them yet and I’m getting frustrated because I know I can’t write them until I have written up to them.” Let’s say scene A is where you are now and scene B is the really juicy scene at some point in the future. If you wrote a page or two describing what happens between scene A and scene B, fleshing out scene B might really help you jog your creative juices and get a better feel for where you’re taking your story. You can fill out the period between A and B later.

    Personally, I’m a fan of third-person, particularly for beginning authors. It’s so tempting for first-person characters to slip into melodramatic exposition (“her rejection slammed me in the stomach”). However, it’s really a personal choice. Sometimes first-person is done really well. If you would really like to work the diary into a third-person story, I’d recommend showing us a scene where the character makes his entry rather than just reading the entry. That will help clear up the first-person issues and will give you a chance to show us their thought processes more. For example:

    Sprawled out on his couch, the author jotted notes onto his legal pad. “I saw her face, and it was like nirvana. I finally understand women,” he wrote. The Bears-Packer game cut to an ad for Sex and the City. “Almost understand women,” he amended.

    “I could read almost before I could walk, so what’s stopping me in my tracks when I try to write?” Perfectionism? Gifted readers often hold themselves to almost impossibly-high standards. The trick is getting something out that’s good enough. No one writes perfectly on the first go—write something that’s remotely decent and rewrite it into something worth reading later. When I write, I aim for a literal telling on the first write. No description. I try to weave the description in on later rewrites.

    “Why is that I’m stuck now? Am I lazy?” I don’t know you, but the fact that you’re willing to look into writing resources like this website suggests that you’re ready to work at writing. If I could offer an armchair analysis, it’s possible that you’re afraid of failing to meet perfectionist standards. If that’s the case, I would recommend trying to loosen up a little bit. For example, take an hour and try to write a scene in your book. It doesn’t need to be great. It doesn’t even need to be good. The mere step of thinking about your book for an hour might help you figure something out about where you can take the book.

    Good luck!

    B. Mac

  22. Look at the pretty colours!on 26 Sep 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Thank you for your help! I was really freaking out over all this.

    I’ve got to start doing some work on it today, because I have two full weeks off school for holidays. How many hours would you recommend I work for on my book each day? I want to make some progress on it without doing too little or too much.

  23. B. Macon 27 Sep 2008 at 1:25 am

    Quoting from Brett…

    “Alex is dogged by elvish nobility triplets who dislike and persecute him because he’s only half-elvish, and therefore an insult to the race (they overlook the fact that his genetic variability technically makes him superior, even though Alex himself doesn’t know this). Throughout the plot, Alex has to deal with this, as well as the emotions that spring from it. Later it is revealed that Alex is actually successor to the throne of the same Elf-clan, which is ironic considering that they’ve been abusing their ruler, which makes it interesting.”

    I really like the born-into-discrimination angle. The idea that his human heritage adds something that they do not appreciate also has a lot of potential, I think. My main concern is that he appears to have born into a position of great power (the successor to the throne). That may make him a “Chosen One,” a problem that dogged Eragon.

    Generally, readers sympathize more with characters that make their own luck. For example, maybe he rises to power among the elves through his own actions rather than some accident of birth and lineage. That would give you an interesting opportunity to develop how your elven society picks its leaders. You’d even have the option of pulling a Solomonic-twist ending: let’s say that he and one of the purebreds are the finalists in the leadership competition and it looks like a large portion of the elves would be completely unable to accept a partly-human leader (because humans are thought to be too selfish, arrogant, etc.) Alex reluctantly withdraws after concluding that staying in the competition would cause unnecessary strife. Then you could have the contest administrators (like King Solomon) decide that anyone who would come that close and withdraw for the good of the kingdom is obviously not too selfish or arrogant to rule. That still wouldn’t resolve the issue of the bitter hold-out elves, but I’d really like to see him win them over with his diplomatic and leadership skills.

    As for the love angle, I like the idea of Alex as a suitor that isn’t completely confident and has to overcome a dating liability (being half-human). I think readers will relate that both of those details. However, it might help to flesh out the love interest character in a slightly different direction. Looking back to Eragon, I wrote a short article about why Eragon’s love-interest is not remotely as effective as Lois Lane…

    Usually, fictional stories write love interests as cardboard characters designed to show that the protagonist has “arrived.” The love interest is usually a status symbol without any endearing traits. If the love interest is developed at all, it will be in terms of how desirable a status symbol she is: she’s really beautiful and super high-class! Enter Eragon, stage right.

    The detail that she’s (secretly?) an elven princess gives me pause. One way you might try tweaking her background is by making her poor. The drama would come less from him trying to attain her than the couple trying to overcome the snickers and scorn of high-bred elves. To the purebreds, it would surely seem tremendously presumptuous for such a half-human to try to become their leader– he doesn’t even know enough about elven culture to court one of its finer specimens. (They might also insinuate that he went for a lower-class girl because he knew he wasn’t good enough for the princesses).

  24. B. Macon 27 Sep 2008 at 1:51 am

    Pretty Colors, I’d recommend writing 2 or 3 pages a day. That’s probably somewhere between 60-120 minutes, which I think is very doable and productive. (It would take you 3-4 months to finish a manuscript at 3 pages a day– by comparison, we’ve been working on and off for 2+ years on ours). I have some other suggestions…

    1) Don’t worry too much about how polished the writing is. It will probably be easier to fix details like grammar, punctuation and word-choice later because you’ll have a better sense of where you’re taking the story. If you know more about the trajectory of the plot, you will probably emphasize details that are more pertinent to the flow of the story.

    2) The 2-3 pages you write each day don’t have to be continuous with the previous day’s pages, but try to keep as few arcs going as possible. It will probably be harder to work a collection of vignettes into the story than a few chapters.

    3) If you’re stuck on the direction of the story, as a last resort you can post your chapters to the Critters Online Writing Workshop and then ask your readers/reviewers to help you brain-storm possible plot arcs. I’d say that’s a last resort because your piece will wait on a queue for 4-6 weeks* before you start to get reviews. It is however a highly useful resource if you’re prepared to use the 4-6 weeks productively while you’re waiting. Also, your piece will receive more reviews and comments if it is well-written, so you might find it worthwhile to spend some time polishing the work if it isn’t quite so good that you’d feel comfortable to (say) read it aloud in a writing class. But don’t second-guess yourself. If you’re ready to read it aloud, it’s good enough to submit.
    *You can cut the 4-6 weeks to 1-2 weeks by winning a “Most Valuable Critter Award,” which requires you to do at least 10 critiques of 300+ words in one week.

    4) Try to avoid distractions when you write.

  25. Bretton 29 Sep 2008 at 8:41 am

    Thank you, and your comments have spawned another idea. I believe I can successfully meld our ideas. I’m not sure it’s feasible to give up Alex’s royalty entirely, but consider this:

    1. Alex is not the only one with a claim to the throne. Another eligible relative exists, but he is farther away on the family tree while Alex has a direct line of descent. In contrast, this other family member has pure blood and is greatly respected. Alex knows however that he will either become totally selfish and corrupt or become a puppet figurehead for corrupt politicians. Enter point two:

    2. Valshion Markheris, said corrupt politician, is scheming to control the nation for himself. He served as Mirkaton (regent) when Alex’s grandfather died, and has no desire to relinquish power. He will even enter into league with the dark forces if neccessary.

    3.Alex does not really want power for himself because he knows that he is power-hungry. He fears he will abuse his authority. He does however, want what is best for the elves, and knows for a fact that he IS the lesser of two evils.

    Alex must struggle against all this (and maybe his first villain) in order to triumph and even when he does, he chooses not to stay and rule, but rather to return to his studies and he leaves the kingdom in the hands of someone he knows he can trust. Alex’s character is vindicated and there is no luck involved. (I may use your Solomonic angle. I kinda like it.) Also, this is decidedly different from the story of Aragorn, though it bears some of Tolkien’s influence.

    As for Amorelia, suppose she rules threough a proxy (like Padme). That way, she can conceal herself as a commoner, revealing her true identity only to Alex and a few close friends. Also, I’ve bent over backwwards to give Amorelia interesting characteristics of her own besides being royal so she doesn’t become another Arya. I made a list for your evaluation:
    somewhat spoiled (she even knows it, which is why she sometimes chooses to live as a commoner), honest, intelligent quick thinker, kind, has good social skills (unlike Alex), very opinionated (often opposite Alex), stubborn, compassionate, somewhat sarcastic, tries to change people rather than writing them off, does not enjoy combat and only kills in self-defense/defense of others, trusts people until given a reason not to trust them, fiercely loyal, wants whats best for her friends, she has many arguments with Alex (which both secretly enjoy), oh yeah and her power rivals and may even surpass Alex’s so impressing her with pure strength and force is NOT an option.

    I try to make her as human and realistic as possible, unlike the stiff, yet noble Arya. For example: she actually has emotions, and therefore, friends. She also helps Alex with his social skills. (Well she tries anyway.)

  26. B. Macon 29 Sep 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I really like the idea of the succession struggle. Adding a competitor should ameliorate the Chosen One aspect by establishing that the throne is something Alex earns rather than passively receives.

    It also gives you the chance to develop two villains, the more obvious puppet-master and the less obvious figurehead (the pureblood relative). I think the pureblood relative is the more interesting of the two because his motives are probably deeper. The puppetmaster can’t really have much motivation beyond his own self-interest, but the pureblood might think that his succession would represent a great boon to the elvish kingdom as a whole. Readers probably wouldn’t sympathize very much with this, but he’d probably reason that the human’s accession would jeopardize his clan’s cultural heritage and honor. (If you were to go down this path, developing his clan’s honor would make him more interesting and sympathetic).

    I think your characters look pretty good, but they don’t seem to have many genuine flaws (ie something that readers and you would find distasteful given their situations). For example, “Alex does not really want power for himself because he knows that he is power-hungry.” How power-hungry is he if he doesn’t want power for himself? It would be quite interesting if he were genuinely power-hungry, but that doesn’t seem to be consistent with the actions you’ve laid out for him. I think a more plausible flaw would be that he is frosty or even contemptuous to elves, given that they don’t seem to be very keen on him or humans in general.

    As for Amorelia, it’s not clear that her flaws are really flaws. For example, she’s very opinionated and sarcastic, but is she sarcastic in a spunky way or an obnoxious way?
    She’s somewhat spoiled, but she’s so aware of herself that she chooses to live as a commoner. Then how spoiled is she?

    I would recommend making her sarcasm acrid and snarky, which would probably be consistent with someone who is spoiled and extremely elite in both skills and upbringing. If anything, I think her main flaw might be that it’s virtually impossible for her to relate to anyone because she’s so elite (in skills and rank). She’s probably not inherently nasty, but she has such freakishly high standards that it’s virtually impossible for anyone– friends, family, boyfriends– to meet them. One way in which that relationship might manifest itself is that, if they were ever in school together, she might spend the better part of the year savagely mocking his work and then suddenly offers crucial help on the final project. When he thanks her for that unexpected act of kindness, she might say something that is simultaneously nasty and friendly, like “I just couldn’t bear to see you fail so badly again.”

  27. Bretton 29 Sep 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks! What i meant by the power-hungry thing is that Alex almost burned his brother when he learned of his powers. The worse part was that he enjoyed it. He hated himself afterwards, but he still enjoyed it. He doesn’t like that side of him and doesn’t want to see it again. It’s like avoiding a desert buffet because you know you’ll eat too much. However, I do see that this needs developing, and won’t make it definitive until I have all the kinks out. I will however, adopt this new flaw, as well as think of some new ones for Amorelia. I think I will make her a bit more sarcastic and attitudinal. Her real life model behaves like that anyway. (and she also made up the word attitudinal, or so I believe.)

  28. B. Macon 30 Sep 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Hmm. I think that’s an interesting angle, that he simultaneously enjoyed and regretted burning his brother. It feels very believable.

    Good luck with Amorelia as well. I would recommend being careful about using a real-life person (particularly a friend or family member) as a model for a character, though. It might create social obstacles (if you fear that the person will think you’ve portrayed them unfavorably). More likely, it may impede you from developing the character in the direction that the story calls for, particularly when it comes to giving the character flaws.

  29. Ragged Boyon 01 Oct 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I definitely don’t want my story to be set on a single planet. I want the heroes to be like vagrant heroes going from planet to planet to help fight the Cyborn Moon, the main villain. I know it has a lot of sci-fi sounding aspects, but I didn’t want it to have a very sci-fi feel. My three main characters are
    Mz. Corpse, Emerald, and the artist. What do you think of my plot?

  30. Ragged Boyon 01 Oct 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Well, since we’re talking about the logistics of your projects, my story in a nutshell is this. Aadrello Tegee, a poor and gifted young artist, stumbles upon a mystic, empty book full of blank pages. He instantly thinks “awesome– new sketchbook” and draws in it. He gets freaked out when his drawings begin to come to life.

    The Cyborn Moon, a factory the size of a small planet that drains planets of their resources and destroys them, then comes and begins to drain and obliterate his home planet. Using his new powers, he escapes from his planet and is stranded on a nearby planet.

    After getting rescued, he meets Irabella Grey (Mz. Corpse), who likes Aadrello despite being extremely depressed. She makes it clear he’s completely oblivious. The two pair up and go to the royal planet to complain about the Cyborn Moon, because this planet has a strong intergalactic army. They meet the rebel prince, Jornai Emera (Emerald), who is running away. He explains that he is also upset about the Cyborn Moon but his family refuses to do anything. I plan to add a large epic “first trio” battle before they leave the planet in Jornai’s ship.

    That’s going to be the beginning. There will be more to it but those are the basics of my first few chapters. What do you think?

  31. B. Macon 03 Oct 2008 at 7:55 pm

    That plot seems very functional. The main weakness I can see– and this doesn’t seem major– is that the discovery of the sketchbook and the arrival of the Cyborn Moon don’t seem related. You may be able to draw the plot together by having the Cyborn Moon target the world because it’s looking for this sketchbook.

    Also, as a minor formatting note, if you write a synopsis for a publisher, it’s typical to use the present-tense. Again, that’s not a huge deal. I doubt publishers will reject an otherwise attractive synopsis because of that, but a synopsis will seem more attractive if it’s in present-tense.

  32. Ragged Boyon 04 Oct 2008 at 5:05 am

    When you say present-tense, do you mean the time frame we’re in now? Or do you mean that I should explain it like I’m telling what’s going on in my futuristic setting as though it were happening right now?

  33. B. Macon 04 Oct 2008 at 5:15 am

    The second one. In your synopsis, you’d describe the plot as a series of events in the present tense, even if the story takes place in the future. For example: Novelist B. MAC,* a struggling MFA candidate, signs on with the mob to get into Iowa. Shortly afterwards, the mob realizes that there is actually no money in publishing and decides to tie up its loose ends by killing him. After an explosive chase-scene, B. Mac saves the day and gets the girl and whatever. (It’s the 105% true story of my life!)

    *Capitalize the character’s name the first time you use it in a synopsis.

  34. Ragged Boyon 04 Oct 2008 at 8:46 am

    I understand

  35. Ragged Boyon 04 Oct 2008 at 10:55 am

    I understand completely where you’re coming from; I realize that I do have a tendency to try too hard in retrospective. Now I do realize that my names that I come up with are a little etchy so I will work on that. Conversely, I’d like to keep the two names Aadrello and Jornai for other reasons. In addition, I’ll work with my mechanical issues. Don’t think I’m lying when I say I’m a good writer! Currently I’m working on character design and costumes, I have a pretty good idea of what I want each of them to look like:

    Aadrello (Sketch-I thought that would be a good name to show his artistic prowess and it sounds youthful like the character) He is a thin kid, lanky and energetic with purple-skin. Now visualize this with me, his costume is a black full-body suit with orange and white trim, he also wears beige cargo shorts (over his body suit) cinched just below the knees to express him nature to stand out.

    Irabella (Mz.Corpse). She is tall, pale, well developed, and beautiful (looks most like a human) with long or short blood red hair (varying according to her powers). I think crimson and black would be great colors for her but as for the costume itself, it would definitely need an emo feel but still be sexy maybe horizontal stripes or a corset.

    Jornai (Emerald). He is lean and muscular, shorter than the other two, regal and upright despite his rebelliousness, and has a tannish, orangish color. I’m not sure what his costume would look like, but it would definitely need green in it… possibly light armor with green cloth hanging out, like a scarf or sash.

    What do you think?

  36. Jacobon 04 Oct 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I love the name Sketch. Purple skin would definitely be unusual, but it worked for Mewtwo. However, I don’t think that the orange trim and beige would complement the purple. I think the colors that would go best with purple are black, white, blue and possibly red trim. If the purple is dark, you may be able to slip in yellow as well– it worked pretty well for Static Shock. The New Orleans Saints use purple/gold and that looks pretty clean.

    I’m not too familiar with emo clothing, let alone how you might adapt emo clothing into something that feels like a superhero would wear it. However, if you’re just looking to use emo clothes straight-up, with little “epic” adaptation, maybe something like this shirt would work, just with crimson-and-black stripes. Alternatively, you could take a black shirt and add a crimson logo (perhaps her superhero emblem?) or add a black logo to a crimson shirt.

    I’d recommend making Jornai’s skin more tan than orange. As for the build of his armor, if you’re looking for something with a fantasy feel, you might try this or this or this. Green’s pretty easy to complement. If you wanted a sash, I’d recommend gold, navy blue or black. If it were a scarf, it would be complementing his tan/orange skin as well as the green, so I’d probably recommend just black.

    Good luck.

  37. Ragged Boyon 04 Oct 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks, I’ve got a really good idea of Jornai’s armor now.
    Also, I can probably come up with a new color scheme for Aadrello’s costume.

  38. Ragged Boyon 04 Oct 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Oops, sorry for my grammar in that last reply I wasn’t paying attention.

  39. Bretton 04 Oct 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Originally, I had a continent named Makeris with two smaller countries. Should I merge the countries or keep them separate?

  40. B. Macon 04 Oct 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Hello, Brett. I responded to your comment here.

    –B. M.

  41. Bretton 06 Oct 2008 at 4:40 pm

    The giants are unsurpassed in their love of questions, riddles, and above all, answers. They have keen minds and can unravel even the greatest of puzzles. Though they are fierce, their savagery is tempered with intelligence, civility, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Books are worth more to a giant than gold, and you are more likely to bribe him with information than with money. Giants have some skill in mathematics, astronomy, and other sciences, but their true passion is philosophy. Their knowledge often grants them access to unseen worlds and forces that even the elves cannot decipher.

  42. B. Macon 06 Oct 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I like it. It’s very unexpected.

  43. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 06 Oct 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Hehe, those giants sound a bit like me! Except for the mathematics part.

  44. Bretton 06 Oct 2008 at 8:00 pm


  45. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 07 Oct 2008 at 12:20 am

    I’m a giant compared to others my age. Most people I know are about two inches shorter than me. Haha! Tell those giants that I want to join them!

  46. Ragged Boyon 07 Oct 2008 at 12:46 pm

    That’s how one of my alien races were going to be muscular, hostile-in-appearance yet intelligent and well-versed. The leader of the IPO (Intergalactic Protection Organization) in my story was going to be this race of alien. His name is Carim Bloquette.

    Damn you Brett, beating me to the punch, but honestly your story sounds quite cool.

  47. Bretton 07 Oct 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I’m quite flattered.

  48. J.Ron 11 Oct 2008 at 6:47 am

    I’m working on a character with super speed but can’t think of an original name, have any ideas?

  49. B. Macon 11 Oct 2008 at 6:50 am

    What kind of mood and style are you looking for?

  50. J.Ron 13 Oct 2008 at 7:52 am

    What do you mean?

  51. Bretton 13 Oct 2008 at 8:03 am

    What kind of tone? Serious, comedic, 30’s pulp fictiony, sci-fi, fantasy, realistic, fantastic?

  52. Bretton 13 Oct 2008 at 8:12 am

    I would recommend Bolt, but after the Olympics, that may not be safe. Try something like Haste, Dart, Headstrong, Slapdash, Impetus, or Momentum. If you don’t want his name to be a pun, you could use words that just sound fast, like Slash, Strike, Knifehand, or Spitfire. A prety cool/funny name for your character would be 25, because that’s how many seconds you have before he catches you.
    If you’re going for an outright Flash parody (like the Incredibles) I’d try for The Brash.

    For an example, I named my superfast character Sprint. It’s a pun but it doesn’t feel like one. You could take this name seriously.

  53. B. Macon 13 Oct 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Some examples of moods are serious, whimsical, gritty, cheerful, bleak and nostalgic. The mood is the atmosphere(s) that you want to evoke with your name.

    As for style, this would include genre (futuristic sci-fi vs. present real-world vs. medieval fantasy) and the types of name that you like the best. If you give a few examples of superhero names that you’ve found really impressive, that will help.

    By the way, Brett, I love Sprint.

  54. Bretton 13 Oct 2008 at 5:25 pm


  55. Bretton 15 Oct 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Asking for my friend Steven (he has VERY limited internet access), he has a character named Fizzicle Ed. Obviously this is a pun. Ed is not a superhero, and does not have powers. He’s just built his body to the point where it’s ridiculous. Your thoughts on the name? I told him it was funny, but its a tad on the corny side. Is there a name that will imply his sheer bulk while also implying his ethnicity (black)?

    Steven also thinks that the main villain of his story can be a “nice guy”. He says “nice guy” villains are a Japanese thing. I don’t get it. your thoughts?

  56. B. Macon 15 Oct 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I’m kind of blanking on names that imply blackness, partially because they’re sort of rare for the black heroes I’m familiar with (like Static Shock, Steel, Storm, John Stewart/Green Lantern).

    Maybe Hood, Street, Detroit, or Hoodlum. I think those would imply a tough physical demeanor and blackness (in a mostly politically incorrect way, I feel). I don’t like those names as much as something generic like Rampage, Brick, Tank, Trainwreck or Turbine.

    As for “Fizzicle Ed.” The pun on “Physical Ed” is probably too cheesy for most audiences. Is he writing this as an over-the-top jab at superhero stories?

    As for nice guy villains… what do you mean? If you mean a villain that’s mostly honorable, I think that could work. For example, in His Majesty’s Dragon, Napoleon has trapped a German army at an important city. Instead of taking them all prisoner, he says that the men of the army are free to leave as long as they surrender their weapons first. Napoleon does so because the Germans are already running desperately low on arms and food. By letting the German troops go, he forces the German military to come up with some way to feed and rearm them– in contrast, if he had taken them prisoner, he would have had to feed them himself.

    On the other hand, a villain that’s simply a misguided hero probably won’t be someone we love to hate. Effective villains typically have at least some element of the sinister. Darth Vader choked Admiral Tarkin, for example.

  57. Bretton 15 Oct 2008 at 7:58 pm

    By “nice guy”, I man he doesn’t strike you as evil. He strikes you as “Oh, he’s a cool guy, why is the hero being such a jerk?” and then all of a sudden, “Where the he** did that surge of evilness come from?”

  58. Bretton 15 Oct 2008 at 8:00 pm

    He said he’s writing this story in the vein of “Afro Samurai”.

  59. Bretton 15 Oct 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Some questions of my own:

    1. My genius, Tony Martin, may be codenamed Agent Q or Agent Enigma. Which is better? (Knights have codenames so they won’t be targeted for assassination. This is most common among human Knights.)

    2. Would codenames be appropriate for my nonhuman Knights? Amorelia for example. Most of the time these guys will be in an atmosphere where their identity is not threatened. They would only use codenames on missions. (Ex. “I am the embodiment of terror and vengeance. You will soon learn to fear the name Surefire.”)

    3. Would it be okay if Alex’s royal rival was Amorelia’s boyfriend from earlier? Or would that be too contrived? I thought it might provide a personal motive for him to align with the corrupt politician.

  60. B. Macon 15 Oct 2008 at 10:16 pm

    A villain that comes off more sympathetic than the hero? Unless the main character is actually the villain, that story sounds like a bomb that could blow up at any moment. (Unless, maybe, it turns out that the villain was a red herring and the real obstacle was something impersonal like cultural misunderstanding or distrust). In any case, I could see the story being improved in any of three different ways.

    1) Make the villain the main character (for example, this was partially done by Soon I Will Be Invincible). He could be an antihero or just a normal guy boxed into an absolutely horrible predicament.

    2) Make the villain more genuinely evil and less likable.

    3) Dragonheart it. The hero (knight) and the “villain” (dragon) realize early on that they share a greater enemy. By the end, the knight and the dragon may come to realize that they never had to fight each other in the first place, but that’s a little bit cliche. The easiest way to subvert it would be to have the more heroic of the two (the knight) sacrifice himself to save the dragon as a way of confirming to the audience that he has come to understand that the dragon was never evil to begin with.

  61. B. Macon 15 Oct 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Ooh, a “surge of evilness” is a problem. It’ll probably feel like the character isn’t very well fleshed-out (ie Suresh from Heroes).

  62. B. Macon 15 Oct 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I love Enigma. In fact, you’d know the style of your book better than I would, but if it feels like a medieval setting, I’d recommend going with just “Enigma” rather than Agent Enigma. My impression is that “agent” feels like a more modern title.

    OK, so your nonhumans won’t have their identities threatened most of the time. Even so, they may take on a code-name for other reasons. (Some examples: They want to fit with a partially human team; they want a name that humans can pronounce easily; they want something more epic and stylish; for magical reasons, giving away their true name is dangerous; they don’t want to get fan-mail or adoring mobs, so they want to protect their given names as a way of protecting their privacy).

    Analogously, one of our characters uses Agent Orange as his name because the humans on his team use fake names to protect their secret identities and he wouldn’t feel like a member of the team unless he did, too. (He’s a mutant alligator). He attempts to take on a secret identity, too, but is very surly to discover that not even glasses can protect a mutant alligator’s secret identity.

    I think it would be OK if Alex’s royal rival was Amorelia’s ex. That would probably integrate her into the succession plot in an interesting way by giving her a perspective into the competitor’s character. However, it may seem strange that Amorelia goes from one heir of the kingdom to the other. She may think that Alex is flirting with her as a way to get back at the competitor. Alternately, she may be flirting with Alex as a way to get back at the competitor.

  63. Bretton 16 Oct 2008 at 3:41 am


  64. B. Macon 16 Oct 2008 at 9:36 am

    You can tell that I’ve been a part of WAY too many dysfunctional relationships, haha.

  65. Anonymouson 16 Oct 2008 at 10:31 am


  66. Flare Bladeon 16 Oct 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Okay, I’m new and I want to throw some names out there from my comic that I’m making. There are some of them, most of these names are Japanese.

    The name of my comic is “Chaos.” It is my first comic.

    Zaan-Main character

    Tamikito A.K.A Steele



    Great White- Shark person

    Dr. Kaos-Main Villian

  67. Flare Bladeon 16 Oct 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I’m working with Ragged Boy, but we are doing two different stories.

  68. B. Macon 16 Oct 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Ah, good luck.

    Chaos is a great name for a character. I think it’d be OK for the series, but I’m not sure. Traditionally, a series will be named after either the main hero or main group of heroes. (For example: The Amazing Spiderman, SHIELD, etc.) Who or what is chaos referring to?

    I’m not at all familiar with your marketing plans for this book, but I’d venture to say that the names would be very Japanese for a Western market. If you’re Japanese and want to sell in Japan, that’s entirely fine, but otherwise I would recommend tweaking the characters so that they look a bit more familiar. (For example, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a series heavily infused with Japanese culture, named the turtles after Italian Renaissance painters).

    For example, Zaan could be Zan. It’s still a highly unusual name, but it avoids the awkward ‘aa’ sound. As for some of the other names, I’m not quite feeling a strong emotional vibe off them. For example, Dr. Kaos doesn’t have quite the same emotional strength and rhythm as, say, Dr. Octopus or Dr. Strangelove or Dr. Zhivago or Professor Moriarty.

    Great White makes sense for the shark-guy but could probably be more rhythmic. What do you think about Tiger or Hammerhead?

    Two of your characters start with ‘Gei.’ As a rule of thumb, I wouldn’t recommend giving two characters names that start with the same letter unless they are both really minor. (That will help your readers keep them apart).

  69. Flare Bladeon 18 Oct 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Can anyone help me? I need two names, a heavenly one and a devilish one.

  70. B. Macon 18 Oct 2008 at 6:04 pm

    For the devilish one, I recommend something that starts with a really strange, unpleasant letter… let’s say X or Q. For example, Xeno, Xalbador, Xanthus, Qaad, Quarrel, Qaiser, Jasper, etc.

    For the angelic name, I recommend something that starts with S or A. Serra (or variations like Serran, Serros, etc.) Alabaster, Avon, Anoles, etc.

  71. Flare Bladeon 18 Oct 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve just made a few characters for a new idea a friend and I were working on. (If you want to hear about the story, I’ll post it soon, but it’s not really complete yet).

    The first character is Deon Porter, a young African-American high school student about 16. He has the ability to heal himself, superspeed, and he can control fire. Using these powers makes him more vulnerable in battle. Healing himself causes his body to become more fragile. With each time he heals himself, his body takes damage more easily. When he uses superspeed, he gets fatigued. His fire powers will burn him and cause his body to get progressively more burnt. The healing ability will take care of that after the fight, though. The fire elemental abilities are risky both for himself and bystanders. Once Deon goes into his super mode he calls himself “Flare Dasher”

    The second character is Antwon Kellman, a young American attending high school also around 16. His abilies are supersenses, the ability to see into the future, and animal-morphing. He can only use his supersenses for so long. When he uses his power to look into the future, it makes his eyesight worse until he becomes blind. When he does the animal morphing ability it puts a large strain on him.His body can only take that so long and pushing himself past his limit will cause him to become like the animal he last was in his regular appearance. He calls himself Sensation.

    That’s all I have now. I’ll put the rest on later.

  72. B. Macon 18 Oct 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Those sound pretty good. I have a few minor suggestions… I’d recommend spelling their names Deion and Antoine rather than Deon and Antwon– I think those two are slightly more conventional spellings. Additionally, it may help if you tweak their powers so that they have an overarching theme.

    I think Sensation’s powers are a bit random. Supersenses and seeing the future go together smoothly, but animal-morphing sticks out quite a lot. I think that’s a problem because morphing will probably be his main combat ability. It’s also a good deal more exotic than the other two. (It’s usually more OK for generic powers like healing to fit in less, but an exotic power should probably fit in with the hero’s theme). One way you could fix this is by removing the ability to see the future and just having him go as an animal morpher. Then you could explain his supersenses really smoothly as an offshoot of his morphing ability (for supersight, he uses the eyes of an eagle, or the hearing of an owl, or the taste of a shark/snake, etc.)

    Flare Dasher’s powers were a bit more coherent. Superspeed and fire-control sort of, kind of go together (superspeed should create sparks/heat and he controls fire), but I think it would help if you made the connections a bit more explicit. For example, you could change his name to something like Jet or Afterburn (jet engines are powerful and feature fire prominently). It’s also a play on words because jet is a synonym for “black.” As for the healing, that’s not too much of a problem because it’s just a minor ability and one that makes sense for evolutionary reasons. If your body were exposed to fire a lot, you’d need something to keep your body from melting away.

    I like Sensation’s supername quite a lot. Flare Dasher seems a little bit more flamboyant and maybe not as effective. I’d recommend going with Afterburner, Jet, or Nitro. I think those are a somewhat more sober combination of speed and fire.

    Also, if you’d like to post a rough outline of your story so far, I can offer feedback on what you have so far. It’s OK if you haven’t fully developed it quite yet. When I’m workshopping, I frequently introduce ideas that are still evolving.

  73. Flare Bladeon 23 Oct 2008 at 3:03 pm

    There were three young boys in the 11th grade who attended Terry Parker high school.The school is really old and it’s been up sense 1969(who would want to go to a school that old).Well these three boys were really close they hung out alot and stayed after school for activites(the normal things that teenagers do).Well it was one of the boys 17th birthday and it was a day that would change all three of their lives.The three boys were out at night sitting looking at the stars and the 17 year old made a wish.He wish that he could help people that were in danger there was so much crime in the city that he lived in that there was hardly ever any peace.After he made the wish a commet flew pass the boys and and landed on their schools football field.They rushed over to see what it was,and when they got there they seen the commet and when they got there it was the size of a car tire.They all touched it at the same time,but soon as they did a shockwave sent them flying towards some bleachers.When they got up they didnt fell normal they all had been given their own super powers that matched their personalities.After they known what they’ve had they couldn’t let anyone else find out about it or,the whole world would be walking around with super powers.They took the comment and hid it in the schools basement so no one would ever find it(who would do into the basement of a school that’s been up sense 1969,not even the janitors wouldn’t go down there.)
    So they thought it was safe.
    One day a student at the same high school as the three boys(who also hates two of the boys) tryed to do something with a girl in the school basement.While he was down there he saw the commet and walked upon it.He touched it and a shockwave threw him agaisnt the one of the storage tanks.The girl ran out and went straight to class(if she would have said something to someone about being in the basement she would have got in trouble for skipping).When he got up he had super powers and he thought he was the only one he said he’d keep it to him self,and that gave birth to the boys arch enemy.

    I haven’t made a name for it yet and if body could help me with a name that would be awesome ,but for the moment I think people should tell me if it’s good.

  74. B. Macon 23 Oct 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Flare Blade, I don’t understand. Isn’t this the same question you posted on our Plot Structures page? I already responded to it here.

  75. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 24 Oct 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I just give my characters names I like, or pick a random one from a naming website. I also used the link to Seventh Sanctum for one or two. None of their names really reflect their personalities, but if any do it was unintentional.

  76. Bretton 26 Oct 2008 at 3:57 pm

    In my book, the main villain (who is so powerful and evil that he rarely appears in person) has three names right now. His true name is Malevolon. I am considering changing it to: Malevon, Malivoth, Mordex, Mordivax, Mordivath, or something similar because I think Malevolon sounds cheesy. Your thoughts?

    He is also often referred to as the Neitshaden and the Dark Phoenix. I am considering scrapping the name Neitshaden because it doesnt do anything except give the characters another spooky name to speak in hushed tones. That, and be hard to pronounce. It flouts all of my pronounciation rules for Elvish, Dwarvish, Giantish, and beyond. Do you think it’s worth keeping? Can it be salvaged?

    (and yes, Neitshaden is based on the word nightshade)

  77. Bretton 26 Oct 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Does your website despise me? If it were a person, I’d say it is being surly right now. Post my comment please! Darn these oversensitive filters!

  78. Bretton 26 Oct 2008 at 4:29 pm

    In my book, the main villain (who is so powerful and evil that he rarely appears in person) has three names right now. His true name is Malevolon. I am considering changing it to: Malevon, Malivoth, Mordex, Mordivax, Mordivath, or something similar because I think Malevolon sounds cheesy. Your thoughts?

  79. B. Macon 26 Oct 2008 at 7:24 pm

    The word in question that was setting off the spam filter was “pronounce,” which has the string “pron,” which is one leet-speak way to say porn. However, I can see that the word “pronounce” is clearly something useful to our commenters, so I’ve disabled the pron block. Also, I unblocked cock to allow the innocuous cocky and the absolutely delightful shuttlecock (in case anyone wants to discuss awesome sports).

  80. B. Macon 26 Oct 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I am very ill now, but I’ll try to answer your questions as well as I can .

    1: Generally, I would recommend trying to avoid giving a character more than two names. For example, we can easily remember that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person, and very few readers messed up Voldemort and Tom Riddle, but a third name would probably cause confusion. But that’s just a suggestion. JK Rowling used Voldemort interchangeably with “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” but each name served a distinct purpose. Voldemort was what he called himself, so it reflected his self-image. HWMNBN was what the wizards called him, which reflected how much he scared the wizards. If you’d like to use more than two names, please have a distinct purpose for all of them.

    2: I know “Mal” and letters like x and v typically sound sinister. However, like you mentioned, a name like Malevolon may feel a bit cheesy. Could I recommend something a bit more subtle and unconventional like Solon, Nagel/Nagle or Jick/Juke?

    3: Neitshaden is OK, but what would you think about just making it Nightshade? That sounds like something the character would call himself. Then you might want to give him a name that the other characters would call him. That should suggest something unique about how they see him. HWMNBN was a name that was designed to show that the wizards saw him as horribly frightening, but you could shape it in any number of ways. For example, t’d be easy enough to make a name that suggested that they think of Neitshaden as cowardly, sinister, craven, evil, savage, treacherous, stupid, barbaric, a puppet, etc. There are so many ways to hate someone.

  81. Bretton 26 Oct 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Do you think an unconventional name will work for someone this purely evil? I envision his true form looking something like this pic: http://art1.server05.sheezyart.com/image/10/108378.jpg

    With dragon underlings: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c327/superslim/EvilDragon.gif

    (Disclaimer: I did not draw these, although I am almost as awesome.)

    Your thoughts? The lesser name could be his humanoid name perhaps?

  82. Bretton 26 Oct 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Also, for his six sinister serpentine servants (alliteration hehe!) What do you think of “The Spiteful Six”?
    Or now that I think about it, the Serpentine Six? Or would that be too obvious of a dragon reference?

    I might lower that number to five.

  83. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 5:11 am

    The Spiteful Six might sound a bit cheesy. It sounds a lot like a supervillain group from a few generations ago. (Like the Sinister Six). What would you think about not giving his coterie of dragons a name? (Or he could just refer to them as his dragons without giving the group a real name).

  84. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 5:23 am

    Ok, I think I’ve straightened it out. Later in the story, the Dark Phoenix will free his five greatest and most evil servants from their imprisonment: The Formidable Five. Five evil dragons who fought with him during his rebellious last stand against the Powers Above. They are:

    Apollyon The Destroyer –
    Most powerful, chief dragon. He is the strongest of all the other dragons, and has a humanoid form. He possesses a unique ability: the deadly “Mortal Shriek” that can pierce even the strongest of defenses. Also known as “The White Dragon”.

    Asmodeus The Deceiver –
    A silver wind dragon who also takes the form of a serpent. Prefers subtlety, trickery, and deception to brute force. He loves strife and discord and lives by the motto “divide and conquer”. Has the power of suggestion and invisibility, making him an excellent spy. Apollyon’s lieutenant. Also known as “Silvertoungue”.

    Tartarus The Deathbringer –
    A dark red fire dragon with a hot temper. Has the power to disassemble inanimate objects, deal damage with his long tail tipped with razor-sharp stinging spines, and fire bursts of “netherflame” energy that destroy all in their path and can slightly weaken a phoenix. He loves chaos and destruction. He has two heads, but one mind.

    Sheol The Ensnarer –
    A bronze-colored cave dragon that traps her prey before she kills it and takes delight in the pain of others. She has the ability to cause paralysis with a touch, petrify lesser enemies, and use special venom that can cause individuals to experience their own pain and anguish plus that which they have caused others intensified until they brake and submit to her will.

    Abaddon the Devourer- a mysterious blue storm dragon. He is empowered by rage, fear, doubt, and other base emotions. He has the ability to control tempests and storms, manipulate emotions, cause hallucinations, and rob lesser individuals of their power, using it to increase his own. He is most powerful at night.

    There is also a much weaker dragon servant who appears in the first book, but is killed off fairly early:

    Derivesham the Coward- weakest dragon- grey-green or cyan colored scales, not sure right now. He has no special powers, just a basic dragon. He is called Coward because he ran from the battle, abandoning his brothers, master, and cause, disappearing to uncharted lands.

    Note that the most powerful evil dragon is not the cliched black. In fact, his scales are of a pure white color. Irony!

    Your thoughts?

  85. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 5:32 am

    Since you say the Spiteful Six is too cheesy, I will assume that Formidable Five is also cheesy. How about just The Formidables? Or perhaps another threatening noun. Could you help me out here?

  86. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 5:35 am

    The Ravagers perhaps?

  87. Ragged Boyon 27 Oct 2008 at 5:49 am

    The Black Dragos comes to my mind

  88. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 6:18 am

    I like the Ravagers.

  89. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 6:38 am

    I’ve always thought that white had so much villainous potential. Between tuberculosis, cauliflower and psychiatric wards, it’s ripe for creepiness. As for introducing five named dragons as mini-villains, I think that may bloat the cast. Readers may also have trouble telling the dragons apart.

  90. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 7:22 am

    They won’t appear until much later, So don’t worry. By that time, the villains I’m writing now will have disappeared. No two threats will ever compete for dominance in the story at once. Do you think that giving the dragons drastically different personalities and styles will make them easier to tell apart? I’ve gone part of the way by giving them different colors and abilities. If I draw on those for personality traits, could they be easier to differentiate?

    Apollyon The Destroyer- The Shadow’s Darth Vader. He’s the enforcer, leader of the Ravagers, and the only one who can don a humanoid form.

    Asmodeus the Deciever- A shadowy background manipulator type. Think of a loyal, competent Starscream with a twist of Satan.

    Tartarus the Deathbringer- impulsive, brash, agressive, perhaps slightly whiny a la Christian Haydensen’s Anakin Skywalker.

    Sheol the Ensnarer- femme fatale. Like catwoman, only consistently evil and distinctly non-human. I may consider having her flirt with the others, particularly Apollyon.

    Abaddon the Devourer- cryptic and enigmatic. He will rarely speak except to say something creepy. Think of a Batman/Dracula/Dr. Doom with dragon sorcery powers.

    As for Derivesham, he appears early and is killed off quickly, so he probably won’t be as well developed as his brethren. At least not through dialogue. I may have the other dragons refer to him as “annoying”, or “cowardly” or “good riddance he’s dead.” That would drive home how incompetent he was while also showing that the dragons are so evil and callous that they don’t care if one of their own dies.

  91. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 7:24 am

    Your thoughts?

  92. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 8:23 am

    Well, the colors are an extremely useful way to differentiate characters in a comic book or other visual medium, but you’re writing a novel, right? Visuals probably won’t prove so useful for differentiating novel characters because it’s easy to forget character appearances when you can’t actually see the characters.

    For example, I really liked the book His Majesty’s Dragon, but I’ve forgotten pretty much everything the author has used to describe Temeraire’s appearance. The only thing I remember is that he’s enormous (after all, he carries a crew of 30+). I’m not the only one having trouble remembering his visual details. For example, check out these illustrations of him: this, this, this, and this. The artists didn’t even agree whether he looked like a Chinese dragon or a Westernized dragon (his egg came from China).

  93. Johnon 27 Oct 2008 at 1:59 pm

    What weakness would you give to a character that can change his body into a diamond form? He has powers like superstrength, durability, and the ability to make himself invisible by morphing his body and bending light.

  94. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Hi, John. I imagine he’d be very heavy, particularly when diamondized. He might also be clumsy. He’d probably have trouble fighting in an area with poor footing, like a mountainside or a rooftop. I also imagine he’d be too dense to swim well.

    If he has a secret identity, I would recommend having his powers alter his body in some way that makes it harder for him to have a secret identity. For example, perhaps he weighs 300 or 400 pounds because his body retains special substances to facilitate his transformation.

    If you’re planning to write your story as a novel, I’d recommend swapping the invisibility for something else. Invisibility is a cool ability, and I think you have a neat mechanism for it, but it really works best in a visual medium like a comic book or TV show.

  95. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 2:22 pm

    And the personality differences, B. Mac?

  96. B. Macon 27 Oct 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hi, Brett. I like the leader and the shadowy manipulator. I think those characters are “sticky” enough that we will remember them. As for the impulsive/brash/aggressive/whiny one, the only one of those traits that I think will make him seem really different from the other characters is the whininess. Her modus operandi seems to be seduction, which is neat. However, I fear she will overlap considerably with the manipulator.

    The cryptic one concerns me the most. Crypticness may be a problematic trait, given that a character is cryptic based on what he doesn’t do (explain himself, usually). Crypticness will probably be really hard to use as a defining trait. When you have several characters vying for the reader’s attention, a cryptic character will probably lose out. Almost by definition, this character won’t be in the spotlight often, so he’s probably going to get lost in a scene that has several other characters in it.

    My guess is that you could merge Sheol and the brash dragon by giving Sheol brashness for flair. If the sorcerous dragon’s magic is really important to the arc of the story, you could give her that as well. That would free you to eliminate two of the dragons if you so desired. That would give you more time with each of these characters, which seems useful because they’re mostly enjoyable characters.

  97. Bretton 27 Oct 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Also, Diamondhead from Ben 10 was vulnerable to sound waves, which could shatter him, so your hero could be vulnerable to strong sonic and concussive attacks.

  98. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 9:27 am

    I think I want to keep Abaddon, but I’ll try to make him a bit more interesting, perhaps giving him a conflict with one of the other dragons. I think that I will give him Tartarus’s temper as well, and maybe make him a pessimist? Could you suggest other personality traits that that might fit his overall motif?

    However, I will take your advice and merge Tartarus’s stronger aspects into Sheol, for 2 reasons:

    1. A “cave dragon” is a pointless concept. All dragons live in caves at some point, and techinically, in my univers, if it lives almost exclusively in a cave, it’s not a dragon, it’s a gargoyle. Dragons are supposed to ravage and conquer, you cant do that if you’re always hiding in a cave.

    2. Tartarus and Sheol were weaker characters than the others, both in powers and personality. I think I’ll give Tartarus’s flames to Sheol, and give her venom to Abaddon. This and a few changes should help differentiate her from Asmodeus.

    Your thoughts?

  99. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 9:33 am

    I think I’ll also give her Tartarus’s title of Deathbringer because Ensnarer is a little weak and synonomous with “Deciever”. Also, “Deathbringer” is very uncharacteristically female. Unless you think “Ensnarer” is a better fit?

  100. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 9:49 am

    Here’s how it looks now:

    Sheol the Deathbringer –
    a bronze fire dragon that prefers to trap her prey before she kills it and takes delight in the pain of others. She can cause paralysis with a touch, petrify lesser enemies, disassemble inanimate objects, and fire bursts of “netherflame” energy that destroy all in their path and can slightly weaken a phoenix. She is also a seductress, and is quite used to getting her way. (May share an on/off relationship with her plausible mate Asmodeus, from whom she learns the finer points of deception.)

    Abaddon the Devourer –
    a mysterious blue storm dragon. He is ill-tempered and unpredictable, being empowered by rage, fear, doubt, and other base emotions. He has the ability to control tempests and storms, manipulate emotions, cause hallucinations, and use special venom that can cause individuals to experience their own pain and anguish plus that which they have caused others intensified until they brake and submit to his will. He is most powerful at night.

  101. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 9:56 am

    Also, would it be worth making Abaddon female and renaming him “Kraken”? Or is one female dragon enough? (of course if I did make my blue dragon female, it might look too much like a sapphira parody. “What do you think I am, a talking pack animal?!” lol)

  102. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Your thoughts B. Mac?

  103. B. Macon 28 Oct 2008 at 1:01 pm

    “What do you think I am, a talking pack animal?” That’d be pretty hilarious.

    Erm, what with the mergers and renamings, I think I’m having trouble following everything that’s happened. Could you give me the name/synopsis for all the dragons at this point? Thanks.

  104. Johnon 28 Oct 2008 at 1:16 pm

    For my diamond character any suggestions on a name?

  105. Ragged Boyon 28 Oct 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I know this is irevelant to this section, but I want to start really planning and writing my story out now. How should I go about doing this? Seeing as I want to do a comic I’m not sure if I should write it in the comic format you showed me or write it as a book and then transfer it over into the format later. Or should I just hold out and plan more? Is there anything about my story you are unclear with?

    Yo, John
    I’m not good with names but these are just suggestions for Mr.Diamond, trash them if you want.

    Adamant or Adamantine
    Solid (my favorite)

  106. Ragged Boyon 28 Oct 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Oh, and Vigor (I like that one too)

  107. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Something that sounds resolute and immovable. Maybe Solidus or Stonehead. If you want to put emphasis on his powers, perhaps Roughcut or Hardstone.

  108. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Oh, wait. scratch stonehead, too close to diamondhead from ben 10. oops!

  109. Ragged Boyon 28 Oct 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Oh yeah I didn’t think of making them in name form haha

  110. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 3:09 pm


    Apollyon the Destroyer is the most powerful, chief dragon. He has a humanoid form. He possesses a unique ability, a deadly “Mortal Shriek.” He’s also known as “The White Dragon”.

    Asmodeus the Deceiver is a silver wind dragon who also takes the form of a serpent. He prefers subtlety, trickery and deception to brute force. He loves strife and discord and lives by the motto “divide and conquer”. He has the powers of suggestion and invisibility, making him an excellent spy. He’s Apollyon’s lieutenant. He’s also known as “Silvertongue”.

    Sheol the Deathbringer is a sadistic fire dragon. She can paralyze by touch, disassemble inanimate objects, and cause fire bursts of highly destructive “netherflame” energy. She is also a seductress, and is quite used to getting her way. [Note: She may share an on/off relationship with her plausible mate Asmodeus, from whom she learns the finer points of deception.]

    Abaddon/Krakken the Devourer is a mysterious blue storm dragon. S/He is ill-tempered and unpredictable, being empowered by rage, fear, doubt, and other base emotions. S/He has the ability to control tempests and storms, manipulate emotions, cause hallucinations, and use special venom that can cause individuals to experience their own pain and anguish plus that which they have caused others intensified until they brake and submit to his/her will. S/He is most powerful at night. [I think I want to keep Abaddon, but I’ll try to make him a bit more interesting, perhaps giving him a conflict with one of the other dragons. I think that I will give him a short temper as well, and maybe make him a pessimist? Could you suggest other personality traits that that might fit his overall motif?

    Also, would it be worth making Abaddon female and renaming him “Kraken”? Or is one female dragon enough?]

    Derivesham will be dead by the end of the 1st book.

    That’s how it now stands.

  111. Bretton 28 Oct 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Btw, comments like this are just a ploy to keep this page (and my more important comments above) popping up on your recent comments widget so you wont forget it. Please don’t think I’m pestering you. Also, I have read all sample chapters you posted, and loved them for the most part. The best was definitely Stockbroker to the Slaughter. Some of the others could get a bit awkward and confusing sometimes. I’ll reread them to pinpoint how. Excellent work. Once I finish my first volume, could I trouble you for a beta-review?

  112. B. Macon 28 Oct 2008 at 7:52 pm

    OK, I have a few thoughts. It looks like you have four characters here (five if you count Derivesham, but he seems pretty minor). Each of these characters has three addresses: a name (like Apollyon), a title (The Destroyer) and an appellation (like the White Dragon or Silvertongue). If these characters are really important, I would recommend giving them at most two names. If they aren’t really important, just one.

    If you’re not sure whether each dragon deserves one or two, I’d suggest leaning towards one. Typically a second name is a confusing element that’s justified only if it adds something. For example, a superhero’s name makes him feel more exotic/super and helps him keep his alternate identity safe. Voldemort is distinct from Tom Riddle because Rowling wanted to show that he was very much a normal person before he went bad. In contrast, I’m not sure that The Devourer adds anything that wasn’t already conveyed by Krakken.

    As for Silvertongue, I love that name. Let’s see. Silvertongue, yeah. I like that he’s persuasive and cunning, but his power of suggestion might be problematic. For example, if your hero is tricked by Silvertongue, it would probably be more satisfying if Silvertongue did it with just plain words than magically-endowed words. For an excellent example of a crafty superhero stealing the show with well-placed words, please see Batman in part two of the Justice League episode Injustice for All.

    I think it would be perfectly OK whether Abaddon is a female or not, although one disadvantage of a 2-2 team compared to a 3-1 team is that with a 3-1 team you can use gendered words like “she” and “her” more clearly to refer to a single member. In contrast, the 2-2 team can’t use gendered words that clearly. However, the 3-1 team would have three male characters bouncing around, so that might make masculine pronouns tricky. I like Kraken (Krakken?) better.

    As for a trait to mix up Kraken, have you thought about anything remotely positive? I see your villains have a lot of flaws, which is good, but you may find a single positive trait might make the character memorably creepy. For example, your first three members are a shrieking Darth Vader, a pathological liar and Sheol the Deathbringer. I think something like a cheerful, sunny demeanor would really make Kraken stand out. You could play that in a mildly creepy, low-key way (“I love my job!”) Or you could make it more campy. What do you think?

    Also, why would Apollyon pick Silvertongue to be his lieutenant? Loyalty isn’t the first thing I’d associate with a cunning liar. 🙂

  113. Bretton 29 Oct 2008 at 4:05 am

    Thanks B. Mac. And that’s a good question. One could also ask, “Why did Megatron pick Starscream?” I guess that Silvertongue was just the best at his job. Sheol is his pupil, Derivesham’s pathetic, and Krakken was too unpredictable. On the other hand, you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. (Jack Sparrow)

    Also, I will try to come up with a more meaningful title for Krakken, as well as get rid of the titles for Apollyon and Silvertongue, and let them keep their apellations instead.

  114. Bretton 29 Oct 2008 at 5:08 am

    As for your point about the sunny disposition, it may work. Perhaps if he’s emotionally unstable a la The Dark Knight’s Joker (by far the creepiest and most effective version of the character).

  115. B. Macon 29 Oct 2008 at 5:17 am

    If you liked TDK’s Joker, I’d also recommend The Killing Joke. He was also notably creepy there, although without as much of a Saw vibe.

  116. E.on 29 Oct 2008 at 8:29 am

    My story I am writing involves and relies on literally hundreds of heroes. I know having too many characters can screw up a story but I can’t change that. I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on some of my superhero/villain ideas, and this seems to be the most active topic.

    Here are a few that are less developed than some of my other ideas and can use some help.

    Jack Silverman can create solid illusions and project images and thoughts inside of people’s heads.

    Vanessa Morra can generate and manipulate ice.

    Scott Merit can cover his body in toxic slime and spit acid.

    Randall “Sandy” McGraw can manipulate sand and dust. Ironically, he needs water or he will dehydrate.

    Akira Sakoya has spikes covering his body. By manipulating his bones, he can use explosive pressure to fire the spikes.

    Keegan Draison can manipulate and alter gravity.

    Wallace Ganes is covered in lizardlike scales and has a thick tail and claws. Superior strength, durability, speed, agility/reflexes and senses. He can crawl walls and sense danger.

    Jesse Karon can convert physical damage into a concussive blast released from her hands.

    (None of these characters have ‘hero/villain’ names.)

  117. B. Macon 29 Oct 2008 at 8:50 am

    Hah, I like Wallace Ganes as the lizard-man. It might just be an intensely strange coincidence, but we named our mutant alligator Gain as an homage to the Florida Gators (who play in Gainesville). Even if you’re not a Gators fan and entirely stumbled upon that, I approve.

    As for your story, I’d be a bit concerned that you plan to use hundreds of heroes. “I know having too many characters can screw up a story but I can’t change that,” you said. You seem pretty committed to having a very large cast. Could you explain why you’d like so many? I think readers might have trouble keeping hundreds of characters apart. Have you ever read a comparable novel that used so many characters successfully?

    On the plus side, I find it refreshing that you don’t give the characters hero/villain names.

  118. E.on 29 Oct 2008 at 9:38 am

    Well first off I just chose that name because it felt like it fit.

    Second, the reason I use many heroes is because the story is about a place where the people with abilities are trained and taught to defend the human race, kind of like Xavier’s Institute. Most of the heroes are only mentioned briefly and/or die eventually, so to some extent it doesn’t matter that there are that many characters. I write them into the story in a way that the reader knows that they are not as important as most of the other characters.

    Another thing is that this is a series (hopefully a big series) that will allow room for the heroes to be introduced at a fair pace. All the characters are obviously not introduced in one book. I have also planned for spin-off teams for some of the heroes so they do not all need to be together all the time.

  119. E.on 29 Oct 2008 at 9:46 am

    Oh and some of the major characters do have hero/villain names but not all of them.

  120. E.on 31 Oct 2008 at 8:52 am

    Does anyone know why my previous posts were screwed up? The words have been rearranged.

  121. B. Macon 31 Oct 2008 at 9:09 am

    We edit comments for grammar and style. Did we mischaracterize what you wrote?

  122. E.on 31 Oct 2008 at 9:11 am

    Oh, okay.

  123. E.on 31 Oct 2008 at 9:12 am

    Um, some of what I wrote where I was describing my characters got deleted, but other than that there was nothing important that got changed.

  124. B. Macon 31 Oct 2008 at 9:16 am

    Hmm. If you can think of what substance was removed, I can put that back in.

    Also, on the issue of your series and cast, how many main characters were you thinking about introducing in your first novel?

  125. B. Macon 31 Oct 2008 at 9:31 am

    Also, it kind of depends who your audience is (younger readers can handle a big cast because they don’t care as much about character depth), but I suspect a truly epic cast of 100+ characters would probably take 10+ novels.

    As a measure of comparison, War and Peace had about 600,000 words and 100 characters. That’s about one character per 6000 words. The typical modern novel for adults ranges between 50,000-100,000 words. If you introduced characters as rapidly as War and Peace, that’d be 8-15 significant characters per novel. I don’t know how many of your characters are significant (important enough to merit a name and show up in more than one chapter), but you’d probably need many books in your series to introduce them all.

  126. E.on 31 Oct 2008 at 9:34 am

    The deletion was fine.

    Well, I was planning on using 17 heroes in the first novel. But at least 5 die and six more are not that important. So 6 main good guys.

    For the bad guys there are only 8 mentioned 1 dies early on and two others are only mentioned for the first half and end of the story(they go on a secret mission). And another is only mentioned as a name.

  127. E.on 31 Oct 2008 at 9:46 am

    I do plan on having a lot of books in my series. If all goes according to plan I would like it to have at least 10-12 novels. (Kind of like Redwall.)

    I am leaning towards a teen audience.

  128. B. Macon 31 Oct 2008 at 9:48 am

    Hmm. Six main heroes and four main villains are maybe a bit more than I’d recommend for a first novel, but definitely feasible. Just be careful about how quickly you introduce the minor characters, heh. SIWBI’s cast was overwhelming because the first 30 pages threw so many names around (~20 by my count).

    I suspect that younger teens (13-15) are well-suited for a large cast. I think Max Ride and Redwall sold up to that age range. Once you start getting past 16, though, I’d recommend being a bit more cautious with cast-size because the readers expect more depth and substance from the characters. The broad brushstrokes that can appeal to younger readers are less palatable to high-schoolers. (High schoolers are also more sensitive to character voice, and differentiating character voices gets exponentially harder as the cast increases in size).

    Turning to your character cast, I notice that their descriptions tend to focus on their capabilities and superpowers. As you try to distinguish these heroes from past comic book characters with similar powers, I think that their personalities and backgrounds will prove very, very important.

    For example, Akira Sakoya has powers very close to X-Men’s Spike. Vanessa Morra has powers very much like Iceboy and other ice-elementalists. Sandy’s powers are essentially identical to Sandman’s. If the characters feel substantially different in other ways, these power similarities probably won’t be a problem. For example, both Gandalf and Dumbledore were magical mentors, but they feel different because their personalities and backgrounds are not similar.

    Wallace Ganes sounds a lot like Lizard combined with Spiderman’s spider-sense. His powers are unusually exotic, so that will put less pressure on his personality to distinguish him, but even so I think we need to know more about what kind of person (reptile?) he is. To some extent I think we could say the same about the other characters as well.

  129. E.on 03 Nov 2008 at 11:37 am


    Jack Silverman is an older gentleman, a big shot vegas magician. Mild mannered and very polite.

    Vanessa Morra is warm and caring unlike her powers.

    Scott Merit very rude street kid

    Randall “Sandy” McGraw enjoys the finer things in life, does not like violence

    Akira Sakoya very lonely and secluded

    Keegan Draison very cruel, likes to torture people

    Wallace Ganes feels that he is an abomination, and regrets ever being born

    Jesse Karon tom boyish, sarcastic

  130. B. Macon 03 Nov 2008 at 1:05 pm

    OK. Silverman’s work as a Vegas magician is slightly cliche, but I think mild-mannered and polite has potential.

    Warm and caring is good (and unexpected given Vanessa’s ice powers). For depth, I’d recommend working in a negative trait as well.

    Scott looks OK.

    I like Sandy’s foppishness quite a lot. Along with Scott and Wallace, he’s probably the most interesting of the characters here.

    I think Akira could probably use a positive attribute in addition to seclusion.

    Erm, Keegan may be very hard to like. Sadism and torture are activities that are very hard to make relatable. (Even if he’s a villain, he might be too twisted, particularly if the audience is younger than adult).

    Wallace’s self-loathing seems very believable.

    Boyish and sarcastic are a bit cliche but workable.

  131. E.on 03 Nov 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks. I’ll work on Keegan and Akira.

    Sandy is my favorite character out of all of them.

  132. Ragged Boyon 03 Nov 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve never talked about the logistics of my comic or novel, whichever I can start sooner. Probably the novel. I’m going to have three main heroes (Aadrello, Irabella, and Jornai), two main evil (Iggy and Gazelle) and an evil “umbrella” (Cyborn Moon), and an array of entering-and-exiting heroes and villains. After all, it’s a big universe. The story will have a slightly grittier twist, but not so much that I need to change the overall theme. Basically death is acknowleded. There will also be another major good, The Intergalactic Protection Organization or IGPO, essentially the “space police.”

    The superhero aspects are more an undertone,than an outward cape and tights idea. The costumes are meant to look more like casual, if you can call it that, clothes instead of costumes.

    There is an arc where the Hellions are fugitives and are tracked by the IGPO. The main heroes will travel to a number of planets to assist with misconduct and villainy, while in a general context, they plot to stop the Cyborn. I’m aiming at the target audience of older teen (16) to mid twenties (25), the average target range. Along the story there will be many twists like Aadrello finding that he is of the last of his aquatic race and the black family lineage Jornai was meant to follow or the origin for the IGPO (probably my coolest twist, if you email me I can tell you).

    I honestly think my story is different and it works, although I do want to better step out of the box and take a risk, but I’m not sure how to. Maybe doing like many superhero comics and addressing modern day issues (racism, gay rights, sexism etc) in an inconspicuous way?

  133. Bretton 03 Nov 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Why IGPO, why not just IPO?

  134. Ragged Boyon 03 Nov 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Becuase I said so.

  135. Bretton 03 Nov 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Fair enough.

  136. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 05 Nov 2008 at 11:35 pm

    What do you think of the name Requiem for one of the members of NINE? He’s the twelve year old who sees ghosts.

  137. B. Macon 06 Nov 2008 at 12:05 am

    I like it. It has a fresh sound.

  138. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 06 Nov 2008 at 3:26 am

    I’ve been renaming a lot of my characters because some of their names are similar. I had two who began with K, so I changed one and tada, I have Requiem. I had a character named Robbie, but then I decided that his surname had to be Banks. Only when I actually wrote it out did I see that there would be a problem! Haha. I considered drawing on it for humour, but it seemed too strange for my story. I changed his first name instead. A brief google revealed that there is a real life guy who shared his name, so I changed it instead to a variant. I give you Tristram Banks.

  139. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 7:57 am

    Ok here are some characters from my story:

    Jiminy The Animal Mystic- Adrian’s master, is his prime he used animal spirits in his magic alots, although he is well-versed in many magic fields. Thusly he titles his students with animal names.

    Adrian Gattis- the main character (Boy) when he is assigned animal, he is afterwards called Adrian the Ringtail

    Brook Halloway- a final three member in Jiminy’s apprenticeship. Brooke the Blue Jay.

    Garrett Freeman- another final three member. Garrett the Taurus.

    The Alliance of Gothena- The main evil alliance, worshippers of the fallen goddess, Gothena. A group of 3-4 evil mages, each has a specific magic type i.e time/space or necromancing.

    (Name needed)- The entire official mystic society, inhabiting their own realm. This is where the winning apprentices are brought to train in their respective fields.

    I know I didn’t include alot of detail about the characters, but I will later, I’m in class hahaha

  140. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 9:10 am

    Tristam Banks sounds pretty good.

  141. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Are there any sites you know that have a list of different types of magic? If not, I could always just make them up.

  142. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I think Everquest and D&D use 9. You’ll probably want to merge some of these, but it’s an OK start.

    • Abjuration (shields, mostly).
    • Alteration or Transmutation (the ability to change physical properties of people, animals and inanimate objects. Polymorphing and a spell that increased or decreased someone’s strength would fit in here).
    • Charm. These include mood-altering spells, hypnosis, mental command, some psychic abilities, etc.
    • Conjuration. The ability to summon inanimate objects.
    • Divination. This allows casters to predict the future or spot hidden things.
    • Enchantment. The ability to give magical effects to inanimate objects and people. (I’m not quite sure what the distinction between this and Transmutation is).
    • Evocation. Elemental control and most “blast magic” fits in here.
    • Necromancy. Anything that manipulates the power of death or works with the undead.
    • Summoning. Like conjuration, but for living things like familiars, demons, extraplanar beings, etc.

    Mage: The Ascension used 9 as well. Most MTA spells require the caster to combine more than one sphere of magic.

    • Correspondence
    • Entropy
    • Forces
    • Life
    • Matter
    • Mind
    • Prime
    • Spirit
    • Time

    MTA is a bit more complicated, I think. At the very least, I’d recommend getting rid of correspondence, prime and spirit. Time raises confusion problems of its own…

  143. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I like the D&D types I’ll add what I need to the existing groups, and probably combine some fields like divine and abjure.

    I think I’ll give Adrian a mix between conjuration and enchantment. (His power won’t be as problematic as Aadrello’s)

    Thanks for the help!

    Did you see the names I posted above?

  144. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Jiminy sounds like a kind of eccentric name. I’d recommend changing his title to the Mystic rather than the Animal Mystic to reduce words.

    Adrian is a solid first name. I don’t like Gattis as much. I don’t know what a ringtail is.

    I like Brook Halloway, but I’d recommend using a bird that is one word long to save space. Maybe cardinal, crow, oriole or raven?

    I like Garrett Freeman, but I would recommend changing his first name to Garret for style. I like his animal the best. Of the three animals (ringtail, blue jay and taurus), it’s the one that characterizes the student the best. A bull is strong, stubborn and probably not particularly bright, but I don’t know what to associate with a blue bird or a ringtail.

    I think Gothena feels a bit cheesy because of the “goth” syllable.

    Hmm, on a side-note, I’d recommend paying attention in class to get into a kickass college. Being a writer at a less-competitive college really sucks balls because there’s no money for grants, the students in your classes will be less helpful, etc.

  145. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:15 pm

    A Ringtail is short for ringtail lemur (you know that cute, creepy thing with big eyes). They are observant, small, and active. They embody Adrian well. I like oriole best, out of the birds. I want to use a real word as part of the evil name, any ideas? Oh yeah, Jiminy will just be known as a Mystic, It’s just that in the magic society he is titled The Animal Mystic, so that is his formal title. What about Gaines or Gadson or Gaynor as Adrian’s last name (I like G’s)

    I was already finished with my assignment for that class, I study, I did it for homework. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I will get into a kickass college far away from horrid Jacksonville. Preferably NYU, but my mom will never let me go that far. NY would be a good place to pursue my modeling and acting career.

  146. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Oh My God. My modeling and acting casting cards just got here. AAAAAh, I’m so happy. Just thought I’d tell you the good news. I can start booking jobs now.

  147. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I like Gains, Gadson, and Grant. Good luck with acting/modeling. I can offer you absolutely no help in those fields, but I’m under the impression that they are even more competitive than writing.

  148. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:37 pm

    It is super competitive, probably the most competitive job there is.

  149. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I’m with a good agency, that helps alot.

  150. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Yeah… I’d venture to list the following things in order of difficulty (from least to most):

    –Going to Harvard University (it accepts 10-20% of its applicants)
    –Getting elected to Congress (468 openings every two years for the US Congress! One of my classmates is a state representative, actually)
    –Becoming an astronaut
    –Becoming a superstar author
    –Finding a New York apartment for under $1000 a month
    –Becoming a superstar artist
    –Becoming a pro athlete in basketball, baseball or football
    –Getting elected President

    I’d probably put supermodel a lot closer to President than Harvard University.

  151. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 4:03 pm

    You don’t necessarily have to be a supermodel to have a good modeling career. Lots of models do good work and earn alot of money doing catalog as opposed to high-fashion couture. Although I think the field is slighty easier for guys. Conversely, a male modeling career can only go so far. That why I want to do acting as well, for one, it’s my dream and one of my only natural talents, and two, because I think it’s less superficial that modeling which is purely looks whereas you can be as ugly as dirt and be a famous actor i.e Danny Devito and Al Pacino.

  152. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 07 Nov 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Haha, I know a guy named Garrett Freeman!

  153. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 5:33 pm

    See? That’s why you should spell it Garret, heh heh.

  154. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 07 Nov 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Isaac has a few nicknames. Do you think it would be obvious who the other characters are referring to?

    Izz, Izzy, Zack and Zacky.

    Here’s a sample: He has just gotten in from a rescue and crept back into his room.


    I froze mid-thought at the sound of my nickname. I was either gonna get it for disappearing, or I was being called down for something minor and had nothing to worry about.

    This is in the morning:

    “Izzy, do you want some breakfast?” Mum asked me, as she did every single day.

    Your thoughts? Thanks!

  155. Ragged Boyon 07 Nov 2008 at 5:48 pm

    The only thing that scare me about NY, is the high cost of living. But I’m not scared.

  156. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I think Zack is more intuitive, but almost any nickname is going to confuse some people. If you think that Isaac isn’t something you’d feel comfortable using casually, I’d recommend just replacing the name with Zack.

  157. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 6:43 pm

    In New York, the median price of a studio apartment was almost half a million dollars in April. That’s half a million dollars to own a single room. So, uhh, I assume you’ll be renting.

    The New York Observer estimates that the average New York studio apartment costs $31,000 to rent. Per year. Maybe you could knock some of that off by taking a two-hour commute by train every day or by taking on several roommates for a bigger unit, but I think it’s still going to be pretty bad.

  158. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I vaguely remember that there was an interesting article by the New York Times on the process of assimilating into NYC life… ahh, I found it! Score.

  159. Ragged Boyon 08 Nov 2008 at 7:54 am

    Hmm, that article was very informative. I still want to live there, I guess I can start saving up now haha. I at least want to visit there again before 20, if not move there. I don’t think the social factor will be problematic for me, I’m used to being alone, being an outcast and a former only child, I’ve gotten used to being by mysel.

  160. Ragged Boyon 08 Nov 2008 at 7:56 am

    I hate this stupid hicks town, Jacksonville, what a waste of a city, the sooner I get out of here the better.

  161. Holliequon 06 Dec 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve been working on the idea for a fantasy project (in case you’re confused, this is completely different to any other idea I might have mentioned before), and I wanted to ask your opinion on some character names:

    Two teenaged characters, both 16, one male and one female.

    The girl’s main traits are confidence, bluntness and her reliability. I was thinking Zoe or Fern. As for last name, maybe Baxter or Ingham. I originally chose Fern but now I’m leaning towards Zoe. The boy’s main traits are arrogance, being easily frustrated and easy-going. I decided on calling him Victor Coburn (Corra or Knaggs also seem decent), but I would like some opinions.

    My story also has several Gods in it, some of which are the antagonists. For antagonists, what are your opinons on Allren, Father Shon, Lendirn, Regnar, Rafina and Mayla?

    I also have three demi-God protagonists: Kant, Duerth and Greth. The latter two are brothers and will probably have the largest part of all these God figures (there are a lot, I know!). I like the similarity of the names for a brotherly theme, but I think Duerth (Do-earth) might stumble people a bit. Do you think Durth and Greth with have the same sort of similarity?

  162. Holliequon 06 Dec 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Just a reminder – I know how easy it is to forget these things.

  163. B. Macon 06 Dec 2008 at 7:23 pm

    What! It’s been two hours. 🙂

    I like Zoe a lot. I like Baxter better than Ingham, but what would you think about Williams or Stockton?

    I like Victor as well. Coburn sounds effective, but if his easily-frustrated nature is extremely important, you might want to consider something that sounds a bit more delicate. If it’s merely a pretty important trait for him, I like Coburn.

    Father Shon seems pretty solid, and if you were interested in a minor tweak I’d suggest Father Shorn. The two syllables in Allren don’t seem to flow together very smoothly. What would you think about Aldren? Lendirn has a slightly weak closing syllable and shares a lot of the letters of Allren (because it also ends with an “n,” readers may confuse the two).

    For some reason, I’m not fond of Regnar. It’s OK, I guess. I’d suggest “Railar,” maybe.

    I like Rafina, although the “af” sound is maybe a little stranger than “aph” in English-language names. What would you think about Raphina?

    Mayla is OK, but the name uses A’s in a very similar way to Rafina (second letter, last letter). What would you think about Maylon?

    As for your demi-god protagonists, I love Kant. However, I’m slightly concerned that Duerth/Durth and Greth sound a bit too much alike (even though they are brothers). What would you think about changing Greth to “Rath”? It keeps the ‘th’ ending but spins it with a substantially different opening syllable.

  164. Holliequon 07 Dec 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Hmm. I don’t like Williams, but Stockton is a nice name. Zoe Stockton. I like it. Thanks!

    Father Shorn does have a nicer ring to it, too. Thanks again for that one. Aldren is also good. What do you think about Lindt rather than Lendirn?

    Railar and Raphina work. I don’t really like Maylon; I’ll go with Maylen.

    Hmm. I don’t really like Rath – what do you think about Gath? I think it sounds different enough to Durth that people won’t get confused.

  165. Holliequon 07 Dec 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Gah, I forgot to add a few more names: your opinions on General Eldvin, King Orlon and Pettrick?

  166. B. Macon 07 Dec 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I like Gath a lot! In fact, I like it better than Rath, and it sounds very different to Durth. Maylen is strong. I’m more favorable to Lindt than Lendirn, but dt is still a kind of strange sound and people may wonder if they’re supposed to pronounce the name like “lint.” Heh heh.

    King Orlon is solid. General Eldvin is OK, but the dv sound is a bit unfamiliar. What would you think about Eldin, Elvin, Eldoven, Eldaven, or Eldridge?

  167. Holliequon 07 Dec 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I think I’ll just keep it as Lind, then. XP

    Eldridge is a great name for the general! Thank you.

  168. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Could anyone give me suggestions for Adrian’s Superhero name.

    All I can come up with is Aquarian, and I think that’s a little weird.

  169. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 14 Dec 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I did a little research for you.

    How about Naiad? In Greek mythology, Naiads were water nymphs who used to live near running water. However, they were all female.

    Proteus was a Greek sea god. Names like Poseidon are a bit obvious but it’s more likely that readers will be able to put two and two together.

    Lache means “lives near water”. Also written as Lach or Laec.

    Ladbroc means “lives by the path by the brook”.

    Lage means “from the sea”.

    Laidly or Laidley means “from the creek meadow”.

    Most of these are pretty obscure, but I like them.

  170. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I may be able to use Lage or Lache.


  171. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 14 Dec 2008 at 5:04 pm

    No problem.

  172. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 5:45 pm

    What do you think of Flux or Flow?

  173. Dallason 14 Dec 2008 at 6:38 pm

    I don’t like the foreign language part. It’s perfectly acceptable to use foreign words as names. Some examples are easy to see.

    Inu-Yasha is Japanese for Dog Demon, which is literal, and it rolls off the tongue and sounds sweet.
    In Dragonball Z, Goku is like warrior or something, and in my book Vir literally translates into hero.

    My main character’s name is Ken Writher AKA Vir. Both names are short, Writher is based on how the character digresses into nothingness or withers (Writher, Wither, see what I did there).

  174. Ragged Boyon 14 Dec 2008 at 7:07 pm

    That’s ironic, Adrian’s last name is Gaines, like gains, because he wants to be a great actor and thus, gain fame and fortune.

  175. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 14 Dec 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I didn’t realise this until recently, but Isaac’s full name makes sense when translated into English.

    Isaac is Hebrew for “laughter” and Maehara is Japanese for “before the wilderness”. So his name is “laughter before the wilderness”! Haha. It kind of describes him, too. Later on after he’s been a superhero for a while, he becomes stronger and harder to scare.

  176. Dallason 15 Dec 2008 at 7:55 am

    I do explain that. But it’s easy to pronounce and short and effective, so it works.

  177. Ragged Boyon 15 Dec 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I think vrr like virtue when I hear it.

  178. Johnon 15 Dec 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I would like advise on a character I started. This character has insect powers such as the strength of something fifty times his size like an ant and he can also shoot webbing and create a cocoon around himself as a shield. His primary mode of transportation is his wings. Do you think I should give him a sort of “spider sense”?

    Would Insect Man be a suitable name? I had his story as genetic experiment to create the ultimate warrior. But he thought that the experiment was too painful for anyone else to endure so he destroyed it. They had him brainwashed shortly after, so he starts out as a villain but eventually breaks free of their command and becomes a hero. Any ideas?

  179. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 15 Dec 2008 at 7:36 pm

    While Insect Man would be a literal name for him, I think it’s a little basic. Maybe Insectoid or Antenna would be better.

  180. B. Macon 15 Dec 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I’m not very fond of Insect Man. It’s way too generic and sounds too much like a watered-down version of Spiderman. You may find this article on the conventions of modern superhero names useful.

    I’d recommend something that suggests more about the character’s distinguishing traits. I’m not sure what his distinguishing traits are, so I don’t think I can suggest anything at the moment.

  181. Ragged Boyon 15 Dec 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I think giving him spider sense would make him feel like Spiderman, but it’s common and workable depending on what insects he’s based after. Some insects spit toxins, secrete sticky slime, and can warp their shape. You may want to do some research on different types of insects.

    I think Insect Man is a little bland, nowadays, superheroes don’t really use gender as part of their name. What about just The Insect?

    As for his origin, the idea of being a villian than becoming a hero is a little tricky, but workable. I’d suggest making the experiment they were doing insect-related. It seems inconsistent, why does trying to make the ultimate soldier ending creating insect related powers. Maybe they were woking with insect DNA and make a a toxic serum, that the main character accidently got infected with.

  182. Ragged Boyon 15 Dec 2008 at 8:10 pm

    What do you think of The Aquarian?

    I think it shows that the character is passionate, but it gives off a vibe that makes a reader ponder his sexuality.

    I can’t think of any water related superhero names.

    Help, please.

  183. B. Macon 15 Dec 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I don’t think that gender is necessarily a problem, just that tacking on Man, Boy, Lad, Woman, Gal, etc. is usually cliche and generic. But I think there are a few gendered names that are effective (gendered words like Hangman and gendered names like Thor, Nick Fury, etc.)

  184. B. Macon 15 Dec 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I’m not very fond of The Aquarian, but mainly because it doesn’t tell us very much about the character other than that he uses water. (Also, it has a New Age kind of vibe). What are his distinguishing traits?

  185. Ragged Boyon 15 Dec 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Adrian (this is where Adrian really differs from me) is curious








    Those are probably his most notable traits.

  186. Ragged Boyon 16 Dec 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Hydro, a little obvious, but it will work.

    What do you think of those traits do they tie together to make a deep, interesting personality.

  187. B. Macon 16 Dec 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Yeah, I agree that it’s a little obvious, but I did a brief Google check and I couldn’t find any other superheroes named Hydro (which astonishes me).

    I like that Hydro sounds kind of outgoing/assertive and outspoken isn’t that much of a stretch. It has a protagonistic vibe about it. As a slightly less obvious alternative, I might suggest something like Maritime*, some variation on Benthos*, Geyser or Pump. (I’m quite bad at names).

    *–I don’t expect that readers will necessarily know what maritime or benthos mean, but I think that they work on a sound-based level anyway.

    Are you attached to a water-themed name? If not, you might consider names that allude to the creative/theatre/artistic side of his character. Mmm… for something flamboyant, whimsical and kind of young-sounding, I like “Showtime.” (If you use Showtime, though, please promise me that you won’t make any bad puns like “are you ready for Showtime?” or “Oh no! It’s Showtime!”) “Broadway” is OK, too, but it may make people wonder why his powers aren’t apparently related to his acting talents. Which I like, by the way. An actor superhero would probably be pretty cheesy if he had stereotypical acting abilities (disguise/body-shifting, deception/suggestion, etc.)

    Another possibility (though not a very good one) is the use of a two-word phrase with “Star” or “Moon” (because stars relate to acting and moons relate to the tide). It’d be hard to use a two-word phrase in a conversation, though. “Hey, Silver Star, what’s happening?” You’d also have to use an adjective that’s more interesting than a color, I think.

    Let me know if anything here sounds like I’m on the right track.

  188. Ragged Boyon 16 Dec 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I really like Showtime too, but when I think Showtime the first thing that comes to mind is light based powers or reality manipulation, but that’s ok, he’ll definitely stand out in the hero world. I think Broadway is a little too close to the line of pondering sexuality.

    I think Showtime will work. I’ll be able to include alot of name based jokes with that.

    Come on, not one bad pun, just one haha. “You better be prepared, it’s Showtime.”

  189. B. Macon 16 Dec 2008 at 6:14 pm

    OK, just be careful with the puns. I preemptively warned you against them!

  190. Ragged Boyon 16 Dec 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Is there an art to paranomasia?

  191. B. Macon 16 Dec 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I like puns, but name-based puns are usually a bit cheesy.

    For example, Agent Orange’s name is a very intrusive bit of wordplay. By itself, I don’t think it’s very funny, but I think we used it well in this scene…

    AGENT ORANGE: Greetings! I am Agent Orange. Like my namesake, I am helpful and probably human-safe.

    AGENT BLACK: Probably?

    AGENT ORANGE: Tests are inconclusive.

    I think that exchange is genuinely funny because it goes farther than “look, his name is Agent Orange!” I’m not sure how you could do that with Showtime, though. For example, I think a line like “Are you ready for Showtime?” would probably make the audience wince.

  192. Armondon 16 Dec 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Hey, Im still drafting my story that I told you guys about a few months ago bt Ihave hit a little speed bump. I am not sure if I want my story to have the traditional sense of superhero, like with a colorful costume or not. Could you guys help??

  193. B. Macon 16 Dec 2008 at 9:29 pm

    It depends on the age of the audience. If you’re thinking about 13 and under, I think they’d go for flashy costumes, capes, all that (see Superman and Static Shock). These readers tend to have been exposed less to the superhero genre and aren’t as discriminating about originality. A standard superhero story will probably feel new to them because the names are different.

    After around 13, I think that audiences start frowning on very flamboyant costumes and they will demand a plot or style that is genuinely different. Tweaking your superhero’s style can help the story feel more original, but I don’t think that visuals will matter all that much. If you’re going for older readers, you kind of need a hook to distinguish yourself from other superhero stories. For example, Superhero Nation is a superhero story for people that like wacky comedy. That distinguishes us from most superhero stories, which are usually heavy on action and do not try too hard to be funny.

    Stylistically, for an older audience, I’d recommend trying something more like Batman (utilitarian) than Captain America (gaudy) or Dr. Strange (ornamental). (However, I’d say that Spiderman’s costume is pretty out-there and older readers don’t seem to mind very much). Color-schemes also matter in a visual work, but I’d recommend staying away from straight black if you can help it. Brown is serious and professional but is less cliche than black and seems less emo.

  194. Halfbakeryon 17 Dec 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Okay, this comes from a book I’m working on. It’s set in a post-nuclear war setting, around the year 3700.

    My hero is called Joshua, as a biblical reference. Adding to the reference, his mentor is Moses (I think you can work the reference out). Joshua isn’t actually his real name – it’s just what Moses calls him when he comes along. Maybe I should explain more…

    During the nuclear war, about 1,000 years before the story begins, the military were working on raising the dead as soldiers. However, there is a rumor that some of them were given psychic powers. Joshua was one of these people who were raised from the dead. However the ship he was on, the White November, was struck by nuclear bombs and all the crew were killed by radiation sickness. Before they all died, the captain of the ship put Joshua into hypersleep for 1,500 years until the radiation was expected to die down.

    The story begins when he wakes up, only remembering one thing – that he was brought back from the dead. He decides that he has to get off the ship and steals a lifeboat, but is intercepted by another rescue speedboat, containing Moses. He refers to him as “Joshua” for the first time, and tells Joshua that he came here to find him and rescue him, because he is apparently last of the psychic dead. They decide to leave to try and find help for him, but when they arrive in America they find it partly a bleak, nuclear wasteland still not healed from the amount of bombs, stalked by mutants and ruled with an iron fist by the Lazarus Hunters, an organization dedicated to finding the dead soldiers (“Lazarus Men”) and destroying them all.

    As for character attributes Joshua begins the story completely emotionless, almost like a robot. However, the Lazarus Men develop emotions through gradual exposure to humans, and Joshua becomes more and more human as the story progresses. The main traits he develops are unstable, methodical and alien (from the list).

  195. Armondon 17 Dec 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Yea I was thinking about maybe targeting an older audience. Since my story deals with potentially lethal inner city kids with superpowers and a military operation I’m having trouble thinking of a way the government or the news media would explain why all of a sudden guys are running around in costumes and that all types of metahumans are stalking the city?

  196. B. Macon 17 Dec 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Hello, Halfbakery. I’m not very good at working with postapocalyptic stories. The main concern is that, after the world has already been essentially obliterated, there’s not much chance for a happy ending. However, other than that the story sounds workable.

    Joshua’s progression throughout the story sounds interesting and I think that he become likable as he becomes more human. I think it will help a lot, though, if the main character is likable from page 1. I’d recommend giving him another trait early on to soften the edges on his roboticness. (Duty, selflessness, humor, friendliness, optimism, light-heartedness, etc.)

    Joshua is a fine name (although I’m not sure how much the typical reader would know about the allusion. He was one of the Israelites’ spies/commanders, right?) I think Moses is a bit more heavy-handed. Unless the religious allusion is absolutely critical to your book and you’re planning on marketing it as religiously-themed fiction, I’d recommend going with something more subtle.

  197. B. Macon 17 Dec 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Hello, Armond.

    As far as costumes are concerned, I think you could explain a pretty sober one as a way to protect an identity. So we’d probably be looking at a mask and then maybe a hooded sweatshirt or a catsuit or a trenchcoat or miscellaneous street clothes depending on your style. If you wanted to go more gaudy (like a Superman or Spiderman kind of outfit), then you could explain it if the character is a kid trying to live out a comic book fantasy. It’s kind of flimsy, but I can’t think of any better reason to wear a Spiderman costume.

    As for the government’s attempt to explain where all these metahumans came from… have them deny everything and blame it on a chemical spill. It works every time, heh heh. Alternately, they could be more upfront about the government’s responsibility in the project. That would be unconventional and possibly complicated. As for the media, I imagine that they’d certainly be interested in what happened. But if the first few guys that try talking to the media get killed, I think you could have the media investigation kind of stall there if you wanted. It’d be plausible. I’d kind of recommend having the media investigation not get very far because you’ll probably be marketing this book as a superhero story and not a media story. Heh heh.

  198. Halfbakeryon 17 Dec 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Yeah, it probably is too heavy-handed. The problem is, I can’t think of anything else, and if you could offer some suggestions, I would be grateful.

    No, it isn’t actually religious themed. The whole names thing comes from the fact that Moses never lived to see the Promised Land himself, while Joshua (yes, he is who you think he was) lead them in. But as I say, I would be grateful if you could help me think of something else.

    As for the likeable from page 1 thing, Joshua retains a few traits from his human form – something of a sarcastic and caustic personality that can grate with people, yet quite easygoing. However, this is usually just a mask for his main character flaw – he is very unsure of himself and his place in the world.

    And that is a good point about “not much potential for happy endings” – with a postapocalyptic story, the ending either tends to be bittersweet or sometimes an outright downer ending. But I am going to try and include a happy ending on this one, or at least more hopeful than your usual downer ending.

  199. B. Macon 18 Dec 2008 at 12:03 am

    What would you think about Aaron instead of Moses? He was another one of the early Israelite leaders, the first lead priest I think. Since he was in Moses’ generation, he would have died before the Israelites actually reached Israel.

    I think caustic sarcasm can be likable if played well. However, for a postapocalyptic story, something more sanguine and cheerful may help offset an otherwise depressing mood. I’d recommending playing up his easygoing nature.

    As for the happy ending, the easiest way to tie it into the Joshua-Moses biblical arc is that the point of the book is getting their people to somewhere livable. Moses dies maybe halfway through and Joshua has to finish the job. I’d recommend that the destination be something other than a Eden-like utopia (which would be too syrupy), but just some place with a chance at a better future. Clean water, fresh air, etc.

    If a postapocalyptic Earth is kind of depressing, you may be able to recast this story as a kind of space opera set on a single planet or, if you’d like a broader scope, it could be a bunch of nomads searching through the universe for a suitable home.

  200. Halfbakeryon 18 Dec 2008 at 2:09 am

    Yeah, the more cheerful nature is what is was going for for Moses (now Aaron – good suggestion!). He believes that humanity will always survive, and can always find someplace else to live no matter how grim it seems. That is the whole point of his journey, in finding somewhere else to live. In fact that ending was what I was going to go for.

    Aaron was intended to be not like the traditional Gandalf-type mentor, by the way. Unlike most he doesn’t teach Joshua his powers himself, just the principles of focus and control that they require, mainly because he doesn’t have any powers – he is just extremely physically fit, and skilled with many varieties of weapon. He also regards it as his quest alone, with Joshua being just a hanger-on and sometimes an annoyance. Despite this, he remains optimistic, despite Joshua’s many doubts of what he has seen of the world that things can get better and Joshua’s belief that he and Aaron alone cannot help the world.

    Also, more about the Lazarus Hunters. Along the way Joshua and Aaron have an encounter with Captain Ryder, a Lazarus Hunter who found out the ultimate plan for improvement of the Earth (they basically rule as government in the wasteland, keeping the nomadic tribes under control) – they are going to build a space station containing 20,000 of the best examples of humanity and take it away to build a new home on other planets, and use a tractor beam to bring several enormous asteroids into the planet, destroying it, because they feel nothing more can be done on Earth. Some are simply well-intentioned extremists trying to improve the world, but some are complete monsters like the one who came up with the plan.

  201. Cesaron 07 Jan 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Well Im writing a novel that has a Kingdom Hearts theme where other worlds (stories) come into one big plot. There are two protectors of all of these worlds called Mithro and Ceasar.

    So do you think Mithro and Ceasar are good names for this type of characters?

  202. Ragged Boyon 07 Jan 2009 at 6:52 pm

    They sound good to me.

  203. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Mithro looks a bit strange, but I like the sound. I’m not as fond of Ceasar. For one, it’s spelled very unusually. It might stick out less if it were spelled Caesar or Cesar, but those names are both a bit awkward. What are the character’s main traits?

  204. Cesaron 07 Jan 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Well Mithro is a very kind and caring person, especially when his family/race gets killed by his brother. So he is very sensitive when they ask him anything related to his past, but opens up later on.

    Ceasar or Caesar is also very kind and will do anything to protect the ones he loves. Hes a person who will never break a promise to someone.

  205. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Does Caesar have any major flaws?

  206. Cesaron 07 Jan 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Yes, his one flaw is when he doesnt use his dark powers. If Caesar doesnt use his dark powers his personality changes and the dark energy consumes him, changing him completely.

  207. eon 09 Jan 2009 at 6:01 am

    Just wondering if you could help me with naming my character. He needs a superhero “first” name.

    He is a 14-16 year old kid and ‘defends’ his city from other people like him(unsure of origin story and how they all got their powers). His powers are similar to that of the Green Lantern’s(although his powers do not originate from a lantern like object) where he can project blue beams of energy from his hands, that he can manipulate in different ways and use to construct objects or just fire energy beams/blasts.

    I’ve decided that his future self(who he meets several times) has the nickname of the Blue Mystic, but the name doesn’t have a ring to it which is why I am keeping it just as a nickname. If you need to know what the costume looks like and what the character’s traits are to get a ‘feel’ for the character then just let me know.

    I wanted the story line to be like Static Shock’s but not a total ripoff so if you have any ideas on that I would appreciate it. Also even though I would like it to have a Static Shock feel I want to target a slightly older audience and some of my story lines may have a dark edge to it while still subtly introducing the issues of racism, gun control, homo-sexuality etc.

    Oh, I didn’t see this at first but now that I look back at what others wrote I see that I am having problems similar to Armond when dealing with how the citizens of my city came to have these powers/abilities.

    And this story idea has nothing to do with the previous one I asked about here.

  208. Ragged Boyon 09 Jan 2009 at 8:55 am

    Um, first you’ll have to come up with a stem for your powers, Blue Mystic, sounds distinctly magical. Is that what you want. Alternatively, you could work with a technological base, gloves that redirect natural energy into blue constructs.

  209. eon 09 Jan 2009 at 9:20 am

    I was looking for the powers to be his and not any technological equipment. Like I said I have not really figured out the origin of his powers. I chose the nickname Blue Mystic for his future self because nobody could explain where his powers came from, and until I figure that out myself that’s all I’ve really got. But I’m not sure I want to go with a supernatural angle mainly because there are many people in the city that are ‘affected’ by whatever changes them. The only way I can think incorporating magic into it is by saying that an archaeologist dug up or uncovered some kind of ancient, mystical rune or something. But that seems kind of weak to me.

  210. B. Macon 09 Jan 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I agree that a magical origin probably would not work really well for this story. If you want to take this story in a more serious direction (racism/gun-control/homosexuality), a magical origin is probably too far removed from reality.

    If the hero is nonmagical, I would recommend changing the name from Blue Mystic because I feel that it’s a red herring to your readers. It is also kind of similar to Green Lantern, which might be problematic because BM’s powers are similar to GL’s (energy blasts and constructs).

    For a new name, I’d recommend either picking an origin story and making the name based on that (like Captain Atom or Spiderman) or picking a name based on the impression you want to give of the hero (Wolverine, Mystique, Devil Dog, etc). Either way, if you use an adjective I’d recommend going with something a bit more descriptive than a color. If you were going for an origin-based name, I think Pulse or Flare would probably work well. If you wanted something based on his characteristics, I could probably suggest something. (What sort of traits would you like to emphasize?)

    I figure your story kind of needs a mass origin story that can explain lots of random people developing powers. A mass chemical disaster a la Static Shock should work well.

    …Does the character have time-travel abilities?

  211. Eon 09 Jan 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Ok, yeah. I see where your coming from with the whole Blue Mystic, Green Lantern thing.

    I thought about the whole Static Shock origin thing but I thought it just might be too much because, to start off with, my character is a sophomore/junior in high school and his partner is a technopath and someone that fights with machines. So I didn’t want it to be like a whole Static and Gear thing. I just felt like it might be too similar.

    No, he doesn’t have time-travel abilities. The extent of his power thus far is energy blasts, constructs, and levitation(using whatever his source of energy is). Later he can create force fields too.

  212. B. Macon 09 Jan 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Ahh, hmm. I’d recommend differentiating his partner more from Static Shock’s Gear. What would you think about making him more of an agility hero like Spiderman or Captain America or a strength-based hero like Superman or the Hulk? I think those will complement your protagonist in a slightly more fresh way.

  213. Eon 09 Jan 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Ok I’ll think about that. Thanks.

  214. Dforceon 05 Mar 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Perhaps I’m being annoying, but I can’t help but to correct one matter on the article:
    It’s Huitzilopochtli (whit-zi-lo-poch-tli, to the best of my knowledge). I’m of Mexican descent, so it jarred me a little that is was misspelled… sorry about that.

  215. B. Macon 05 Mar 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Ah, good call. Thanks.

  216. Stefan the Exploding Manon 17 Mar 2009 at 7:41 am

    I’m working on a superhero story, either a comic book or a novel (it could go either way at this point) and there is a character who needs naming.

    She is modelled on Superman in terms of powers. Super-strength, flight, speed and durability. These come from her main power which is energy absorbtion. She can take everything thrown at her, even kinetic energy, and convert it into the powers mentioned above. The proverbial immovable object, in other words.

    She’s obviously self-confident, given the nature of her powers. She’s also one of the most powerful superhumans on the planet. I’m looking for a name that’s suitably epic. She doesn’t operate on a city level. She saves the world from alien invasions and vengeful gods and things, so I don’t fancy a justice-themed name.

    This character needs a super-name! I’ve been thinking about using some variation of the world “Wall”, but I haven’t been able to come up with anything good. Can anyone help me?

  217. Ragged Boyon 17 Mar 2009 at 7:58 am

    Hmm, that’s a pretty super-character. I’m thinking

    The Goddess


    Nova Star

    I’m not good at names that aren’t for my own characters, but hopefully this helps.

  218. Dr Eagle Gon 17 Mar 2009 at 8:19 am

    What’s the tone of your novel Stefan? (By the way, I think Stefan The Exploding Man is hilarious).

    What about the name Venus? It’s feminine and fits the planetary theme you were going for.

    Hope it helps dude.

  219. Holliequon 17 Mar 2009 at 9:05 am

    Variations on Wall – Barrier, Blockade. RB’s suggestions are good, but I don’t like Nova Star. What about just Nova or Supernova?

    Alpha is another one that springs to mind.

    Alternatively, you might want to check out the names of some old Gods and use those – Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Norse, etc.

  220. B. Macon 17 Mar 2009 at 9:09 am

    If you’re fond of mythological names, you could also try Minerva (the Roman god of wisdom and strategy/tactics) or Nike (the Greek god of martial victory). Aside from that, if you were trying to make your own name for this character, I’d recommend using a prefix like Pro, El, Mar, Gl, Or, Oph, etc. Those have an exotic and heroic sound.

    As for the comic book vs. novel… Logistically speaking, the main difference is time versus money. A comic book script can be finished within a few months. A novel realistically will take at least a year to write, probably two. (Also, my impression is that it’s easier to eke out a living as a comic book writer than a novelist).

    However, comic books are considerably more expensive to prepare. The typical writer has to hire a freelance artist for several hundred dollars. Only a few publishers will consider scripts that don’t have an artist on-board.

  221. Stefan the Exploding Manon 17 Mar 2009 at 10:09 am

    I really like Godforce. Thanks, RB! I don’t really want to go with mythological names because those are already present in a more literal sense. Horus the Egyptian sun god is on the same team.

    I want to keep the tone light-hearted and I like to throw action sequences in here and there, which is partly why I’m thinking about making it a comic. I’m currently working on drafts of the first couple of chapters. After that I’ll rewrite them in comic book script form, with a few changes to suit the medium, and then I’ll compare them.

  222. Kynnastonon 22 Mar 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Over all, I am an absolute fan of your site. I’ve never learned so much useful info in one sitting. Hopefully I will be able to apply it all to my novel.

    I am having a slight problem with the names of the main characters of my book.

    They are twins Aari and Aaia. Very similar names, no? Each has a completely different personality and could never be confused for the other. But I worry that my readers will have difficulty getting to know them during the first few pages because of the similarity.

    I’d hate to lose the names because they do mean a lot. To me personally and to the context of the storyline and the character’s history. Their mother, Suzanna, was a recovering junkie when she gave birth to the twins. Kind of explains her crazy naming skills. Furthermore, the twins father (Aaron) had died only days prior. Aari was named for him. Aaia was a surprise and named for her sister.

    Aside from Aari’s love interest, August, they are the only ‘A’ names in the book.

    Just curious as to what you think.

  223. B. Macon 23 Mar 2009 at 12:23 am

    I suspect that readers will have trouble keeping the names apart. Would you like any of the following instead?

    –Aya (same sound, just spelled slightly differently)

    PS: I’m glad to hear that our website has helped you.

  224. Kynnastonon 24 Mar 2009 at 12:11 am

    I like your suggestions.

    However, I would like to keep in mind that the two of them are twins. Their names shoud be similar. The two or them are very close. Maybe not in personality. But in one portion of my text, Aaia does say “Aaia is Aari. I would not exist without her. Without my sister, my life would cease to function. To lose Sebastian would be like losing my arms and legs. But to lose Aari? It would be to lose my very soul.”

    I was slightly intrigued by the last name in your list though. Aari, in my novel, is artistically inclined, both musically and otherwise. What do you think of Mariah, but without the ‘m’ and ‘h’- So Aria. just a simple rearranging of the letters in her existing name but also a name that has meaning. (Aria of course being a musical term.)

    So my twins would then be Aria and Aaia. Is that still too similar?

    Obviously, I’m very worried about the subject. I love these girls so much that it’s hard to consider the possibilty of them failing just because I screwed up on their name choice. 🙁

    Thanks for the continued advice.

  225. Kynnastonon 24 Mar 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Ack… still too similar. I know.

    How does Chloe and Claire sound?

    Is Chloe going to be able to be as tough as my character needs to be? The character of Aari is strong outgoing and independent. She makes hard choices and has seen enough hardtimes to make a wisened hardass out of her. She’s cynical and sarcastic. Will Chloe work for her?

    On the otherside, her twin is soft and often silent. She’s tortured by a secret that she’s afraid to let even her sister in on. Aaia says exactly eight sentences in the entire book. Five of those are in one sitting where she is “foretelling” her brother’s future. Is Claire a good fit for my silent twin? It will have to stand up to some hard things and she will eventually learn to speak up.

    Just as important, do the names sound like a good fit for twins?

    Love to hear your imput. Anyones.

  226. B. Macon 24 Mar 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I think Chloe and Claire are a better pair. That said, they do look uncomfortably similar, but hopefully not so much that it upsets a publisher’s assistant.

    If the silent twin hardly ever talks, will she be a presence in her scenes?

  227. Kynnastonon 24 Mar 2009 at 11:19 pm

    They are still pretty similar. But they are twins… How else could I name them but similar? It seems counterproductive to do otherwise. I want to re-establish the fact that these two girls are more alike than unalike.

    Claire, the silent twin, doesn’t speak for a reason. But that doesn’t mean she’s comatose. She’s active, she participates. She just doesn’t speak. When she does it’s only because to not do so would create difficulties.

    She is remarkably passive, but only to make up for the situation she put her family into by using her voice. She’s a seer. Like her siblings, she is among the Gifted. But unlike her siblings, she isn’t all that thrilled about her Gift. She feels it’s cheating. Like playing Clue with the rest of the group when you’ve already seen the cards in the little envelope.

    When she first stopped speaking, it was in fear of changing the future too much. Now it’s more of habit than anything else. She still interacts with her scene-mates. Just in a non-verbal way.

  228. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 25 Mar 2009 at 1:10 am

    I have a pair of twins in my story, but their names aren’t similar; at least not at first glance. They’re called Isaac and Tristram. I realised a few days ago that Isaac means “laughter” and Tristram means “sad”, but it wasn’t intentional. I’m too attached to the names to change them now, even though it seems like one heck of a coincidence, seeing as they were raised apart and knew nothing about eachother for the first 16 years of their lives.

    I know two sets of identical twins, and one set has similar names while the other doesn’t. It varies. You could still establish how alike they are by having them do similar actions. For example:

    “Chloe and Claire folded their arms, staring Sebastian down with pouts on their faces.”

    My character Lonnie only has one line in the whole book, but she doesn’t speak because she hates opening up to people. Even though her bio parents gave her up for adoption when she was six, she’s still afraid hat they’ll get her back somehow, and she doesn’t want to lose any important relationships. Lonnie does open up and talk more often later on. Since both your character and mine are mostly silent, I imagine that you would be describing her actions more than those of the other characters, like I do with Lonnie.

  229. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:47 am

    That would be all well and good. I’m glad to meet someone else who has twins.

    But my twins are identical. They’ve not spent more than an hour apart their whole life I’m thinking. If they were any more alike, I would give them contrasting names like yours. But because they act SO differently I wanted to use that to reinforce that they are twins.

    Sebastian kind of has locked in Claire at around eight. The age she was when she stopped speaking. He doesn’t really treat her like an adult who makes her own choices. In reality, she’s not. She doesn’t make her own choices because she recognizes her own choices to be dangerous. After all every choice she’s willing made up until this point has hurt rather than helped her family.

    Chloe on the other hand is rude, course and outspoken. She fights with Sebastian all the time. There isn’t much that can make Chloe shut up at all. In return, Sebastian almost treats Chloe like she’s older than him sometimes.

    My twins are so different that I’m trying to remind my readers that they are twins. At least Chloe and Claire are a little different. My original names were worse. Aari and Aaia? One letter difference. Praise be to Superhero Nation for making me see wisdom!

    Yes! That’s exactly what I do. I describe her actions a lot more than the other characters. When she and another character are having a “conversation” I make sure to give breaks where her part would have come in and include what she’s doing or thinking at the time. Like I said, she’s not catatonic. She provides feedback in the convo, just not verbal feedback.

  230. Holliequon 25 Mar 2009 at 9:09 am

    Hmm . . . what about themed names for the twins? You could use names that (obviously) have similar meanings, but sounds very different.

  231. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 11:16 am

    I’d agree with that, but I’m reminded of #3 of the text above:
    Naming a character for reasons your readers can’t appreciate is ineffective. I’ve seen writing guides (plural) suggest that you name characters based on the literal meaning of the names. For example, “Sophia means wisdom in Greek, so name a wise character Sophia!” That advice is awful. Your readers have no clue that Luke means high-born in some language they’ve never heard of. There are drastically better ways to show that Luke is noble, like giving him a corny last name (Skywalker, anyone?)

  232. Holliequon 25 Mar 2009 at 11:22 am

    Ah, I didn’t quite mean that. I was thinking of something more like Holly and Ivy or Dawn and Aurora – names that have a common theme, not neccesarily reflecting the characters, just the fact they’re twins. I think readers will recognise that the characters were named on a theme because of this.

  233. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Oh, lqtm. I thought you were going somewhere else with that.

    Well then, what are your thoughts on this?

    My twins have time telling abilities. The youngest can see the future until the end of time and the elder can see the past until the beginning of time. In addition they have secondary powers. The youngest can read/control other people’s minds, while the elder can read/control other people’s emotions.

    Any thoughts on possible names.

    (I’ve found that once I got over losing their original names, I’m now open to switching them around where ever. Strange, huh?)

  234. Tomon 25 Mar 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Kynnaston: I think the example Hollie gave was quite nice actually. Dawn and Aurora.

  235. Ragged Boyon 25 Mar 2009 at 12:56 pm

    You’re going to hate me for this. 😉

    Becca for B.C. and Aushaud for A.D.

    I haven’t read the above comments yet, so I don’t even know if they’re girls.

  236. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 3:18 pm

    You were right, Ragged Boy. I do. 😛

    Both are girls.

    Tom: which for which? Also, I have a tiny objection to that. Neither sounds tough enough to be the older girl. She’s a hardass.

  237. Holliequon 25 Mar 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Hmm . . . I think Dawn has a slightly harsher tone because of the ‘D’.

    That said, those were just an example. You could use the names of famous actresses, ancient goddesses, etc.

  238. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Even with the ‘D,’ it’s still very feminine.

    Anyone know anything about time telling goddesses and such?

    That suggestion has some great potential…

  239. B. Macon 25 Mar 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Instead of Dawn, I’d recommend something like Deidre or Deedee.

  240. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 5:05 pm


    Did a bit of research. Those are all goddesses that have something to do with time. I’ve already taken out all of the absolutely unacceptable names.

    What do you think of Dalia and Kali?

  241. Ragged Boyon 25 Mar 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I was just joking with Aushaud, that’s my name. Awesome name, isn’t it? 🙂

  242. Kynnastonon 25 Mar 2009 at 6:34 pm



    Sure is. 🙂

    I was just joking about hating you though. You seem a decent fellow.

  243. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 26 Mar 2009 at 2:32 am

    Isaac and Tristram are identical too, but they’re totally different. Isaac is more polite, tries to be as normal as possible and constantly strives to repay his foster parents for taking him in as a baby. Tristram is always picking fights with him, offers advice that he knows will backfire, loves being abnormal, and spends much of his time taunting the US government by spamming the President with his hacking skills. He’s not a total jerk though, he’s completely in love with his girlfriend and has a tightly knit group of friends.

    The names Isaac and Tristram set them apart from each other, but due to their meanings, I’ve unintentionally shown that they are linked. Oh well. I doubt anyone will pay that much attention. Haha. I didn’t even choose Isaac because of the meaning. I just liked it, ditto with Tristram. It’s pretty weird that the names mean opposite things, and I just happened to give them to twins.

    I don’t think I would speak much either if I were Claire. If my decisions hindered instead of assisting, I’d probably just shut up. But unfortunately for my family, I never cease to talk! Haha.

    I quite like the name Aaia. It’s pretty. However, Chloe and Claire work a lot better, and will help to avoid any potential mix ups. (“Huh?! I thought it was Aari who didn’t talk!”)

  244. Kynnastonon 26 Mar 2009 at 6:59 am

    I find myself growing more and more fond of Claire and Chloe as the days pass. Or maybe it’s just because while I am debating major changes to my book, I am putting off writing until it’s all decided.

    I’m slightly anxious to get it done. I came up with the idea in June of last year and began seriously writing in September. I have four chapters left to write. After that it’s just a butt load of editing to do… 🙂

    Even with all of the work ahead of me, I’m still crazy excited. I’ve never written anything over twelve pages typed before. From that to 400? I’m amazed everyday. Especially when I look at my printed manuscript… If any of you are writing a novel and you have pages already, I strongly recommend doing this. It inspired me to write faster than anything else did. I printed it out in sections. The first eight chapters and the then the next eight after I got them finished. I’m told that my first eight were a little slow (which is cool because I already had plans to majorly revise them anyway). Apparently the next eight I “really let go” and “wrote like a professional”.

    Oops. Sorry. None of that really had anything to do with names…

    You’ve found it. My one fatal flaw.
    I never shut up.

  245. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 26 Mar 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I started seriously working on my book on August the 4th 2008. 🙂

  246. Kynnastonon 27 Mar 2009 at 6:52 am

    I don’t have an exact date. I do remember that I was at work, screwing around as usual, and wrote the most amazing prologue. It was great. My opening lines were hugely compelling.

    And then my boss decided that all of our computers needed to be wiped. And stupid me, I forgot to save the document to my email. So it was lost forever… 🙁 I tried to replicate it, but it sucks. So I’m going to wait until I’ve finished the book (In about another 80 pages) And then I’ll write it again.

    Don’t you love that? When the best work you’ve ever done is deleted because of your own stupidity?

  247. Kynnastonon 28 Mar 2009 at 2:20 am

    Any ideas on how to choose a name for side characters?

  248. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 28 Mar 2009 at 2:58 am

    There is a random name generator on Seventh Sanctum:


    It will throw some random combinations together for you.

  249. Marissaon 28 Mar 2009 at 3:21 am

    Ask me for names, Kynna. I’m really good with names. ;D

  250. Holliequon 28 Mar 2009 at 6:07 am

    If you’re looking for normal names rather than aliases, try:

    http://www.behindthename.com/ (first names)
    http://surnames.behindthename.com/ (surnames)

    I find these really helpful. I don’t pay much attention to the meaning of names usually, but it’s useful if you’re trying to find a name of a certain ethncity. Alternatively, they have lists of most popular names.

  251. B. Macon 28 Mar 2009 at 6:24 am

    I lost 15,000 words because of a drunken roommate. That was eight days before I had a grant proposal due. Ick. Fortunately, I had saved a rough draft on my home computer two months before that. I still ended up losing hundreds of hours of work, but I got the grant.

  252. B. Macon 28 Mar 2009 at 6:26 am

    Also, if you work as a novelist, it won’t be long before the words on your computer are worth more than the computer itself. That’s when you should start thinking about investing in some flash-drives. 😉

    If my professor is correct that I can get between twenty and twenty-five thousand dollars for my nonfiction manuscript, then I’d say that the files on my computer are probably worth at least a hundred times what the computer itself is worth.

  253. Holliequon 28 Mar 2009 at 6:31 am

    Oooh, that’s awful. The thought of losing all my work is painful! I don’t just have partially-written stories on here, I have some plot ideas worked out to. Ack. I’ll have nightmares for weeks. Thanks, B. Mac! 😉

  254. Kynnastonon 28 Mar 2009 at 8:17 am

    Oh I definitely learned my lesson. Now everything is saved to three flashdrives, my laptop, home PC, work PC, and my email account. lol. I’m overly cautious now. Thankfully, I haven’t lost a single one of my other 18 chapters.

  255. Ragged Boyon 28 Mar 2009 at 8:41 am

    That happened to me about halfway through Showtime. My little brother got a hold of the keyboard and deleted like 1000 words, roughly a fifth of my script.

  256. Stefan the Exploding Manon 28 Mar 2009 at 9:40 am

    I was working on a much earlier story a couple of years ago and I lost almost everything when my hard drive crashed. I got so frustrated that I abandoned the project completely. I still don’t use backups, even though I should.

  257. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 29 Mar 2009 at 4:21 am

    I’ve put all my work onto one USB, and I’m going to email a copy to myself right now. If I lost it all, I would be so angry that I’d probably smash the computer.

  258. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 29 Mar 2009 at 4:29 am

    I’ve decided to rename Olivia, as her name is very close to the name of a classmate I have. She will be known as Livian from now on. She won’t be written in for ages, but my mind always wanders to details of my later plans.

  259. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Okay, so I’ve settled on Chloe and Claire for the time being. If anything else comes up I might consider changing them again.

    Now I have a new dilemma. My “villain’s” name is Kiera. Is that too close to Chloe and Claire?

  260. Marissaon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I try to avoid Kiera in general, good guy or bad, similar or no. That, along with any name that can be shortened to ‘Cat’, is so vastly overused in fanfiction that I can’t take a ‘Kiera’ seriously.

    That might just be me, though. Anyone else, feel free to argue.

  261. Ragged Boyon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I think there may be too make “ka” sounds. Worst case scenario, a not-so-bright reader confuses the characters. I’d recommend changing Kiera.

  262. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I had an archnemesis in real life named Kiera. Originally Kiera was Kieran and he was a firestarter. He had a sister called Tanaka. I loved Tanaka’s character, so when the first cuts came, I gave Keiran’s power and name to her and cut Kieran.

    I love/hate Kiera. She appears to be the villain during the entire story, but really she’s just a victim of circumstance. The Sullivan’s just happen to catch her at the most inopportune {spelling is off, i know…} moments.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  263. B. Macon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:56 pm

    If she’s just a victim, will she be compelling enough to drive the story as the villain?

  264. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 10:48 pm

    shh… she’s not the real villain 😉

    She appears to be, and yes, she is horrible. When we first meet her, she has just killed her own father. She gets in kind of a stand-off with the Siblings. She is the first one of their own kind that they’ve ever met and no doubt about it, she is a very Dark person.

    She just isn’t after them like they think she is. She’s just trying to live her own life, as bad as it maybe.

    The real villain comes from a little closer to home.

    What does everyone think of the name Nerezza? (did I spell that right, Marissa?)

  265. Marissaon 30 Mar 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Nerezza is how it was spelled, you’re correct.

    I, personally, love it. But that’s probably because it’s off my list of names, so I might be biased. Haha!

  266. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Yeah I think you might be a little biased.

    Were there other ideas? My yahoo account was being ridiculous, I finally just gave up on it. With the tempermental internet connection, it gets old really fast.

  267. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Secondary comment:

    I have another character called Nonah. She’s an old woman and is never in any scenes with the possible “Nerezza”. Is that going to be cool?

    I’m really horrible with names. I pity my future spawn. lol

    Also, Marissa: I posted my new version of Ch. 1 in my review forum if you are interested…

  268. Marissaon 30 Mar 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I’m interested. Gonna read it as soon as I get things done. =D

    The only others that came to mind were Imogen and… Well, no, the other one starts with a C, so nevermind.

  269. Kynnastonon 30 Mar 2009 at 11:33 pm

    nah, Imogen definitely isn’t evil enough.

    This chick is the epitome of evil for 14 very real chapters for these guys. When I think of Imogen, I think of a children’s book.

  270. Marissaon 31 Mar 2009 at 12:38 am

    Really? Imogen is a name I’d not give to someone who isn’t dark. =/

  271. Kynnastonon 31 Mar 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Wait. What?

    I don’t know, I just read a lot of books as a child where the protagonist was a little girl named Imogen.

  272. Marissaon 31 Mar 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Really? Wow, I’ve never seen that. It’s all good, though.

  273. B. Macon 31 Mar 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Before this week, I don’t think I had ever seen the word “Imogen.” My initial impression is that it does not look very friendly. “Im” has a kind of harsh, unpleasant sound (sort of like imp or Ingrid).

  274. Kynnastonon 31 Mar 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Really? I loved the Imogen books as a child.

    Second only to the Amelia Bedelia books and Junie B. Jones…

  275. Marissaon 31 Mar 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Imogen has a blue feel to me, though, and you said (to me, at least, not sure if you said it here) that she’s a fire-wielder. So either way, I’m not sure if it fits.

    I still love Nerezza. That’s just me. ;D

  276. Kynnastonon 31 Mar 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I still love Nerezza too.

    I’m just trying to see if there are any other ideas.

    Trying to keep an open mind…

    (Although someone once told me that if I kept that up, my brains would fall out.)

    (… crap. I think we’ve just discovered my reason for being like this.)

  277. GSkullon 03 Apr 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Imogen was the name of the daughter of the king in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. But the name makes me think of the British singer Imogen Heap.

  278. Dforceon 03 Apr 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Eh, not sure if this is all that helpful for coming up with names…

    But there is this website I’ve been using to throw names around– to help me think. I’d like to share:


    (Of note– On the first box in the search area, you can switch it from “names” to “meanings,” which can help you look for names with meanings like brave or murder).

    Just a thought.

  279. B. Macon 04 Apr 2009 at 12:22 am

    Imoen (no G) is one of the protagonists in Baldur’s Gate.

  280. Davidon 14 Apr 2009 at 8:54 am

    I need help with Ra. Would Raj do for a rename? What else would you suggest?

  281. Hit Coffee » Name That Characteron 16 Apr 2009 at 12:07 am

    […] Mac of Superhero Nation wrote a guide on how to name characters (superhero or otherwise). I must confess that I follow little of his advice, though it’s […]

  282. collisionon 19 Apr 2009 at 4:51 pm

    i have problems finding names for my characters would you have any suggestion of what to do.

  283. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 19 Apr 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Try this:


    It makes random names based of US census data.

  284. Alice2on 23 Apr 2009 at 6:06 pm

    “I’ve seen writing guides (plural) suggest that you name characters based on the literal meaning of the names.”

    My sister told me that when I was 8. At the time, it sounded so cool and ingenious. A year or so later, I found myself resorting to foreign gibberish names because they had the right meaning. And I realized that I’d be better off just naming my character “Hopeful” if Gurgahurgaz’qutell was the only name with the same meaning.

    The character in question is currently named Pauline, by the way. 😛

  285. B. Macon 23 Apr 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I like Pauline for a hopeful character. It has a pleasant feel and isn’t nearly as cheesy as something like Hope.

  286. Lunajamniaon 23 Apr 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I enjoy collecting/making a list of foreign names with great meanings though (and the fact they sound so cool). I try to pick ones with meaning and ‘sound’ that fit current or future characters. 🙂

    It’s quite fun. And I just find foreign names so much more cool than “Sarah” or “Heather.” Same goes for the guys “Ronin-samurai without a master” is so much better to me than naming my character “Alex” or “Christopher.” Though if it is set in modern day than I do try to pick nice-sounding ‘normal’ names.

  287. Jameson 25 Apr 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Sup, I have a comic (one that is a comedy and makes fun of almost everything) named ” Brother, Brother!”
    My characters are basicly this:

    Johnathan “Johnny” Thero: A hyperactive, idiot fox-boy with powers to break the fourth wall constantly, superspeed, turn into a fox, and make random objects appear.

    Alekis “Leki” Thero: A level-headed, sedate, girl with bird wings. She is my only character to have rationality and see the strangeness of things. Her power is to fly (obviously). She is Johnny’s sister

    Dax Harlan: A supergenius with a kind of evil-ish side. He is dragged into the comic, and hates Johnny (but is in love with Leki). His power is to fly, create forcefields, all those other telekinetic things….

    Jessie Keiki: The Blonde cat-girl. She is insane, obsessed with Johnny, stupid, but has a good moral and tries not to make a big deal of things (besides Johnny).

    All these people are highschoolers and live in the fictional city of Comic City, Idaho. There lives are controled by the evil super-powered dictator, Kelli.

  288. B. Macon 26 Apr 2009 at 12:34 am

    Hello, James. If you’re thinking about publishing professionally, I think that the talking animals will be a major turnoff to publishers and readers. (Please see #6 here). Do you have a compelling reason why these characters have to be talking animals rather than humans? If not, publishers and readers might get the impression that the book is fetish material of a most squickish variety.

  289. Jameson 26 Apr 2009 at 9:45 am

    hmm, that does give me something to think about, but I was thinking more along the lines of the anime hanyou; animal ears and a tail on a normal human…. plus it is a comedy making fun of things such as talking animals…

    I probably should reconsider the animal parts…
    but what do you think about the names? I really have trouble with the naming part…

  290. B. Macon 26 Apr 2009 at 10:32 am

    Johnny Thero… this name doesn’t sound very idiotic or hyperactive. I’d recommend something like Chuck, Skip, Max or Lex.

    Alekis Thero… This is pretty effective, but I’d recommend spelling this Alexis instead.

    Dax Harlan… I wouldn’t recommend giving this character a last name. Also, I think “Dax” feels too fictional. I don’t think it fits in too well here. Also, what does “He is dragged into the comic” mean?

    Jessie Keiki… The last name probably looks too much like Kelli. To keep the book clearer, I’d recommend changing Jessie to something more recognizably feminine.

    Kelli… I’m not really feeling this name for a dictator. Maybe something a little bit more harsher and sinister?

    “I was thinking more along the lines of the anime hanyou; animal ears and a tail on a normal human…” Hmm… I don’t think it was too creepy in Inuyasha, for example. The wolf ears and claws show us something about the character (he’s as much a demon as a human, his fighting style is brutal and messy, etc). I don’t feel like animal parts show that much about each character if everyone has them.

  291. Quidamon 05 May 2009 at 6:21 pm

    This is good advice. I’ve always over thought names; I hate normal names like Sarah and John but I don’t want to be too unique.

  292. Marissaon 05 May 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hahah, my names (except for those of my current team of main characters, oddly enough) are always ‘too unique’. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I couldn’t write about “Sarah” and “John”.

  293. Ragged Boyon 06 May 2009 at 4:19 am

    Same here. I crave the outrageous.

  294. Gyaltsoon 07 May 2009 at 6:30 pm

    i am currently looking for a name for a superhero (hero name), he is a psychic from an alternate dimension sent here accidentally while working on a new energy source.
    going to be a comic silver age world. and he is working as a sponsor (teacher) of a superhero school

    He is fairly social and is always reading

  295. Marissaon 07 May 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Ragged Boy, you and I share tastes. Hence the ‘Masquerade’ fiasco. ;D

  296. Davidon 07 May 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I try to find names that are unique and easy to spell.

  297. Alice2on 09 May 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I have a character named Clancy Marion Lovelady. My sister heard the name and assumed he was a girl. Mission accomplished.Slightly more seriously, I’m having trouble giving my antagonist a surname. His first name is Vincent.

  298. Alice2on 09 May 2009 at 1:44 pm

    …I wasn’t done yet. >.< I didn’t mean to hit “Submit Comment” yet.

  299. A.T.Gantton 09 May 2009 at 2:07 pm

    You could try something based on a nationality. I like Victor Von Doom from Fantastic Four. I can even look past how cheesy that name is.

  300. notsohottopicon 20 May 2009 at 9:20 pm

    The story I’m developing involves a lot of travel through alternate universes, or unknown worlds. I don’t want my characters to all have typical ethnocentric names, or any names that just appear to be ‘cool'(Sable, Raven, Peachblossom…erk…).

    I’ve named a shaman character Xo, from the Xduxi tribe. I’m not necessarily satisfied with his name, so I’m open to suggestions. Can anyone help give suggestions of tribal-like names? By the way, just to remind you again, the characters all come from different universes. First Nation names alluding to nature, such as Great Wolf or Glass Lake may not help define the character so well. A few notes about him to help set the mood for his character:
    -Xduxi tribe resides in a grassland geographical area. Rainfall occurs irregularly, game is sometimes not enough to feed tribe.
    -Xo has panosociobiological linguistics, the ability to communicate with any natural organism from bacterial strains to ancient trees. He is so in-tuned with nature that he is aware of these voices. Granted to him on a ‘vision quest’.

  301. Tomon 21 May 2009 at 2:46 am

    How… how do you pronounce Xdixi? That’s a big issue for people reading books. You might want to go for something that’s more clear on how to pronounce.

  302. VONRon 24 May 2009 at 11:29 am

    Hello, My main problem is that I have a plot with characters, but I’m unable to name them… It is set in Samurai-era Japan, and I want names that sound Japanese, but are not stereotypical…
    Plotline: My main character is a married 20-something samurai. He is quick-thinking, loving, and funny; but is also very power-hungry. so much as he goes in search of a power source (like a crystal, diamond, or whatever) so he can be invincible. It works for a while, but he begins to lose control when using it. he accidently kills his wife and most of his clan. The people who are left condem him to commit seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowlment). He -of course- goes through with it, but is foiled when a old medicine-man somehow saves his life. The rest is about him ‘dealing with it’

    Any Ideas? I need names for the main samurai, his wife, his best friend, the old man, and (later) his son.

  303. Tomon 24 May 2009 at 11:37 am

    Got a game made by Nintendo?
    1. Beat the game.
    2. Look at the credits screen.
    3. Pick a random name.
    4. Find out which gender it belongs to.
    5. Use that name.
    6. ???
    7. Profit.

  304. VONRon 24 May 2009 at 11:47 am

    haha…. thanks! 🙂

  305. Holliequon 24 May 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve noticed that Japanese syllables tend to end in a vowel, and names we might consider feminine are actually masculine and vice-versa. I, U and O are pretty common, so you could get things like Himuro, Eijiro, Mayimo, Kai – just stuff off the top of my head.

    Failing a nintendo game, try a Japanese film credits (which you could probably find on Wikipedia), a Japanese novel or maybe a baby-naming site, though those aren’t always accurate. If your setting is just based off Japan, you could probably get away with making names up like I did.

  306. VONRon 24 May 2009 at 10:50 pm

    hmm, thank you. I will try all these. 😀

  307. Trollitradeon 06 Jun 2009 at 1:01 am

    Hey there, everybody. ^_^ I was hoping to get some insight on a few name changes?
    These are characters for a fantasy-adventure story, with a target audience of maybe 14 and younger. The heroes are probably all 13 years old.
    Originally, I was using this name set… [Candy, Roy, Kimberly, Patrick, and Nick/a.k.a. “Cynical Death”]
    Lol, yeah, that last kid is over-the-top emo. >_>
    Candy may be too cutesy for the outgoing captain of the girls’ soccer team, so I thought maybe “Cassie” instead?
    I think I like Roy’s name. He’s the arrogant captain of the boys’ soccer team.
    I may wanna keep Death’s name, too. xD But do you think it’s TOO distracting for a comedically emo character to name himself that?
    I’m having more trouble with Patrick and Kimberly.
    I’m thinking of making Patrick into an “Edward”…? He’s overweight (but becomes quite heroic over the course of the story using his acting talents), but he needs a name that Roy can easily make fun of until the boys reconcile… Like… “Ed-Lardo” or something terrible like that. ^_^;; (Sorry…)
    And for Kimberly, she’s supposed to be the intellectual member of the group, and she’s Candy/Cassie’s best friend (and Roy’s cousin).
    I automatically wanted to call her “Phoebe”.
    But is that too cliche for an intellectual character?
    Would it not work because Candy/Cassie has that same “ie” sound at the end?
    I’m also considering these names…
    Nadine, Lydia, Reesa, Tasha, Emma, and Nina.
    Any ideas…? ^_^;;
    Thank you so much!

  308. Marissaon 06 Jun 2009 at 1:48 am

    When I see Phoebe, I think of Friends. Not any sort of intelligence at all.

    Maybe you could try calling Cassie, “Cass”? Most of the time, at least. I do like Cassie better than Candy, though.

  309. Trollitradeon 06 Jun 2009 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for the input, Marissa. ^_^
    I haven’t actually seen Friends – I didn’t know there was a Phoebe in there. xD
    The Phoebe’s I can think of at the moment are the greek goddess of the moon, Helga’s nerdy/best friend/sidekick girl from the cartoon “Hey Arnold”, and there’s one in Charmed…
    As for Cassie, it may be tough to give her a single-syllable nickname to go by most of the time, because her rival/love interest’s name is Roy, which is ALSO single-syllable.
    It seems like I should vary the lengths of the names. ^_^
    Cassie (2), Roy (1), Phoebe (2), Cynical Death (4, but he usually only goes by “Death”), and Edward (2).
    Thank you very much for letting me know what you think so far. ^_^

  310. Marissaon 06 Jun 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Phoebe in Friends is like a flaky nature-chick with really warped reality, in a normal way.

    This is an example, not sure if it was in the show or not, but like…

    A Dude: Pheebs, that squirrel just stole your lollipop!
    Phoebe: And it didn’t even say thank you. =/

    And she says that in all seriousness. But despite that, she’s got her own air of wisdom. Kinda.

  311. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 08 Jun 2009 at 4:30 am

    Hey, I just thought of some supervillain names for Cain. (He used to be called Cable, but I changed it)

    What do you guys think of Permafrost, Ico or Snowblind?


  312. Trollitradeon 08 Jun 2009 at 11:27 am

    I think Permafrost or Snowblind sound the best. ^_^
    Ico doesn’t strike me as a villainous name.

  313. *i88*on 08 Jun 2009 at 11:30 am

    I like those names , what about Artic? I wouldn’t go with glacier though if I were because that’s sort of a refrence to the titanic and we all know what happened there……

  314. Tomon 08 Jun 2009 at 11:49 am

    Glacier is a reference to the Titanic? How? The Titanic was hit by an iceberg, glaciers are large bodies of mass that either flow through valleys or cover large areas of land, they don’t float on water.

    Though glaciers have other negative connotations, namely being REALLY slow. There’s a reason the trope is called ‘Mighty Glacier’.


    As for your suggestions, I don’t like Permafrost or Ico, but I do like Snowblind, even though you can probably think of better ones than that. What I did to think of Frostburn’s name was list every word I could think of that I could assosciate with ‘fire’ and ‘ice’. I then tried them in loads of combinations. I’d recommend you do that, think of as many words as you can.

  315. Jacobon 08 Jun 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I need a name for three characters:

    Sam Berrel – a Morphing character who can change gender, substance, and appearance

    Kate Lunarch – a chracter who has the ability of Piper’s song, the ability to use music to make objects/creatures move, possibly called “the Pied Piper

    Bocaj Lerrab – a elemental and temporal manipulator, possibly Titan (is that Greek?)

  316. Tomon 08 Jun 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Oh God you’ve really done it now. You asked a question about Greek mythology.

    According to Greek Mythology, the Titans were a race of primordial deities who existed BEFORE the Greek ods like Zeus, Hades etc. In fact, they were the ancestors of the Greek gods. The first Titan, Gaia, was the first being in the universe and she created the Earth, she also created her husband, and together they gave birth to all the Titans, who eventually gave birth to some of the Greek gods (who gave birth to more gods).

    The Titans ruled the Earth with an iron fist, with the leader, Kronos, in charge, until his son Zeus banded together with his siblings and other allies to overthrow him. They succeeded, and threw him, along with most of the Titans, into the deepest part of the underworld called Tartarus. This war was called the Titanomacy.

    And that’s the abridged version of the story!

  317. Jacobon 08 Jun 2009 at 2:07 pm

    That’s what I thought, I just couldn’t remember whether the titans were the gods’ parents. Thanks.

  318. Jacobon 08 Jun 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Kronos is the god of time, right?

  319. Jacobon 08 Jun 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Okay, update:

    Time and Elemental Modifier: Chronos
    Pied Piper Ability: Pied Piper, but want better name
    Morphing: Metaia

    How do these sound?

  320. Ragged Boyon 08 Jun 2009 at 6:30 pm

    How about just Piper. I don’t really care for the Pied part, it sounds cheesy.

  321. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 09 Jun 2009 at 5:37 am

    Hey, I have some more potential supervillain names for Cain:




    Samhain, which is a Celtic winter festival


    Frigus, Latin for “cold”

    Absolute Zero

    Which do you guys like best? Thanks!

  322. Bretton 09 Jun 2009 at 7:51 am

    Cool names, but ddoesn’t Samhain have a Halloween connotation? Just wondering.

  323. Tomon 09 Jun 2009 at 7:59 am

    Samhain is the original name for Hallowe’en, or wherever you put that darn apostrophe.

    Also, it’s not pronounced sam-hayne. I don’t know how it’s pronounced but that’s not it.

  324. Holliequon 09 Jun 2009 at 10:03 am

    Hmm. For some reason, RW, I like Flashfrost more than Flashfreeze. What do you think?

    I’m not sure Samhain would be too effective. I mean, you’d have to know about the Celtic festival before it made sense, right?

  325. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 10 Jun 2009 at 1:41 am

    I just Googled winter-related words and Samhain popped up. Halloween is celebrated in Australia, but I don’t, so I don’t know much about it. (Other than the obvious, haha)

    I found Flashfreeze on a page about frozen food. Haha. It’s the process used to freeze it. Hmm, yeah, I like Flashfrost better, too.

    Thanks for the help!

  326. notsohottopicon 12 Jun 2009 at 8:50 am

    Somewhat lame question: How necessary it is to give characters last names? Most of my plot is episodic.

  327. Trollitradeon 12 Jun 2009 at 8:43 pm

    If you’re only writing the story for yourself, you can write whatever you want to. xD
    And I suppose it wouldn’t be too hard to just change the name later if you decide you wanna publish this story.
    That’s hilarious about not being able to name your kid Ebenezer! Hahaha! I’m sorry that Scrooge ruined it for you. ^_^

  328. Trollitradeon 12 Jun 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I’m still having some big naming issues. xD
    Is it problematic for the hero and heroine of a story to be named “Holly” and “Roy”?
    They’re both competing middle school soccer captains. O_O
    Their group is named like this so far:
    Death (lol, the emo kid…)

    Please help? xD
    I’ve been working on these name changes for a WEEK now, and it’s not settling in very well. ^_^;;
    I could really use some more advice on this!

  329. Marissaon 12 Jun 2009 at 11:50 pm

    If the other one became Lydia, I like ‘Cassie’ for Holly, like you’d planned.

  330. Trollitradeon 13 Jun 2009 at 12:17 am

    Hello again, Marissa. I’m actually not in charge of what Cassie/Holly/etc. gets to be named, since she’s my sister’s character.

    That’s part of what makes it tough! Finding a good name to agree on.

    But I think there are now too many “y” letters in all these names. We’re trying to work out a reasonable name for “Cassie”, but my sis didn’t like that one, and we both know “Candy” wasn’t a good fit.

    I guess I’m just having trouble with this because I’ve never really put much thought into the names before. I usually just pick the first name I like and go with it.

  331. Marissaon 13 Jun 2009 at 12:29 am

    How about “Summer”?

  332. Marissaon 13 Jun 2009 at 12:29 am

    Or Lauren, maybe.

  333. gruntchiefon 02 Jul 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Hi. My friend and I just started making a comic book. Things are going pretty well, but we have run into a problem. We can’t seem to come up with a good super name for one of the main characters. His actual name is Jake. His powers are energy based. He can shoot explosive energy blasts and will eventually learn more energy techniques like increasing his durability by absorbing some of the force of blows with his energy and flying by the use of light repulsing energy waves. More on the personality side, he is extremely troubled by his past and doesn’t trust himself and his powers. He distances himself from others. I would really appreciate any help you can give us in naming him. Also, my friend, Metalk9, will send you some more info on the other characters and our ideas on the story so you can check it out and give us any suggestions.

  334. Bobon 10 Jul 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Ok im in the process of writing a super hero novel. My main characters name is Lincoln Gray, but i cant come up with a superhero name. When he is just Lincoln he posseses super human strength and agility. But Lincolns power also causes him to change at random into a red skinned killing monster. Now he’s not massive and muscley like the hulk he is the same basic build but taller than regular people and a lot stronger than he usually is, his skin is also razor sharp to touch and his finger tips grow long and sharp. He is indestructable, except to anything with the same power he posseses.
    Thats roughly the character, please help with the name?

  335. Bobon 10 Jul 2009 at 4:00 pm

    oh yeh and gruntchief what about Ardor as a name. its a different way to say energy and it sounds pretty cool

  336. XoXoPhyreon 27 Jul 2009 at 7:23 am

    Id like to know what you think about these civilian names for my heroes.

    Alex Harper (Grivitic)
    Paris Blake (Pyra)
    Howard Ross (Thunderbot)
    Christian York (Onyx)
    Amari Wiles (Ultra Atom)
    Justin Andrews (Quickstrike)
    Yesenia Torres (Feline)
    Roxanne Fritz (Roxy)
    Megan Sanches (Hornette)

  337. Eanon 16 Sep 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hi all, first-time poster, brief lurker. I’m trying to come up with a better name for a female hydrokinetic than Splasher, which Marissa tells me is pansyful. Plus it alliterates with another of my superheroes’ names. I’ve a few ideas here, but would be glad of more.


    I also have a gravitokinetic called G-Force, which Marissa reckons I should change too, but I’d like to keep it. Thoughts?

  338. Marissaon 16 Sep 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I never said ‘pansyful’. Well… Not exactly. >_> But yeah, that was the general sentiment.

    Oh, and he rejected ‘Cascade’, so that’s out. 😛

  339. Eanon 16 Sep 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “xnihility: Cascade.
    me: For Splasher?
    xnihility: mhm.
    me: Mkay.
    xnihility: It’s less… pansy.”

    I won’t hold it against you, though. ^^ Cascade’s not bad, really, but it puts me in mind of the mountain range. I wouldn’t say it’s right out.

  340. Marissaon 16 Sep 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Well, the rest of the world thinks of falling water. 😛

    And I know I called it pansy, I just mean… I didn’t add the weird suffix. Hahah

  341. Eanon 16 Sep 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I’m all for weird suffixes. ^^

  342. StarEon 16 Sep 2009 at 10:25 pm

    You could call her “Rip-tide”, maybe… Riptide? That’s a current of water mixed with sand in the ocean, and it sucks unsuspecting mammals out to sea. Like me. The lifeguard had to come get me, and I was so embarrassed, haha.

    Charybdis (was THAT the mythological whirlpool?)
    Tsunami (nicknamed “Nami”?)

    As for the gravity guy, maybe you could call him Zero, Neutral, 7G, Gravix…? I actually don’t mind the name “G-Force”. I can’t think of anything very good, heh.

  343. Eanon 17 Sep 2009 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for those! I’d say Riptide is a more masculine name…Whirlpool is an appliance brand, Charybdis is perhaps too obscure (’twas the mythical whirlpool, indeed), Aqua too generic, and Rush reminds me of the band, though it’d be good in conjunction with another word, perhaps. The others are rather good and bear further consideration. Thanks for Pisces especially; I’ll have to look into aquatic animals. ^^

  344. Lighting Manon 17 Sep 2009 at 10:59 am

    I think that right there might be the issue with all of your name selections. You’re trying to make it sound feminine and no political discussion intended, society has made you equate weakness with feminine. I mean, really? Splasher? Rainfall? River? A splash doesn’t threaten anyone, rain doesn’t hurt anyone unless it becomes a flood (see rejected suggestions of; Cascade, Flashflood, Tsunami) If you just want a name that shouts “She’s weak! She’s here, and she’s a she!” Then just name her April Showers.

    I think that from what we know of the character (gender, power) then the two best names suggested so far are Cascade (real name of Cassandra, perhaps? That might make it more feminine.)) It suggests suggests power, highly kinetic fight scenes, and establishes the character as a force of nature, not literally, but as something to be reckoned with. I also think Tsunami is a good name, for mostly the same reasons, plus, you could name her Suzanne and randomly link to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3uaXCJcRrE) without proper reasoning.

  345. Eanon 17 Sep 2009 at 11:48 am

    Flashflood and Tsunami were among the ones I didn’t reject out of hand, but you raise an interesting point. I may indeed have been matching the name to the personality (or perhaps vice versa?), though since I do have other female characters with “harder” sorts of names to go with their powers and personalities, it is by no means a blanket generalization about females being weak. I will consider this further. Thank you for your thoughts.

  346. Lighting Manon 17 Sep 2009 at 11:57 am

    I apologize for that mistake, I realized it after I posted but I hate double posting so I didn’t correct myself.

  347. Luna Jamniaon 17 Sep 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Lighting Man … sorry for getting your name wrong. Since this thread is about names, I suppose this is the best place to apologize without it getting deleted for off-topic-ness.

    I kinda like Tsunami, myself. And I love the possible nickname for her. But whatever you decide, Ean. 😀

  348. Wingson 17 Sep 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Quick check to make sure none of my hero names are taken:

    How To Save The World and The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised














    Anima (possible new character)

    Pyric (possible new character)

    Mirage (possible new character)

    Darkstar Rising










    Just wanted to make sure that none of these names are used – some I’m already sure of but added just in case. If you can help…*places plate of peanut butter cookies and chocolate cookies shaped like Darkstar’s head on the floor*

    Thank you!

    – Wings

  349. Wingson 17 Sep 2009 at 4:44 pm

    *looks at old post*

    Yeesh, I’m asking a lot. Apologies.

    – Wings

  350. StarEon 17 Sep 2009 at 6:05 pm

    To Wiiiings,
    I’m not familiar with large numbers of popular superheroes, but I think your names sound pretty solid. 🙂 The only ones that sound like names I’ve heard from somewhere are “Titan”, “Crimson”, and “Shift”, but I don’t think it’s problematic to use them. They don’t sound copyrighted or anything. Um, sorry if this isn’t helpful, haha.

    Since we’re in the “name” forum, I wanted to ask if my main characters’ names sound appealing/work well together. But since they don’t have superhero aliases or anything, would I need to briefly describe their personalities so everyone knows who we’re naming…? I’m worried about writing long posts ’cause people might wanna skip over it. *sweatdrop*

    Do the names Rem, Corey, Naveed, Kain, and Vanessa sound okay together?

  351. Eanon 17 Sep 2009 at 6:23 pm

    @Wings: Titan and Oracle are members of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard from Marvel, and Darkstar sounds familiar too. I’m pretty sure they’re all pretty minor characters.

    @StarE: For what my opinion’s worth, you might want to watch out for names starting with the same letter. My sister and a couple of my cousins’ names all start with E, and sometimes people get us confused. Our names do sound a little more similar to each other than Corey and Kain, though.

  352. StarEon 17 Sep 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks, Ean. 🙂 I know I should be careful about names that start with the same letter/sound, but I thought “Corey” and “Kain” would work okay because they’re different letters, different syllables, and pretty different personalities. I don’t think you could get these characters mixed up very easily. I was considering the name “Edge” for Kain, though, but I haven’t settled on his personality yet, so I dunno which name works… He’ll either the “sinister/charming rival” or the “noble battle maniac”, haha.

    On the other hand, Corey is the main character’s upbeat, “class clown” cousin who’s trying to reclaim his talents after suffering from a serious head trauma.

  353. Wingson 18 Sep 2009 at 8:21 am

    Apparently Darkstar was the name of a character on some show on Cartoon Network…but he was a villain of the week or something , I think.

    I also had a feeling that I had read the name Oracle somewhere….

    *checks google*

    Yup! Both Titan and Oracle were characters in on issue of X-Men. Still, considering how much digging I did to find them, I don’t think they’re major.

    – Wings

  354. Holliequon 18 Sep 2009 at 9:34 am

    Mirage was a major character in The Incredibles. (I’m not sure if you’ve seen the film, but that was the name of the white-haired woman who helped them escape.)

  355. Wingson 18 Sep 2009 at 9:54 am


    Ah well, he was only a possible character!

    – Wings

  356. Lighting Manon 18 Sep 2009 at 10:29 am

    Wings – Oracle’s a pretty predominant character in DC Comic books. It’s the alias of the original Batgirl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Gordon) after she was paralyzed by The Joker. She’s primarily an information dealer now, fighting crime from behind the scenes, and not so much a superhero so you might be okay. The only other one that I recognize is Aegis. That was War Machine (Marvel Comics, a friend of Iron Man that got his own suit) in a new identity after he got a weird alien suit, but only for a small amount of time, so you’re probably free and clear.

    Luna Jamnia – Not a problem at all, I just assumed people thought I had misspelled my own name, which in addition to being humourous, makes sense.

  357. Wingson 18 Sep 2009 at 12:08 pm


    Okay. Is Seer taken by any chance?

    – Wings

  358. jmilbon 05 Oct 2009 at 2:02 pm

    How do these names sound: Jeremiah Powers, Emma Sharp, Allie Goodwin, Mai Wise, and Bomani?

    These are the characters actual names, not codenames.

    Jeremiah is a poor rural kid who gets into fights, usually standing up for someone else, and has problems with authority. He gains enhanced senses and reflexes/agility.

    Emma is a brilliant driven socially awkward introvert (original, I know). She gains increased intelligence and technopathy.

    Allie is a popular outgoing athlete with Olympic aspirations (see above parentheses). She gains superstrength (10 ton max press) speed (80 m.p.h. max) and enhanced reflexes (not as quick as Jeremiah, but still 3 times faster than human).

    Mai is the adopted Lao Hmong refugee daughter of a doctor who worked with Doctors Without Borders, and has become a doctor as well. Mai gains empathy (healing, emotion reading/control) and touch-range telepathy.

    Bomani is a child soldier in Darfur, sold to a militia while very young and given his current name. Bomani gains the ability to discharge electricity via the increased electrical impulses in his brain. This also helps him absorb and retain information quickly.

    Any comments or suggestions? I would appreciate it. I don’t quite have their hero names, although I am leaning toward more military sounding codenames.

  359. Luna Jamniaon 05 Oct 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Well, I like that you have so much already planned character wise, and I really think you’re a step ahead with the whole limitations thing. I have serious issues putting the caps on my characters’ abilities (though they’re usually from another planet, even aliens have limits 😉 ).
    The names? The names are good, I think. I especially like Mai and Bomani, just because I tend to like foreign names for characters better than generic/regular ones-yes, I’m biased. (No! Don’t shoot! Long live … um … English speaking nations … >.>)

  360. Luna Jamniaon 05 Oct 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t have any suggestions for their hero names, unfortunately–I’m not very good at coming up with those names. But if you ever need names for anything else, just let me know and I’ll send you a link of about … well, a lot. 🙂 No searching all over the internet for the perfect name! Which is why I should get the other half typed up. I have a list of over 750 for pets, people, planets, whatehaveyou.

  361. jmilbon 05 Oct 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Actually, a list of planet names and alien race names would be wonderful. Since my story takes place in an intergalactic war, not having to come up with names that don’t sound cheesy or ridiculous would save a lot of time. Please post that link, it would be helpful. Thank you!

  362. Luna Jamniaon 05 Oct 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Here ’tis. Sadly, most of the ones which’d be perfect for planet names and shtuff, I have not typed up yet. I probably should do that soon. The first couple ‘pages’ are mostly all sorts of names for animals.


    Oh wait. The last ‘chapter’ has some good weird names. ^_^

  363. Luna Jamniaon 05 Oct 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hmmm … after looking over the names in the third chapter, I do suppose they kinda sound ridiculous? Nah.
    Never mind.
    All the names I come up with seem ridiculous and then I re-read books like Dune …

    my names are fine. ^_^
    And really they’re just names I wrote down, most of them already exist.

  364. B. Macon 06 Oct 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Starfairy? 😉

  365. Ragged Boyon 06 Oct 2009 at 6:21 pm

    “How do these names sound: Jeremiah Powers, Emma Sharp, Allie Goodwin, Mai Wise, and Bomani?”

    Hola Jmilb! I really like your character’s powers, they’re simplistic, but interesting. However, I don’t like how their last names correspond with their personalities, it seems kind of cheesy. Although, this is a minor issue and can be easily fixed, if you want.

    As for military- sounding codenames, you could go with the agent edge. Agent Powers, Agent Sharp, etc. If you do this I’d recommend making their codenames a little more interesting and relate them to their powers.

    What do you think?

  366. Luna Jamniaon 06 Oct 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I know, B. Mac! >.> <.<
    Many of those names are from 7th-9th grade (at least all the pet names and goofy superhero names) during which I was into writing (trying anyway) superhero stories. And talking animals. Yes. That's where it all began. Talking animals. No, actually it began with a really smart Irish setter named Red and a totally awful storyline and laughable spelling and grammar.

  367. Luna Jamniaon 06 Oct 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Did my last comment (well, one I submitted earlier) have to go through the moderator-approval process? It hasn’t shown …

  368. B. Macon 06 Oct 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Just put it through. Some quick tips. Anything that uses any of the following will require a moderator’s approval.
    –3+ links
    –graphic sexual terms
    –unusually creepy terms (mostly about relating a bit too much with animals, if you get my drift).

    I have absolutely no idea what the issue was in this particular instance, though.

  369. jmilbon 06 Oct 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks Ragged Boy! What do you think about switching the last names around so that the reckless one has the last name Wise, the blunt instrument has the name Sharp, etc.? Or should I just use the last names as part of the codenames (I like the sound of Agent Powers, Agent Sharp, et al). To be honest I just googled common last names and went down the list looking for ones that might fit, kinda like an Adam Strange type deal. Of course, I could switch them up AND make them part of their codenames because they do have a hero-type ring to them. What do you think?

  370. Luna Jamniaon 07 Oct 2009 at 8:58 am

    Alright, thanks for the tips B. Mac. 🙂
    J, either way I love the names you gave them. I do think it’d be pretty cool for each to have a last name opposite who they are, though, kinda like how nobody would expect ‘Peter Parker’ to be Spider-Man, considering where he lived and what he was like and all. Or maybe I just like irony for these kind of things.

  371. Ragged Boyon 07 Oct 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Switching the last names would be less cheesy to their opposite, but I’m still picking up something on the cheese-o-meter. Careful with Agent Powers! People may mistake for international sex symbol spy Austin Powers. I was think more along the lines of a supername with “agent” as a prefix (Yomiko Readman is Agent Paper, etc).

  372. jmilbon 08 Oct 2009 at 4:36 pm

    That’s a good point on the Powers name. That never even crossed my mind. I decided to go with changing the last name on 3 of the characters (I think I’ll keep Mai Wise, I just like that one).

    So now I have Jeremiah King, Allison (Allie) Scott, and Emma Bell. As for superhero code names these are a rough idea of where my mind is going with the characters:

    Jeremiah King–Agent King (Wow, I didn’t even realize how that sounded until I wrote it out just now…Ok or not ok in your opinion?)

    Allison Scott–something along the lines of Equalizer or Abrams (essentially because she’s the “tank” of the group)

    Emma Bell–Interface or something with Tech in it (any suggestions on that one?)

    Mai Wise–Dr. Wise


    I saw the point about all of them having last names coinciding with personalities being a bit cheesy, so I decided to use just one like that. Even with her I would describe her as more compassionate than wise (the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but situations arise where the compassionate thing and the wise thing to do are totally different, especially in combat situations). Please let me know what you think, good or bad. I created a NaNoWriMo account and these characters and their story are the one I want to concentrate on. Thank you.

  373. Ragged Boyon 08 Oct 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Overall, I like the new names. I like Agent King. The only supername I’m a little iffy about is Allie’s, but I’m blanking on name ideas. I have two female tank characters, (not in my current story, in my Literary Salvage Yard) Rave and Aries. I usually go for names that tell more about the character’s personality than their powers. You can guess from Rave that she might be flashy, wild, and dangerous (even sexually charged) or from Aries that she might be a natural leader, stubborn, and quick-tempered.

    What would you think about names that coorespond with the charater’s persona? In fact, what are their personalities?

  374. jmilbon 08 Oct 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Jeremiah King is reckless, distrusts authority, and always gets into fights with bullies picking on other kids.

    Emma Bell is a know-it-all type, driven, focused on herself and her plans, and socially awkward.

    Allison Scott is outgoing, athletic, and egotistical.

    Mai Wise is an activist, compassionate, and tends to be overprotective of those in her care (almost to the point of smothering).

    Bomani is haunted by his past actions, devoutly religious because he seeks atonement, but he is loyal to those that earn his trust.

    This is just a quick synopsis, if you want more I would be happy to flesh them out for you. For Allison’s name, Starpower just popped in my head.

  375. stella tellson 18 Oct 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you! Oh, I’ve been writing fanfiction and I can never think of good names for any of my OCs. Now I do! Sort of. xD

  376. Kayon 20 Oct 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Okay, I’ve been trying to come up with a good name but I can’t. He has the ability to control air and make tornadoes. I’ve been looking and I still haven’t found a creative one. I don’t think Air man or Air guy or Air boy makes a good name. I’ve been looking for untaken air names for months with no luck. Is there anyway you can help me come up with a name? Or do you have any name ideas?

    && About copyright names. I don’t want to get sued; I think no one wants to get sued. So is the name ‘ Red Knight ‘, okay? Marvel or DC comics has a ‘Black Knight’ but would I get sued if I still use that name? Since Red Knight is different from Black Knight…

    Thanks for your help,

  377. Lighting Manon 20 Oct 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Kay, I think you’ve got quite a few options for names, but I don’t really know enough about your tone to be more specific. A typical DC comic book universe could do with a hero like that named Supercell or Squal Line. A manga-esc universe could use The Squal, either one could use Derecho. There’s a billion names you could get by just tacking “air” onto another word. Airhammer, Aerohammer, Aerostrike, Airstrike, Swift Aero, Aeroswift, Taylor Swift, and those are just off the top of my head.

  378. ForsAkenon 28 Oct 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I am having trouble thinking of a “superhero name” for two of my characters. The first can manipulate time, but more like The Matrix and not time travel. The second is a psychic who can track people and alter memories.

  379. B. Macon 28 Oct 2009 at 10:55 pm

    What are their personalities like? Also, what’s the mood of the book like?

  380. Jameson 07 Nov 2009 at 2:44 am

    Ok… scratch my last idea…

    I’m doing monster college. I have most of what I need, but am stumped when it comes to the name for my “elf.” I really don’t want it to be a way-out-there name, but also nothing that sounds too normal or boring for him. Any suggestions? Or should I go Tolkien-style? He’s not really like the elves of Lord of the Rings, but….

  381. B. Macon 07 Nov 2009 at 10:31 am

    “He’s not really like the elves of Lord of the Rings, but…”

    What is he like? What sort of mood are you going for? (IE: what sort of positive reaction are you trying to evoke with this book? Edge-of-your-seat thrills? Tear-jerking romance? Don’t-lose-your-flashlight horror? Laughter? Etc).

  382. Jameson 08 Nov 2009 at 12:45 am

    The character used to be the king of all demons; because of this he is very noble, old-fashioned, wise, and calm- but when around the other characters (his friends) he’s very goofy, open-minded, and constantly pulls pranks on the current king. (Is this even a good combination of characteristics? Should I turn down his ‘kingly’ side?)

    I’m trying to do an action/romance with this idea.

  383. Ragged Boyon 08 Nov 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Hmm, I’m not sure how fluidly wise, calm, and goofy will mix, but I do like the idea of a calm prankster. I don’t like that he changes personalities, although, I understand why. I’m blanking on any other advice. More information would help.

  384. Jameson 09 Nov 2009 at 9:20 pm

    More Information… would the background story be good?

    Kings only stay in office for nine years, and then the council forces them to hold a tournament to decide the new leader. The king represents his demon group, and the rest send their best competitor. The losers are then forced to abandon their lives to become the new king’s bodygaurds. An elf has won every time, until now when a very young vampire (named Aiden) somehow wins (plot point later) so my elf character gets to return to his normal goofy personality.
    The vampires are more violent and harsh, and have a much shorter temper. The elf sometimes feels like he is still in office, and scolds Aiden whenever he takes things too far (which is often)
    I guess you could say he’s the guy who plays along with the mean-spirited joke, then grows a brain whenever things get out of hand, automatically taking over the situation.

  385. Hawkfire101on 08 Dec 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Do you think Hawkfire sticks in your head as a good hero? (Teenage Girl)

  386. Ikaruson 03 Jan 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I once named all of my characters after famous scientist, for no particular reason. Months later, I realized that I named a character that controls gravity ‘Isaac’ (after Isaac Newton). I then spent a while trying to make everyone else’s name a pun… it was not fun. Moral is: naming sucks because you’re a random name generator.

  387. B. Macon 03 Jan 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I think the trick with themed names is to do it sparingly and subtly. I think naming a gravity-controlled Isaac is pretty slick– a few people will get the reference and they’ll probably appreciate it.

  388. Toastyon 04 Jan 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Forsaken –
    I’m not sure if I’m the best person to suggest names, but here goes.
    From how you explained the time manipulator’s powers, I would go with something like Flow personally… it suggests the way the power set could be utilized to change the flow of combat or any event really, since they’re slowing down their own perspective.

  389. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 11:56 am

    How does El Gato sound?

    My superhero is a shapeshifter who can change into different kinds of cats (hence El Gato, which means “the cat”). I realize the article talks about how characters probably shouldn’t have foreign names, but I like it…

    Anyway, he doesn’t have the name at the beginning, but someone calls him that at some point in the story and it ends up sticking. I’m planning on having one of the characters pointing out what the name means so the readers don’t get confused, though.

    Would that work?

  390. Lighting Manon 06 Jan 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I think that explaining it might be a bit overly condescending, both portions of its name are widespread enough in usage throughout English-speaking popular culture, for the vast majority to understand it, unless you have a very young audience (younger than 10, I’d reckon would encounter problems) in mind.

    I think that beyond the slightly wimpy nature of it (no offense intended, I’ve spent my whole life around house cats and they don’t bring terror to mind.) under the guidelines of the guide, it would be acceptable, the phonetic pronunciation is roughly the correct one. The only real issue I could see with it would be the setting, it wouldn’t make much sense for a superhero in a setting without a large Hispanic population, to have that name given to them, especially if they are not so outwardly Hispanic that it would be a natural leap for a journalist or civilian population to leap to.

  391. Lighting Manon 06 Jan 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I meant to add “Of course, this is only my opinion” tagged on the end there, so pretend it is there.

  392. Scribblaron 06 Jan 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Now on the other hand, in my opinion, I don’t agree. I’ve never heard El Gato before, and immediately thought “Aah, alligator.” By the way, I’m 27, so 10>. 😉

    It lacks the similar sounding nature of the French Le chet (or chat, I’m not sure) which is obviously the cat. I doubt many people in the UK will know the meaning, and I’ve never actually come across it in popular culture, to my recollection. I’m both widely watched and widely read yet nothing strikes me.

    I think it would need the explanation.

    “He called me El Gato.”
    “Ah, the cat. Very astute.”

  393. Scribblaron 06 Jan 2010 at 1:41 pm

    This is going back a bit, bit samhain is pronounced sow (like how) een (like bean).

  394. Lighting Manon 06 Jan 2010 at 2:38 pm

    You might be right about that, I suppose it would come down to the individual’s own experiences and thus warrant explanation even if you could rely on a number of your readers to have prior knowledge of the word. It just seems a very clunky thing to explain, any revelation of “book” knowledge on the part of a fictional character has to be handled carefully so as to not have the character either come off pretentious or pedantic.

  395. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 2:55 pm

    All right, thanks you two!

  396. B. Macon 06 Jan 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Which country are you trying to get published in? If you’re writing in the US, I think that a lot of Americans, possibly most depending on your target audience, would be familiar with “el gato.” (IE: if your protagonist is Hispanic, I would imagine that your readers would be somewhat more likely to know what “El Gato” means than the median American would). So I think that using a foreign language would not be a problem in this case. For one thing, it doesn’t raise serious pronunciation issues, unlike many words from Japanese or French.

    That said, if you’re writing for an Australian or British audience, I’m not sure how much exposure they would have to even the most basic Spanish phrases.

    However, language concerns aside, is this really the most effective name available? “El Gato” strikes me as pretty bland, particularly to anyone that knows that it translates into “The Cat.” It might help to give him a name that indicates something about him, like a personality trait or a distinguishing trait. For example, if he were an action hero, it might make sense to name him after a particular kind of cat, preferably a dangerous one, because something like Pantera is probably more dangerous and sexy than Gato. (However, I think Pantera is already taken, so I’d recommend finding something else if you try that route). My Spanish is not too good (no lo he hablado por, umm, siete anos), so I bet you’d have some better vocabulary in that regard than I would.

    Scribblar said: “Now on the other hand, in my opinion, I don’t agree. I’ve never heard El Gato before, and immediately thought “Aah, alligator.” By the way, I’m 27. 😉 ”

    Haha. I also saw “El Gator” for a brief moment. (“Alligator” actually derives from the Spanish phrase for lizard, “el legarto”). It reminded me of my webcomic about Don Gato and Don Gator.

  397. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 8:59 pm

    If I decided to publish the story, it would be in the US, since I live here. I chose “El Gato” because he can change into different types of cats (lion, tiger, etc.), so “The Cat” would be an all-encompassing phrase. Does that make sense?

  398. B. Macon 06 Jan 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Ah, okay, that makes sense. It still strikes me as a bit bland, though.

  399. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 9:46 pm


    I’m trying to come up with something that can make it less bland without sounding corny, but drawing a blank. Any suggestions (it doesn’t have to be in Spanish)?

  400. B. Macon 06 Jan 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Hmm… What’s the character like? (Personality, distinguishing traits, etc).

  401. Scribblaron 06 Jan 2010 at 10:33 pm

    El gato-hombre. Is this cat man?

  402. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 10:39 pm

    He’s kind of a loser, but his powers make him feel arrogant and flashy, which is the kind of person he’d like to be in his regular form. To describe his hair the way your “Common Mistakes” would say, he has a fauxhawk (Google if you don’t know) and loves using (hair) mousse to make himself look taller and more imposing (sort of like a lion’s mane). After he gets his powers, his (wild) catlike tendencies (preference for meat, growling, etc.) creep into his life sometimes. He’s in his early 20s…

    More detail or is that good?

  403. El_Gatoon 06 Jan 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Si, el gato hombre= the cat man

  404. kid_omnion 08 Jan 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Well in my novel, Badazzes. The leader is named Kid Badazz

  405. B. Macon 08 Jan 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Kid Badazz? That’s very, umm… unusual.

  406. jaronblazeon 09 Jan 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Does anyone have a name for a guy who can manipulate ink & colors. His real name is Jason but I need a codename.

  407. Seraph-Fireon 11 Jan 2010 at 5:59 am

    Sounds interesting, Jaronblaze…try looking for common technical terms relating to ink and colour. Right now, all I can think of that sounds effective is Chrome. Less effective are words like hue, shade and pigment, but hopefully you get the jist.

    Or, on the other hand, how about something like Splash? It depends on your character’s personality and such. If they’re quite dark and serious, then perhaps not…but I imagine someone who can mess around with colour and ink to be a bit quirky and mischievous.

  408. B. Macon 11 Jan 2010 at 6:36 am

    Hmm… If you’re looking for a technical artistic term, chiaroscuro and encaustic come to mind. I also looked through an art glossary and found acrylic, fresco, graffiti, palette, pastel, tonk (or tonking), velatura (probably too girly) and vignette. For something more sober (ie less distinctly superhero-like) you could something similar to a last name like hatch or hatching or a name that’s mostly associated with art like Durer or Jasper but not as recognizable as Da Vinci or Van Gogh).

  409. Hollyon 26 Jan 2010 at 1:39 am

    I am uncertain what to say except that I disagree. I find symbolic uses of names to be personally amusing. Some readers will understand and some won’t. That is how allusions and symbolism often work. Foreign names are necessary for characters of foreign cultures. I am not going to give a Japanese character, for example, who was born in Japan, the birth name of Dave. I might go with the nickname view shown in Doom. A Japanese character has a traditional Japanese name that is difficult for those around him to pronounce, so he has a nickname. I think it was Mac. Also, references to others’ writing, such as my comment about Doom. I would not name a superhero Clark. I might name a quirky hero Mike, that people unfamiliar with Stranger in a Strange Land, probably won’t get. Or toss in a “Hello, Dave” joke. A matter of writing style and audience, I suppose.

    Just some insight. Writers have drastically different views. I also write articles on writing. I address topics, including naming characters. I am not published, but I have some informal psychological knowledge.

    I wanted to specify I disagree. I am not saying the information is wrong. Opinions are like mothers. Everyone has one, even if we sometimes suspect an annoying co-worker was hatched.

  410. B. Macon 26 Jan 2010 at 2:12 am

    Thank you for your comment!

    Unless there’s a compelling reason to do otherwise, I’d recommend culturally appropriate names. If a novel had a feudal daimyo named Dave, I’d really hope that there was some sort of in-story explanation.

    However, generally I would recommend against naming a character something based on what the name translates to. For each reader that knows that Sophia translates into wisdom, there are probably 50 or 100 that don’t, and you probably could have come up with a name that worked better for them. I’d recommend focusing on sounds rather than translations because they work better for the multitude of readers that won’t get the reference.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose that I should add that I once named a weapons engineer Dr. Darpa because I thought it would be funny if readers knew that DARPA does a ton of weapons research. On the plus side, I think that it wouldn’t jar readers that didn’t get the reference.

  411. Echoon 15 Feb 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I wasn’t exactly sure to put this comment, so I hope it’s okay here.

    I am having some problems with naming an organization in my novel. It is an “underground” organization, not governmental. It will end up being villainous, although it doesn’t seem that way at first. The best names that I came up with so far are “The Organization,” and “The Guild,” which are not as creative or as relevant as I was hoping for. I was wondering if anyone could give me opinions, advice on naming organizations, or even how they ended up naming their own group.

    Thanks 🙂


  412. Pon 15 Feb 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I had the same problem for a when I was working on my novel just recently. I suggest an acronym using the organizations motives as a basis. It only took me a few minutes with my own, but try brainstorming on it and see what turns up.

    Here are some already taken examples:

    M: Modern
    A: Arcane
    G: Guild of
    I: Investigations

    L: Logistics for
    I: Insight and
    T: Tactical
    E: Excellence

    Other than that, I would suggest using rather simple names.

    Here are some more taken examples:

    The Blades
    The Enclave
    The Enforcers

    If you use this idea, you may want to research it first to make sure it hasn’t been taken. Also, check out the Seventh Sanctum name generator. Some may look like complete nonsense but they can give you some good ideas.

  413. Lighting Manon 15 Feb 2010 at 1:37 pm

    The Guild is a wildly successful web series starring Buffy The Vampire Slayer alum, umm, I can’t remember her name, she was in Doctor Horrible though? Aday? Felicia Day? Maybe. I can’t remember. So you might want to avoid it, if not for that reason, the associations it brings with both MMORPG guilds, such as the show strives for.

    In my opinion, evil Organizations and companies work best when they are either a random pleasant-sounding but actually ominous phrase (Black Water, at first it sounds like a place you’d go camping but then you realize it’s a freaking scary name) or oddly ominous surnames, but another good place to look for inspiration, particularly for evil organizations in nursery rhymes, folklore, particularly if they have a racial agenda or specific racial identity, you could look into that racial identity’s folklore and pull something.

    I used nursery rhymes when naming my secret evil organization of lawyers and politicians, The Pumpkin Eaters, an eclectic group of similarly built individuals from across the world that have undergone cosmetic surgery and other type things in order to directly resemble an ideal figure, Conan O’Brian.

  414. Echoon 15 Feb 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! They have given me a lot to think about – I’ve got way to many ideas right now, and no idea how to chose.

    So far, what I’ve come up with are Black Virtues, The Seraphists, Sable Messengers, Purest Dusk, Ebony Lights, and Obsidian Relief.

    Any of them sound novel-worthy?


  415. Echoon 15 Feb 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Oh, and I love the Conan O’Brian idea, by the way.


  416. Pon 15 Feb 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Out of those I liked The Seraphists (You may want to research if it is taken or not, though) and Obsidian Relief (I’m guessing you used Lightning Man’s suggestions for this. To me, it sounds like some sort of odd charity.) Purest Dusk sounds a little to cultist in my opinion to be a government organization, along with Black Virtues and Ebony Lights. (Then again, I hardly know anything about the organization to say much.) Sable Messengers sounds utterly mysterious, but not to much like an organization.

  417. B. Macon 20 Feb 2010 at 7:05 am

    Hmm. I’d leave naming issues like these (like “is this name unique enough?”) until after getting published. If the series is otherwise good enough to publish, the editor will not be bothered by a character that shares a fairly generic last name with a character from a fairly minor series. If the legal department thinks it’s an issue, your editor can ask you to change the name later. I wouldn’t worry about it until then.

    I’m not so worried about Hatchet possibly getting confused with Ratchet. Although they rhyme, the words mean very different things. I don’t think that anyone would confuse a character named Blight with Light, either. But I agree when you called it childish. I couldn’t see anyone naming their kid Hatchet. On the other hand, using as the super-name may be an option, if you’re interested.

    Maxwell sounds a bit old-fashioned and wealthy to me. Like Maxwell Lord. Or Jillian Maxwell, if you’re deep into Batman (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1). Is that the impression you’re shooting for?

    Rather than Aizly or Izly, could I suggest a more modern spelling like Isley? Alternately, perhaps Asley or Aisley?

    I think Scythe sounds kind of villainous. (Then again, I bet Stan Lee heard that a lot about “Spiderman” before that hit it big).

    I’m not sure what I think about Chrone City. My immediate reaction is wondering whether the author misspelled “chrome.” But your spelling is generally pretty good, so I don’t think that’s it… Hmm. Starting with “CHR” sound strikes me as a bit awkward. It’s not too common in English (Christ, Christmas, chrysalis, etc). Starting with CR or maybe COR might lead to smoother words.

  418. B. Macon 20 Feb 2010 at 1:32 pm

    “I could never compare to you…” I hope you’re wrong about that. I’m still unpublished. So, to get published, you’ll have to be better than me. (More precisely, you’ll have to impress an editor more than any of the other prospective authors in the slush pile).

    I’d recommend tweaking Stanson City to Stanton City. It’s a slightly harder sound.

    Hmm. So the kid isn’t wealthy, but I guess that having the rich estranged father is a good reason to give him a wealthy-sounding name.

    Please don’t bash yourself. That’s what you have literary agents for. 😉 If possible, I’d recommend being more confident. Not so brash that you sound arrogant, but confident enough that editors can envision you as part of the team. No one’s on your side as much as you are, and your ability to get published rests overwhelmingly on your faith that you are good enough (or can be good enough) to pull it off.

    If the element of wealth is important to the story, I would recommend against having the mother marry a rich guy. First, I think that it would take away from the drama of having them deal with a lack of money. Putting him in a wealthy family may reduce his relatability. (However, relatability isn’t everything. Otherwise the audience for billionaire playboys, Amazon princesses and aliens would be quite small). Also, it might make her look like a gold-digger.

    I notice that Lee Stanson has the same last name as the name of the city he’s the mayor of. Now THAT is a family business.

    I’m not quite sure it feels believable that Lee marries the wife just to make himself look like a nice guy. For a slightly different take, you could have Lee marry her to use her as the fall guy when things go to hell. After all, she’s poor/desperate and perhaps she even has a minor criminal record, so maybe the media and police will agree that she was the one doing bad things and not him.

    I think that the protagonist sort of feels like a Chosen One that gets some lucky breaks. For example, why does Arnold feel that Adam is better-qualified to become a superhero than anybody else he knows? (For example, perhaps Adam has a distinguishing trait that makes him a really good candidate). Why does Lee choose to marry into his family rather than any other poor family in town? (Maybe there’s something in their background that makes them unusually suitable for his plans).

    I didn’t notice the Stan Lee reference. Haha.

    If the main character’s name starts with A, I’d recommend renaming Arnold so that it’s a bit easier for readers to keep the names apart.

    “You seem quite good and experienced…” Hmm. I’ve been working in the industry for around two weeks. Experienced I am not. 😉

  419. B. Macon 21 Feb 2010 at 4:56 am

    ZM Comics sounds more like a publisher’s name (like DC Comics) than a series name. For the series name, I’d recommend going with something that says more about the particular series, what’s going on, the mood, etc. Some more descriptive titles that come to mind are I Kill Giants, Cowboy Ninja Viking, my own The Accountant Must Die, etc. I think they give a better idea about the content of the plot.

    I like Erika. It’s not as soft as, say, Erin.

    I don’t think the gender of the techno-sidekick will make a big deal. Readers aren’t as sensitive to the gender of side-characters as they are to the main.

  420. B. Macon 21 Feb 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Starting your own publisher is quite expensive. According to Bob Heske, “Skimp, beg, borrow and save no less than $10,000 – but $15,000 is a safer bet. And don’t expect to earn it back in sales. More likely you will ‘earn some of it back’ as a tax write-off.” So don’t quit your day job! 🙂

    Fortunately, preparing an issue for professional publication is substantially cheaper–the main expense is typically paying an artist to finish five sample pages and perhaps a cover, which is probably $500-600. (Which is a hell of a lot more money than I’ve ever had lying around, by the way).

  421. Anonymouson 25 Feb 2010 at 3:56 am

    *typo nowadays…

  422. B. Macon 25 Feb 2010 at 5:32 am

    Hmm, okay. Good luck with the art. It is very, very difficult to illustrate or write at a professional level, and there are extremely few people that can do both.

    If you’d like to go down that path, I’d recommend hitting art classes hard and doing as much freelance illustration as possible. Like writers, artists tend to suck for the first few years, so hopefully you can burn those years sooner rather than later. Generally, I wouldn’t recommend doing your own illustrations until your art has earned at least a few hundred dollars on its own. If your art isn’t good enough to attract freelance business on even a beginner-friendly site like DeviantArt, it’s probably not good enough to sell to customers as part of a comic book.

    That said, some successful writer/illustrators do simple art but execute it very well. Hell, in webcomics, XKCD attracts at least hundreds of thousands of readers with stick figures. Obviously, don’t try Marvel or DC-style realism unless you have the substantial talent necessary to pull it off.

  423. B. Macon 26 Feb 2010 at 2:22 pm

    “If I get an artist to get me started off, ya know like my the first few illustrations and drafts, once the series/ comic actually does exist if does, would I need to credit he or she as having pitched in something to the story or does it depend on what kind of agreement I reach with them?”

    I think it’d depend on the agreement you reach. If you’re just using the person as an art tutor, crediting the artist would probably not be necessary. If you’re farming out the concept art to them, I feel like it would probably be best to say something like CONCEPT ART BY [NAME] unless the artist specifically agrees otherwise. Crediting the artist costs you nothing and removes the outside chance that he sues you or takes some other extreme action to show his dissatisfaction.

    I’ve never named a comics publisher before, but I’d recommend doing 1-2 words followed by Comics or possibly Press. Preferably a noun or adjective + noun. I did have an amusing brainstorming session late one night with a friend about what we would name a comics publisher. By the time we got to “Yankee Standoff” and “Cataclysmic Press,” it was clearly well past time to hit the coffee.

  424. Holliequon 27 Feb 2010 at 6:32 am

    You mean parkour?

  425. B. Macon 27 Feb 2010 at 8:53 am

    Hmm. If you’re submitting to Western publishers, I’d recommend Westernizing the names a bit. Like Sahra –> Sara or Sarah and Anama –> Anne or Ann.

    For the butler, I’d recommend looking at old-fashioned names. Maybe Gideon, Braxton, Cedric, Herbert, Elias, Elliot, Sheldon, Thaddeus, Wilmur, Fabian, Gilbert, Ezra, Alastair, etc. And yes, I did just strip those from a website called Unusual Old-Fashioned Names.

    “Charlie” makes the character sound pretty young. Since he’s the boss, it may make sense to refer to him as Charles or Mr. Fisher.

  426. Ragged Boyon 27 Feb 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I’m not sure if parkour is a form of combat. While I could see it as a form of transportation, I’m doubting that doing a wall-run to a monkey vault to a step-off backflip will hurt an opponent. Conversely, that same combination could be used to evade attack.

    I love Capoeira! It’s my favorite form of martial arts*. Just make sure you portray it correctly or you’ll have one disgruntled fan.

    * Whether or not Capoeira is considered a form of martial arts is questionable. While it focuses of improving the body and combative technique many people feel that it’s not effective in real combat situations.

  427. Holliequon 27 Feb 2010 at 5:03 pm

    RB, parkour can definitely be used in a fight situation. I saw a French subtitled film where two characters had a brilliant fight using a style/moves that were pretty much parkour, I think. (The movie is District 13, or Banlieu 13 in French.)

    This youtube video from the movie has a few uses of it for combat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTyWfbvX0xQ

  428. Lighting Manon 27 Feb 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve also seen that movie, I always thought it was nice of the evil tyrannical government to build a hobo city that happened to be perfect for boffo usages of the protagonist’s skill-sets. The first ever instance of an Eigen City…

  429. B. Macon 27 Feb 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I think Gotham City has been an Eigen City for Batman. It’s got all of those gargoyles hanging everywhere, and of course its police force is rampantly useless. It’s like the city was MADE for a lurking, brooding maniac born of awesomeness and forged in badassery.

  430. Ghoston 27 Feb 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I think its kind of a catch 22 with superheroes and settings. Do you giving them powers that fit a fit their surroundings, or you make their surrounding fit their powers? In the end, I don’t think the two things are different. Take Spider-man for instance, his powers would be terrible in a place like L.A., so it would only make sense to put him in a city where there is a bunch of tall buildings. I guess sometime the author has to make the setting or power contrived.

  431. Dforceon 27 Feb 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Brilliant observations. I have noticed the Spiderman and Batman scenarios too, so I’ve wondered what would happen if the powers and settings didn’t quite match.

    B. Mac, I don’t know if you remember the alien girl superhero I’ve mentioned so long ago, but her setting is in the country—with plenty of open spaces—whereas her powers are better suited for high-rise buildings and the like…

    (For the general setting, think The Andy Griffith Show).

  432. B. Macon 28 Feb 2010 at 2:56 am

    Hey, Spiderman wouldn’t be TOTALLY useless in Los Angeles. He’d just need to use the Spidercar. 😉

    Not that I haven’t wished for a Spider car myself, mind you…

  433. B. Macon 28 Feb 2010 at 3:10 am

    Dforce, I checked your comments back for the past year or so and I didn’t find the alien in question. Could you refresh my memory?

  434. B. Macon 28 Feb 2010 at 6:29 am

    Are you trying to turn a profit with this? I’m not too familiar with action-heavy titles, but I don’t think the choreographer would pay for himself on a self-published book. My rule of thumb is that every dollar you spend has to sell at least one book or the investment will run a loss.

    That said, I am fond of Rafael Kayanan’s work. If money were absolutely no object, I might hire him as a fight choreographer for a series that places an extremely high emphasis on realistic combat. But if breaking even or (cross your fingers) turning a profit is the goal, I think fight choreographers take (significant) money that I’d rather spend on getting a better artist or on promotions/advertising.

  435. B. Macon 28 Feb 2010 at 6:59 am

    I think people would be more inclined to work with you if you didn’t call yourself an idiot. Quiet confidence. 😉

    I’m not sure how many professional-grade ~15 year old teammates you’ll find, though. My colorist, Emily, is a 19 year old that strikes me as something of a prodigy and, like me, I think she’s come a long way in the past few years.

    Improvement Meme. Weirdness. by *Foxbane on deviantART

    What I was writing at 18 or 19 was hilariously bad… getting good takes a lot of practice and I still haven’t gotten published. On the plus side, my readers have expressed interest in buying 200 copies of my unpublished comic over the last five weeks. But if I were self-publishing, I figure I’d need to sell two THOUSAND issues to break even. For a 32 page comic, labor alone would cost me $6000, and I’d also need to cover distribution, promotions, marketing, any printing expenditures, etc.

  436. B. Macon 01 Mar 2010 at 8:37 am

    Umm, is his bloodtype relevant to the story? I wrote this article about relevant demographic details with novel/comic book submissions in mind, but I think it could help you deal directly with customers as well.

    If the setting is very high-tech, making him something like a mechanic or robot repairman might work. Those mechanical/electronic/computer skills might help him as a superhero, as well.

    If your publisher employs minors, I would definitely recommend consulting with a legal expert about relevant child labor laws in your country. For example, the Wikipedia page for US child labor laws indicates that most US minors cannot work 3+ hours on a school day. If there’s anything similar going on in your country, I think that your work schedule would get very complicated.

  437. B. Macon 01 Mar 2010 at 9:14 am

    Hmm. To get more people to respond, it would probably help if you responded to other people as well.

    For example, in the past 24 hours…
    Brett asked for advice on superpowers.
    Becca posted a new chapter for review (you can see the first chapter here)
    –Anonymous asked for help with a two-sentence synopsis

  438. Wingson 01 Mar 2010 at 10:30 am

    Surprisingly enough, there are a few superhero-worthy inventions that scientists predict humanity will have in the near future – invisibility devices (Which only work if you don’t move, but hey, if I had something to hide I’d lock it in a safe and put it under the device), suits granting enhanced strength (This one actually exists today), and the ability to regenerate limbs (An interesting fact about this one is the fact that the amputee could theoretically alter his limbs – say, a swimmer growing webbed hands. There was an article online about this somewhere…).

    The above aren’t necessarily the most awesome-looking, but they plausibly could exist in the year 2040. Sorry not to be of more help, I’ll keep digging.

    – Wings

  439. Pon 01 Mar 2010 at 11:36 am

    All of the inventions that Wings mentioned are very much true, but you also must keep in mind that they will most likely not be released to the general public due to their capabilities. (This doesn’t change the fact that law enforcement or some criminal organizations won’t have access to it though.)

    I myself am a comic book fan and I once heard from a particular comic (I can’t quite remember the name.) that the flaw that every weapon has is the one that wields it. By that logic, it’s not the tech of the gadget, it’s how the character uses it. (Batman still kicks ass, even without his Bat-a-rang.) So you could simply make your character more adept at the use of certain tools to give him an advantage or make him seem super.

  440. B. Macon 07 Mar 2010 at 9:34 am

    I like Becky, June and Heather. Some of these other ones strike me as a bit dated.

  441. Holliequon 07 Mar 2010 at 10:01 am

    I also like Becky and June. I think Kyla or Haley could work, too.

  442. Ragged Boyon 07 Mar 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I like June, Ivy, and Heather. I could see these names work a number of ways.

  443. Miss Mynaon 07 Mar 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Be careful to make sure you know what your names mean before you choose them. It may not sound important, but many readers will associate a name with something and stick that to your character regardless if it fits or not.

    Example, both ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Alice’ refer strongly to insanity. o.O

  444. Tomon 07 Mar 2010 at 2:07 pm

    In fact, if you call the character Ophelia people will be wondering why she isn’t mad!


  445. Miss Mynaon 08 Mar 2010 at 7:01 pm

    No, I agree, something like Alice definitely makes me think of a pretty girl. <3 It makes me think of Alice in Wonderland- (I know, I know, but that's the most common connotation for that name)- and the whole 'Go ask Alice' thing. Alice Liddell (is it Liddell?) is a pretty girl. However the name also carries a strong touch of, em, madness. Just be careful with that and you should be fine. 😀

    And stop calling yourself an idiot, 'cause you aren't. 😛

  446. B. Macon 08 Mar 2010 at 9:25 pm

    “And stop calling yourself an idiot, ’cause you aren’t.” Agreed. I think that it’s natural for every writer to have self-doubts from time to time, but it sounds like it’s serious enough for you that it might scare away prospective partners and customers (and publishers, if you head down that route). Quiet confidence! 🙂

    Two things. If you actually think you’re an idiot, I would highly recommend against self-publishing because it could only end in disaster. (In fact, even for savvy businessmen, I think that self-publishing usually hemorrhages money). If you don’t think you’re an idiot, telling other people you’re an idiot cannot possibly help you. Nobody has as much incentive to believe in you as you do.

    Okay, that’s enough pep-talking for one day. Back to crushing dreams and shredding hearts!

  447. Zylen Andelon 13 Apr 2010 at 6:39 am

    I’m writing a story about a group of people and I’m having trouble naming a few of them. As it stands right now they are named Tobias Jameson & Morgan Jameson. They’re siblings and then Tobias’ daugther is named Eliza Jameson. I love the characters, but the name put me off.

    Any suggestions?

  448. miss.marvelon 08 May 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I’m writing a superhero story, and I’m having some trouble coming up with a name for my main character.

    So far, he’s a chemist named Adam Carr. He develops limited alchemy powers after a failed attempt at discovering a new element (clearly, the experiment went awry, but I am still trying to further develop his back-story). Personality-wise (even before the accident), he is arrogant and narcissistic and works solely on his own, no questions asked. He is a truly brilliant man, though his ego tends to eclipse the positive aspects of his person.

    Any other information can be provided later. My main issue is coming up with his superhero name, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  449. Hopefulon 12 Jul 2010 at 2:49 pm

    If I have some superheros who are Russain would it be okay for their names to make sense in Russain

  450. Ragged Boyon 12 Jul 2010 at 7:07 pm

    If the characters were born in Russia and became superheroes in Russia, but later came to America (or wherever your story takes place) I would suspect that would be acceptable.

  451. B. Macon 12 Jul 2010 at 8:05 pm

    “If I have some superheros who are Russian would it be okay for their names to make sense in Russian.” Yeah, I think Russian names would be okay, but I’d recommend going with ones that non-Russians can easily pronounce.

    For example, for first names, maybe something like Aleksey, Boris, Sergei, Pavel, Irina, Vladimir, Leonid, Yuri or Viktor rather than Zhenia, Lenechka, Yuliya or Viacheslav/Yvacheslav. For surnames, maybe something like Abramov, Akimov, Belkin, Chekov, Gagarin, Gogol, Kozlov, Lagunov, Malkin, Sokolov, Volkova or Zhukov rather than Krasovsky, Kryukov or Kulikovsky.

    Also, I don’t know Russian at all, but some of the naming websites I glanced at seemed to suggest that some Russian surnames change based on gender. I’d recommend looking into that if you’re going to be working a lot with Russian names.

  452. Hopefulon 21 Jul 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I mean their superhero name, because to a Russain Superman or Wonder Woman won’t make sense because they are in English.

  453. B. Macon 21 Jul 2010 at 2:39 pm

    “I mean their superhero name, because to a Russain Superman or Wonder Woman won’t make sense because they are in English.”

    I’m not sure I understand. You’re looking for a superhero name that is a Russian word? If so, I’d be at a loss because I don’t actually know any words that would make sense to Russians (besides the names referenced above).

    I tried to use a Russian dictionary and got results like this:
    “alien, strange” –> пришлый.
    freedom –> свобода
    shadow –> тень
    “glory, fame” –> слава

    I have no idea how to turn those into English-pronounceable words. (With Japanese, I could use romaji words that are exotic-but-pronounceable, like Seiji or Maryoku)

    Perhaps you could clarify what you’re looking for.

  454. creationon 01 Aug 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Hello guys, i have been devoloping a story for some time now. I am having problems creating some names for my characters, i have aliases for most of them but can not think of any real names to fit. The mood of the story is fantasy as the main “human” villian’s alias is spectrum and his right hand man is death chain. I need advise on how to create there birth names and not give away there alias name.

  455. Foxon 01 Aug 2010 at 2:47 pm

    “I am having problems creating some names for my characters, i have aliases for most of them but can not think of any real names to fit.”

    Try http://www.behindthename.com/random/ . It’s a darn good random name generator, compared to others, which either produce gibberish or don’t have many customization options.

  456. creationon 02 Aug 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks! it actually helped me a lot.

  457. B. Macon 08 Aug 2010 at 10:51 am

    The right name really depends on the character and the story. Depending on the circumstances, any of those could work.

    I think Ace has a connotation of cockiness and/or elite skills. He might even be The Ace. Tom and Marco strike me as more ordinary, which might be effective depending on what the character is like.

  458. Leighon 31 Aug 2010 at 8:59 am

    What type of name would you suggest for a teen boy with telekinetic powers?
    Or a teen girl who can construct objects out of light energy? I was thinking Kalis or Katar, both are weapons and katar is her prefered weapon of choice or Cobalt since the energy constructs are blue. They’re both Juniors and become friends as they fight crime together.

    This comic is much in the vein of Static Shock and Spiderman but a little more grown up while remaining family friendly. I’m writing it as much for my little brother as myself. Titan AE is at about the same level as my comic.

  459. Leighon 31 Aug 2010 at 9:00 am

    Nathan was originally a girl but once I made him a guy a name change became necessary. Psycat is a bit feminine.

  460. Jonny Bedfordon 05 Sep 2010 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the advice. Some good tips there.

  461. Battlecladon 01 Oct 2010 at 3:20 pm

    As mentioned elsewhere I have a character whose Superhero name is Battleclad and I was considering naming him Jonathan ‘Jon’ Incarna for his civilian identity. Thoughts on if this works well?

  462. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 1:43 pm

    What do you guys think of Aden Blackwolf and Jasmine De La Vega? Aden is 1/2 Am. Indian, 1/2 Chinese. Jasmine is a Spaniard.

  463. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I like Aden blackwolf,but then again I like the surname wolf 🙂

  464. Madaliason 15 Oct 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I was going to say that Jazmin de la Vega would seem more Spanish, but then I did a google search and found someone on Facebook with that exact name.

    Aden seems too British/Gaelic for someone half Chinese and Native American. Very few Native Americans actually have surnames like Blackwolf or White Eagle. It’s more of a fictional convention, so I’m not sure if that would seem cliche: “Oh look, he’s an Indian.”

    I found this site that lists the actual most common names for Native Americans (http://names.mongabay.com/data/indians.html) but I’m afraid you won’t find very many of them evocative.

    If you want to keep the Blackwolf part I’d give him a very ordinary English sounding name like Harry or Allen or Andrew. It would highlight the surname without making the whole name seem fictional.

    I’ve known quite a few Chinese international students who had old fashioned sounding English names. (Harry Chen, Hazel Chang, Mabel Wu, etc.) I always wondered if they had intentionally chosen Anglicized names to use in this country to make things easier. That’s probably off topic though.

  465. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Hmm… Wolfe is #204. I can’t budge on Aden, though.

  466. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 2:58 pm

    ??? Tiger is #244?!?!?!

  467. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I guess his name really depends on setting, I’m sure back in the day idians (native americans) had more spiritual names. Though i think now and days they have plain names

  468. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 3:02 pm

    LOL! Whiteeagle is on the list right next to Floyd!

  469. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Well im not all that familiar with native american culture but i have an idian friend named john and his brother chris lol I don’t know if their last name is whiteeagle or anything like that lol

  470. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t think the name Blackwolf would be cliche, Aden doesn’t have a lot of ties to the reservation. He was raised by his mother (who was Chinese), and never met his father outside of a prison visiting room.

  471. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 5:34 pm

    If the setting is now adays his name works its not something i’d hear and be shocked to find he’d native american.But whats the plot/setting like? Hey also im wondering how to do a mature teen superhero group kinda like x-men / teen titans but more mature(aiming for readers 18+)im wondering how to do it without much background on each individual member (but the team consists of 4 to 5 members)i’ve finished the dossier on the team leader he’s a telepathic/telekinetic and about 19 years old

  472. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Wait nevermind on the team it was hard enough trying to perfect and balance this character.I’ll practice writting him in a few x-men fan fics

  473. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 7:15 pm

    That’s how I got started with mine! ; )

  474. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 7:18 pm

    The plot’s not very well defined right now, The setting is modern, but with a kind of X-Men/Underworld tone.

  475. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Thats an interesting blend im a fan of the darker themes.Hey whats a good costume design like i want the characters identity to be secret so im not sure on to give him armor,akin to dr dooms without the helmet but a long cloak to hide his face,or a costume like magneto’s Any ideas?

  476. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Im leaning more towards armor i mean with a superhero name like harbinger i picture him armored with a dark cloak and low hood.

  477. Rachel Mon 16 Oct 2010 at 4:55 am

    Armor and cloak sound good, but I would give him a mask for “$#!* happens”. Wind, movement in battle, ect. could move the hood around.

  478. Rachel Mon 16 Oct 2010 at 5:00 am

    What does your guy look like?

  479. Rachel Mon 16 Oct 2010 at 4:51 pm

    And what color scheme are you thinking?

  480. "James Carter"on 23 Oct 2010 at 8:34 pm

    What about these for names?

    A superhero with vibration powers and super-speed, running up walls, on water (so long as he doesn’t stop), and if he concentrates he can vibrate his own molecules, he can go through solid objects: named Shockwave.

    A guy who gets stronger every time his hit: X-Zorb

    A double hidden identity: a magician girl who is an excellent martial artist abilities focused on reflecting physical and energy attacks, has mental powers to avoid detection (but cameras still can spot them so long as she doesn’t know that she’s being observed.) Name: Mirror

    What do you think?

  481. B. Macon 24 Oct 2010 at 12:06 am

    I like Shockwave and Mirror’s okay (although possibly a bit bland–I suspect you could do something more unique based on the magician or kung fu theme more so than the damage absorption) . X-Zorb is very, umm, unusual. I think it would really depend on the mood/tone of the story and the character.

  482. "James Carter"on 24 Oct 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Believe it or not, X-Zorb is *actually* the brand name of an liquid absorbent used in a grocery store (it was rare I had to use it tho, but for real messes it was a Godsend) but as far as the “style” goes, it’d be serious.

    Setting 2000 though with some, or maybe present day and an “end of the world” scenario with the main villains being the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    White horse: conquest. Interestingly enough you notice that only a bow, *not* a quiver of arrows is mentioned, which means the threat of force, but the ability to back that threat up.

    Red Horse: war. World War III. Maybe the President of the United States or different factions in the NWO/ UN want war to advance their own political agenda. Maybe some sinister force behind the scenes is the puppet master to all the things happening.

    Black Horse: Famine. War destroys crops, other areas of the world, land which people counted on to grow crops become unstable, unusable. Prices increase to the point where the everyday person can’t afford anything. Famine increases. Finally, massive numbers of people start dying. Dead start littering the streets, creating disease. Pretty soon death is the epidemic, adding insult to the injury of conquest, war, and starvation.

    Pale Horse: Death.

    All of these things could be through other means other than brute force tho too. If enough companies get bought out, pretty soon there are only a few companies to go to to sell your services to. Companies (who pay taxes and lobby) could direct the course of entire countries. Directing cyber attacks to other companies to weaken them, they could be virtual warfare. Viruses could destroy information and thus creating a famine of information, and if enough of your information is controlled by outside sources, they could declare you dead.

  483. Castilleon 03 Nov 2010 at 9:30 pm

    My superhero normally uses his own name, until late in the fiction where he has a costume. There he’s called…


    Good name or not?

  484. B. Macon 04 Nov 2010 at 5:57 am

    I like it, but I’d recommend capitalizing it as Nightburst.

  485. JammyJon 12 Dec 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hey have been thing of names for a suuperhero that can control gravity and i was thinking of somthing simple then i thought Zero the Hero i really like it i just wanted another opinion thanks 🙂

  486. B. Macon 12 Dec 2010 at 4:10 pm

    What would you think about shortening it to just Zero? (He wouldn’t be the first hero named Zero, but I think the others are minor enough that it wouldn’t present an obstacle to getting published).

  487. JammyJon 12 Dec 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Yeah thats cool I ment it to be like that and I was going leave it as Zero the Hero for the title of the comic 🙂

  488. Adriannaon 19 Feb 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Heya, I could really use some help with a character of mine, if that’s alright… Her name is Katrina “Katie” Bristowe, and she’s a mutant (I mainly use her for X-Men roleplays) with the ability to bring inanimate objects to life. Here are some facts and ideas about this power (Note: You needn’t read this for me to get to the actual point of this post, just scroll to the bottom):

    -It works best with things in the shapes of humans or animals, such as figurines, statues, and one thing she always keeps on her person is a chipmunk-shaped ring her mother gave her, that she’s named Chester.

    -The way her ability works is that she can transfer a very small part of her soul into the object she’s chosen by touching it (if it helps, it’s not a thing like Rogue where it happens to ANYTHING she touches – it’s usually something she means to do, unless it’s an accident), and the bit of her soul goes into the object, bringing it to life.

    -If it’s a statue of something, it can’t make any “talking” sounds like real animals do, and they’re still composed of the same materials that they started out with. For instance, if she brought Chester to life, he’d still be made of silver and costume jewels, but he’d be able to move around and follow any requests she may give him provided that they’re not too hard or complicated.

    -She puts just enough of her life into the “creatures” to give them common sense and the ability to semi-think for themselves, but she still keeps conplete control over them (but it’s her habit to just ask the creatures to do whatever is needed nicely, unless it’s an emergency).

    -When she no longer has need of the “creatures”, she’ll call them back to her and take back the bit of life she gave them, returning them to their original forms. However, if it’s an object that she brings to life often (such as Chester), they begin to form a sort of connection to her, and in their short terms of life come to develop a personality. As an example of this, Chester has a curious, but slightly nervous disposition, and he has, in time, come to think of Katie as his “mother”. Probably because she’s so mind-bogglingly lovey towards him, the spoiled little silver pellet…

    -However, the longer she keeps a creature alive, the longer her soul is still split into pieces. This can drain her of energy quickly, and the more creatures she’s controlling, the more tired she’s going to become.

    -If she were to use this ability to bring a person or animal on or just barely beyond the brink of death back, it would wipe her so completely of energy that she would fall into a deep sleep-like coma and stay wiped out for weeks at a time. This is because since it’s a living creature she’s trying to bring back, she can’t take that bit of soul back for a long time (until the person/crreature is strong enough to support it’s life on it’s own, at least), she’s grown weak from giving so much of her life force away, and the process of recovering from that is very slow and draining.

    Anyways, sorry to make this into a huge description of her powers… the point of me writing this post is that I can NOT think of a codename to give her! I thought that Psyche might work alright, but I think that that’s already taken, and for a mutant with a power like this it’s difficult to think of something… I was also considering Reboot, but that sounds a little too technology-implied for me…

  489. Milanon 20 Feb 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Adiranna,

    Your power description is fascinating, and adds a lot to your inquiry. Without the element of soul, and the familiarity of the animations to her, something like “Reanimator” might come up.

    My first thought was “Sibling”, since she’s related to her creations. Or “Kith”, of “kith and kin”, implying she has kin – but until the book becomes famous you might be teaching your audience a new word. I suspect there’s a Manikin/Mannequin hero out there already. As pieces of her personality, psychology words come to mind, but I couldn’t think of anything that doesn’t sound like a horror movie. And your description of powers sounds far from horrific. It reminded me a bit of Ghost Whisperer, a hero with a name that almost never gets used.

  490. Marquison 25 Feb 2011 at 8:30 am

    Ok about the post I made on the Origin Stories thread I need some names ( regular names not superhero names)

    For a boy that controls Water His superhero name is Hydro. ( Is that ok?) But I need his normal name.

    And then I need both a superhero name and a normal name for a girl that has psychic abilites.

    Anyone have some cool names please post them for me. Thanks again.

  491. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 28 Feb 2011 at 7:07 am

    I have an Oklahoman superhero (the only superhero in his city, actually) that I was considering calling Jock Tacey as his secret ID. However, I’m having trouble coming up with an alias for him. Any suggestions?

    His powers are superstrength (including near-invulnerability and superhuman leaping), and superhuman senses (night vision, thermal vision, limited telescopic and microscopic vision, enhanced sense hearing, enhanced sense of smell, etc.)

    Anyway, suggestions or comments about his name or powers would be helpful.

  492. B. Macon 28 Feb 2011 at 7:33 am

    Hello, Spazzotron. What is the character’s alternate identity like? What’s his personality like?

  493. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 28 Feb 2011 at 11:28 am

    Jock’s a bit of a hick, but smarter than he acts. However, in combat, he tends to eschew strategy of any kind other than face-punching, which generally results in him getting beaten to within an inch of his life.

    He’s a little sarcastic, but generally friendly and easy-going. He prefers to do his crimefighting in his civilian clothes, and doesn’t really have a ‘secret identity’, although he does have a codename/nickname. He’s muscular, but not super-buff like Superman or the Hulk, and he’s a little on the short side.

    Also, he’s the only current superhero in his family, even though almost every member of his immediate and extended family is superhuman. He works as a farmhand when he’s not saving the city/world. He’s approx. seventeen, but he dropped out of high school.

    Need more?

  494. B. Macon 28 Feb 2011 at 9:08 pm

    “[He’s] a bit of a hick, but smarter than he acts… which generally results in him getting beaten to within an inch of his life. He doesn’t really have a ‘secret identity’, although he does have a codename/nickname. He’s… not super-buff like Superman or the Hulk, and he’s a little on the short side.” That sounds so much like me it’s sort of scary. 😉

    I find it interesting that he’s the only superhero in the area even though some other people have superpowers. Why distinguishes him from his superpowered family members that leads him to become a superhero but not them? (Some possibilities: Perhaps it’s because he’s a bit more brash and he discounts the risks, or because his powers fit into combat better than theirs do, or because he has more free time/fewer attachments than they do, or maybe something else entirely).

    Okay, I’d like to preface this by saying that coming up with names that fit somebody else’s style is always hard (particularly since I forgot to ask you about your style and the mood of the book), but here are some possible suggestions that come to mind.
    –Maybe a name that sounds really physical and short. I get the impression that he’s not incredibly interested in creating an elaborate persona for his superpowered identity (he doesn’t even have a costume), so I think it’d make sense if he picked something basic and more conversational than something like The [Adjective] [Noun]. For example,some possibilities that come to mind include Slug, Crash, Clatter, Switch (in farm country, “switch” can mean “to beat” or punish), etc.
    –You change Jock from his “secret” name to his alias. (It sounds a bit more like a name that someone would give to himself than a given name, unless his parents were a bit eccentric).
    –It’s a bit distinctive that the character is an Oklahoman. You might have the character take on a name tied to something in the area or the city in question.

  495. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 01 Mar 2011 at 11:34 am

    He actually took over the hero thing from his great-grandfather, who’s nearly one hundred years old (and still curmudgeonishly kicking). The rest of his family are more concerned with their average lives than with the fact that some of them can run at supersonic speeds or shoot lasers from their retinas.

    For example, his father – a speedster – runs the family ranch. His mother – a telepath – is a librarian. Almost all of his older siblings, superhumans all, have migrated to larger cities in other states. His younger sister (the youngest of the family) can walk through walls, but is trying to get through high school, unlike her brother.

    He is more brash and hotheaded than his family, without question (except for maybe his grandfather), but he actually does enjoy helping people.

    I wanted the mood of the story (which is probably going to be a long short-story) to be slightly sarcastic and satirical, while still having a moral and still having some… I dunno what the word is… maybe drama, I guess.

    What about the nickname Scrapper? I used that for a melee character in a video game, and I kinda liked it.

    “It’s a bit distinctive that the character is an Oklahoman. You might have the character take on a name tied to something in the area or the city in question.”
    What about Twister

  496. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 01 Mar 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Dangit, just realized that my last question didn’t have a question mark. I hate my stupid rassafrackin’ keyboard.

    Anyway, I was lookin’ around, and I came across a couple of names I thought might work.

    First, there’s Okie. Seeing as that’s what Oklahomans call each other all the time, I figured that’d be pretty awesome. (Also, I am an Okie, born and raised.) Second, there’s Tex. It does refer to Texans, but I’ve heard it used quite a bit in my old hometown. Then there’s Twister. It’s extremely cliche and stereotypical, I would assume, but I figured I’d suggest it anyway.

    There’s also Ozark, after the Ozark mountains; or Panhandle; or Ponderosa; or Farmhand (reflecting his civilian career).

    I’d have to say my favorite possible name, though, would be Tulsa. I hate the actual city, but I think it’s got an awesome name.

  497. B. Macon 01 Mar 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Of those, I like Ponderosa, Tulsa, Ozark and Okie the best. I had thought that Okie was a derogatory term, but I’ll definitely defer to your Oklahomanness on that one. 😉

    PS: I agree with you about Tulsa. Its skyline is so depressingly boring. It’s like a smaller version of Los Angeles, which itself has a forgettable skyline. (My favorite U.S. skylines are Chicago*, Seattle, DC, NYC and (!) Detroit).

    *Yeahhhhh Chicago! (I use the Chicago skyline in the SN header).

  498. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 01 Mar 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Technically, Okie was a derogatory term, but it was crafted by those that hate Okies’ awesomeness xD
    Me and my family are all proud Okies (although now we’ve migrated to Tennessee, so I dunno what we’d be called now – either way, Oklahoma for the win!).

    I’m thinking my main character’s name will be Tulsa Tacey, AKA Tulsa, AKA Jock, AKA Hick Hero (as in, “Hick Hero Saves Hundreds!).

    As for the more usual capes-and-tights superheroes, what do you think about names like Savior-Prime (along the lines of Superman, without the superspeed or laser vision – personally, I think having superspeed and flight is retardedly redundant) or Cannonball (a speedster)?
    There’s also Miss Krystal (an energy manipulating teen hero/teen superstar); Silver Cyborg (a cyborg… that’s silver); Goliath (a size-changer); Morpheus (an illusion/dream-caster); Hydronin (a water-manipulating samurai); and Dracos (a half-dragon guy with dragon wings and pyrokinesis). Thoughts?
    (Side note: these people are supporting characters – I only have like, three main characters.)

  499. B. Macon 01 Mar 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I’m liking Savior-Prime, Goliath, Morpheus (nice mythology reference there), Dracos and I’m almost going for the delightfully tacky Hydronin (hydro + ronin). Cannonball and Miss Krystal are a bit forgettable but I don’t think it’d be a major issue if they’re side-characters.

    I think “Silver Cyborg” could be more interesting. First, there’s already a reasonably prominent superhero named Cyborg. Second, “Silver” doesn’t strike me as a very interesting modifier for “Cyborg.” (One possible alternative would be using cyber as a prefix and then tacking on another word or syllable, like Cyberstorm or Cyberion or Cyberic or whatever).

  500. B. Macon 01 Mar 2011 at 9:48 pm

    “Technically, Okie was a derogatory term, but it was crafted by those that hate Okies’ awesomeness.” Like Steinbeck. He hated on Oklahoma so much he wrote a book about it.

  501. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 02 Mar 2011 at 8:14 am

    I added Silver Cyborg because, in my humble opinion, every team needs a robot or a cyborg. To be honest, though, I didn’t like him all that much myself. Maybe a powersuited hero instead…

    Btw, on the note of story titles, what do you think of “Hick Hero Saves Hundreds!” as a title? I’ve had a little trouble coming up with them so far.

    “Like Steinbeck. He hated on Oklahoma so much he wrote a book about it.” I never read the Grapes of Wrath, but I’ve heard that Steinbeck was blaming Oklahomans the way Nazis blamed the Jews. (Exaggeration.)

  502. B. Macon 02 Mar 2011 at 11:04 am

    I think “Hick Hero Saves Hundreds” is okay. I think it starts off pretty strong but I’m not quite feeling the ending “Saves Hundreds.” It may grow on me.

    I’m okay with the idea of a tech-themed hero (whether a cyborg, robot, powersuit wearer or whatever), but I think that the name could be sharper. For example, in an [Adjective] [Noun] name, I think the adjective should usually be more distinct than just a color, unless the name somehow creates a really interesting visual. (For example, for a speedy melee-based character, I think “Silver Storm” would be interesting).

  503. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 02 Mar 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Do you think ‘Hick Hero’ would be fine on it’s own, or should I adapt it into something like ‘Tulsa Tacey, Hick Hero’?

    For a power-armor hero, what about Battalion? Or Exo-1? Or, if I want something corny, Gladiatron?

  504. B. Macon 02 Mar 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I like Battalion and Exo-1. Probably Battalion a bit more because I think it’d feel more natural in conversation.

    As for the title, I like Tulsa Tacey, Hick Hero better than just Hick Hero. I’m not generally a fan of names in titles, but I think that one stands out enough to be interesting.

  505. Spazzotron the Conqueroron 02 Mar 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the help!

  506. Destroyeron 03 Mar 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Coming up with a story trying to make a name for a villian that controls gravity, any ideas?

  507. dominique rosarioon 07 Mar 2011 at 9:57 am

    still thinkinq of wat too put as ma charcter name’sz uqhhh really stressinq bc iqot a paper2write nd be turnd in be4sprinq break…. so much to do in so little timeeeeee 🙁

  508. B. Macon 07 Mar 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I don’t think I know enough about the characters to suggest any names yet. What are their personalities like? Distinguishing traits? Anything else interesting about them?

    If this is for a school paper, I wouldn’t recommend worrying too much about the names. It’s not like an awesome name will mean the difference between getting an A and a B or a B and a C.* (I think your time would be much better spent proofreading–the teacher actually will mark down for that).

    *For a school paper, I think an [Adjective] [Noun] name is usually sufficient. I don’t think [Adjective] [Noun] names often reach professional standards of style or creativity, but it’s not like teachers hold student papers to professional standards.

  509. A. C. Spudnickon 12 Mar 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’m doing a story about a blind superhero, while trying my hardest not to make a daredevil cliche. He’s going to have some sort of camoflage/transparency/invisibility power along with mind control-like abilities and a shield “aura”. My character, (Brian Whitley?), is also a genius by way of hardwork and determination.

    For the origin story I was thinking maybe during a break in at a chemical… lab place where “Bryan” worked, chemicals or stange liquids somehow ended up on the future superhero’s face, permanently blinding him while later causing him to develop superpowers.

    For his official cover name I’m trying to mainly play on the lack of vision and the invisibility power. I was thinking maybe something like “unseen”, but I definitly want to mostly go with the whole blind factor. Sight keeps reappearing in my mind but I dont know what to do with the word… Any advice???

  510. B. Macon 13 Mar 2011 at 3:56 am

    Hmm… I like the idea of the invisibility because it plays on the idea that it makes other people unable to see (him). It reminds me (in a good way) of a character that could control smoke.

    For the origin story, it may help if the character is doing something interesting that somehow leads into his accident. For example, if there’s a break-in at his lab, maybe it’s because he’s involved in something interesting to criminals rather than just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (In a story I’m working on, the manager of a chemical development project gets involved with a shady financial backer after burning through the reputable alternatives). Ideally, he gets a chance to show off a distinctive trait in the origin story.

  511. A. C. Spudnickon 13 Mar 2011 at 11:24 am

    I’ve decided to throw out some of his powers and instead give him a regeneration power that doesn’t kick in for 12 hours or something along those lines. (Still planning to destroy Matt Murdock in on of my free-write stories. Sonar and other supersenses are out of the picture until then.) Hopefully having only 2 powers will limit his abilities and make action scenes more interesting.

    Still stuck on the origin story, but at least now I have somewhere to go from this stupid, metaphorical ditch I’m stuck in. I think I’m going to have his father murdered by “criminals”, when in actuality, it was staged by someone, perhaps his stepfather… I’m planning on this being his motive for crime-fighting.

    I’ve also had some trouble with him having a secret identity. Blind narrows down the number of civilians by quite a lot… I hope, however, that I can solve this problem with having it unknown by the general public that the superhero is blind. An alternative, or just a factor helping his disguise, could also be that he’s in a ridiculously large city.

    Thank you for the guidance!

  512. Dominatoron 16 Mar 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’m having trouble naming my main character. He has a problem with his heart and creates mechanical blood cells to produce out, they enhance his muscles and make them work ten times faster than in a normal body. He also has metal/robotic gloves and boots for harder hits and higher jumps. He was in the army but his platoon died and he was sent back home, not to smart but his brother helped him make the cells, gloves, and boots. His name is Jake Johnson, not sure if thats good, also I can’t think of a super hero name.

  513. Wingson 16 Mar 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Hmm…sounds a bit cyborgish.





    There are probably a lot more, which of course I’m going to remember right after I post this comment. Anything else about them that might be helpful?

    – Wings

  514. Dominatoron 16 Mar 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Hmmm…. Well for starters he has a twin (his brother) both 17 and a half. He took karate when younger. He only gets stronger when he is doing active things, so more cells pump out. Oh and the story is based present day.

  515. Nicholas Caseon 16 Mar 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Unfortunately, Wings, I find those names rather strange for the character. If his brother has a typical name, why would would he have a name like Mechanik?

  516. Wingson 16 Mar 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Since the hero has relatively tech-based powers, I started looking through various “mechanical” names.

    None of them are all that great…

    – Wings

  517. The Jedi Penguinon 16 Mar 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Hmmm looking for a bit of help…

    I have a character who I have fairly well fleshed out, to the point of having a theme song, but he needs a name. I was going to use John (his theme happens to be “Dear John” by Taylor Swift, please don’t judge…) but I already have a Jon… does anyone know any variations of the name John or Johnathan I could use?

  518. X. Weson 31 Mar 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Been struggling with an original name for a character…

    A man made into a Superhero through a scientific accident. He is able to manipulate energy (electricity and radiation, especially). But, he operates on a bizarre morality that doesn’t exactly make him popular with city officials.

    He has a rigid code of ethics and views on morality, and believes that as a “super”, he MUST operate above the law, since laws are bent to the will of those who created them. He fights what he views as crime and “evil”, but believes that even good laws can be bent if those who use them are corrupt, and that even good men (and women) can make terrible decisions and should not be followed blindly.

    As a result, though one day he may fight for and with the City Officials, the next day he may not, leading to the average citizen viewing him alternatively as a menace and a hero. He’s a loner, and somewhat depressed at times, thinking that no one does, or could possibly ever, understand his view of the world.

    In appearance he’s a well-built male of average height. He doesn’t wear a costume as he thinks any colorful or even practical outfit reflects some view. He wears only a minimal amount of clothing (think Dr. Manhattan in his black speedo : P ) as a sort of symbolic view of “Naked Justice”.

    I like his story and I’m working on fleshing it out, especially his origins, but an original name is always my downfall with these things.

  519. B. Macon 31 Mar 2011 at 4:38 pm

    “…believes that even good laws can be bent if those who use them are corrupt, and that even good men (and women) can make terrible decisions and should not be followed blindly.” Hmm, what would you think about something like Renegade? I think that conveys the disobedience/independence and loneliness.

  520. X. Weson 02 Apr 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Renegade would fit, but honestly I feel like its just far too” common” a name..

  521. B. Macon 02 Apr 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Okay… Another possibility would be going with the justice symbolism. For example, if he sees himself as a judge willing to make decisions on his own (rather than just listening to, say, the police), maybe he’d go with something like Archon or Arbiter or Horus (or another mythological figure associated with judgment).

  522. Ragged Boyon 02 Apr 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Is anyone named Judgement? Since he’s sort of an intellectal purist(?) maybe Pure One, Sol (Spanish for Sun), or The Light? Maybe Paragon or Paradigm? The Balance? The Scale? Sol the Guide? Sol the Balancing Light of Purity? Okay, I’ll stop now. 😉

  523. ekimmakon 04 Apr 2011 at 5:01 am

    I remember when I put Stagecast up for examination on the interesting villains page, I was told that his sidekick, Miss Direction, should go for another name unless I want a retro feel. Well, what would be a better name to use?

  524. B. Macon 04 Apr 2011 at 10:09 am

    Could you give a bit of background on the character? (For example, I thought X. Wes did a good job of covering the personality, goals and style of his character here).

  525. ekimmakon 04 Apr 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Well, let’s see. She’s the main fighter for Stagecast. Whenever he can’t rely on his stage illusions to protect him, he’ll use her to beat up any opposition. While she’s not working, she’ll be reading the latest fashion magazine with headphones blaring out at full volume.

    In a fight, while not as reliant on tricks as her boss, she’s just as confusing, able to strike back at someone almost immediately after taking a hit, seemingly impossible to take down.

    Spoiler: This is because “she” is actually “they”. Twins. Perfect for setting up a finishing blow against someone who thinks they’ve won.

  526. Anonymouson 17 Apr 2011 at 8:34 am

    Hello, I’m making characters for a comic I’m planning and I’m having trouble giving them codenames. Here are my characters:

    Alex- Superspeed
    Sam (Resonance)-Sound Manipulation
    Claire (Cobalt or Azure)-Telekinesis and Telepathy (Her mental powers are shown in a blue aura)
    Kevin- Super Strength
    Elle (Blaze)-Pyrokinesis
    Riley-Electric Manipulation

    It’s hard to come up with original names with so many comic books characters. Any ideas on names?

  527. Klutzon 18 Apr 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Sorry, I forgot to leave my name in my above post.

  528. B. Macon 18 Apr 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I’m not really good coming up with names for other people. (It’s such a matter of personal preference and style). You can use temporary placeholders (even something really uninspired like [Adjective] Man/Woman/Other Noun until something more fitting comes to mind.

  529. steton 19 Apr 2011 at 10:32 am

    Are they all in a single group? You could give them thematic codenames instead of power-based ones. Oak, Hawthorn, Buckeye, Cypress. Or each named after a different weapon from ancient gladiatorial games in Rome, or something.

  530. Crystalon 19 Apr 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Coming up with superhero names is always the hardest part of creating a superhero. I’ll see if I can help at all.
    Just a quick note: The names don’t always have to match the superpowers. For example, Claire is either Cobalt or Azure, and I don’t think that these have anything to do with her powers. This is a good way to come up with names.

    Alex- Maybe Comet Runner if he’s really fast? I also like Wind Runner. Or just Wind.
    Superspeed is really hard to come up with names for.

    Kevin- Well, if he’s really strong, you could call him the Crusher. Other ideas include Smashing Hand or the Basher.
    (I used a name generator for those last two. Always guaranteed to have slightly corny results.)

    Riley- Volt might work. Also Zap, or Dark Lightning.

    I hope that these helped

  531. Phishy042on 27 Apr 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Ok, so don’t give effeminate names to men…

    My main protagonist is a henchman for a super-villain, and i named him Dana.

    I stole the name from my bestfriend, Dana (male), as i have been with him on many occasions when he got questioned for using a bank card with a “girls” name on it. I would always give him hell for it.

    I wanted to use this on my protagonist as another tool in his character development, making it a reoccurring theme/joke throughout the coarse of the novel.


  532. ElJaleoon 07 May 2011 at 6:30 pm

    So, it looks like this is kinda (well, really) old. But anyway…

    I was thinking of naming this one guy Hunter. But I hated that name before I even read B. Mac’s advice to NOT name them that.

    Anyhow, I checked this article, and took the \character tests\ on here, but I’m still stuck.

    Again, I hate the name Hunter, but I need something that fits his personality: calm, calculating, an overall intellectual.

    Any ideas? I was thinking of an \A\ name, like Andrew or Adam, or something.

  533. rushon 11 May 2011 at 5:14 pm

    is it okay for a charater to switch between isabella and bella

  534. Mynaon 11 May 2011 at 6:00 pm

    @ElJaleo: Perhaps Alex? It has a bit of a cold feel to it and you could make it very formal sounding (Alexander, Alexandre) or very badass sounding (Xander.)

    @rush: I don’t see why not, Bella’s a very common nickname for Isabella after all. (Although what with the Twilight phenomenon, you might want to stray from that name in the first place, so you don’t get associated with Twilight regardless of whether or not you like the book–Arabella is quite beautiful and has the same nickname. ^.^)

  535. ElJaleoon 16 May 2011 at 9:10 am

    It’s okay. It would be very memorable but its a little…well,
    I like the name Amos or Aaron, but I’ve never heard of someone named “Exodus” (it literally translates to mean “the departure”)

    Aaron Moses would be better. (But not Amos Moses. You know the song: his pa used him fer alligator bait…)

    As for matching it with Olympus…so he’s got a hebrew name, but now he’s a greek superhero???

    Maybe his superhero identity should better match with the hebrew theme. (Sinai?)

  536. ElJaleoon 16 May 2011 at 10:01 am

    How about his superhero name being Exodus? That’s cool. (Of course, \cool\ is a relative term. ;))

  537. Mynaon 16 May 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I second that, Exodus is a very unusual superhero name but it stands out to me very good. 🙂

  538. ElJaleoon 24 May 2011 at 1:22 pm

    What do you mean? I don’t think there’s another guy out there named Exodus, it’s very memorable. I think you should go with it for now.

  539. Klutzon 24 May 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Here are names I was considering:
    Alex: Paragon, Swift, Turbo, Vector or Velocity
    Colby: Fracture, Impact or Vector
    Sam: Audio, Decibel, Echo, or Resonance
    Elle: Ember or Blaze
    Riley: Livewire, Megawatt, Sparks or Volt

  540. Mynaon 25 May 2011 at 11:59 am

    @Klutz: I don’t know the characters very well, but from sound alone, my favorites are–

    For Alex, I LOVE the sound of Vector. I dunno why, but that sounds coolest to me, Paragon and Swift are also good options. Turbo and Velocity are a bit obvious on his powers. (Superheroes with very obvious names tend to be more comical than not. Vector sounds totally badass. xP)

    For Sam, I like the name of Echo, but with a name like that there’s a good chance someone might’ve already taken it, so check the internet first to make sure no real famous superheroes are named Echo ‘fore you use it.

    For Riley, my favorites are Livewire and Volt. ^.^

    And to quote Stet: “Are they all in a single group? You could give them thematic codenames instead of power-based ones. Oak, Hawthorn, Buckeye, Cypress. Or each named after a different weapon from ancient gladiatorial games in Rome, or something.” This idea is unusual and it would make your heroes stand out a lot more, I really love it. :3

  541. Klutzon 25 May 2011 at 12:27 pm

    @Myna: Echo is used by a Marvel comics character, but the character has unrelated powers.

  542. Roseyon 05 Jun 2011 at 4:17 am

    Hi, wow, first timer here, and I’ve been reading all your advice, and decided to put my own character idea forward.

    His superhero name is Astral, and his secret identity is Drake Florence. His gained his abilities after being struck by lightning, which sent him through an “Astral” experience, which means he went outside his body while trapped in a coma for three weeks. After awakening, he gained the ability to create a seperate, far more spectural body, and transfer his conciousness into it. His older body would appear to be dead even though the new one is both visible and tangible for the most part, and while in this new form, he possess the abilities of flight, teleportation, and being able to walk through walls. As a result, he sometimes leaves his real body lying around, seemingly dead, and has to keep hiding it from people so that they won’t call an ambulance. He is mostly invulnerable while in the astral state, but his real body can be damaged, which is his major weakness.

    Sorry if that was a little bit long, but I’d love your feedback!

  543. Roseyon 05 Jun 2011 at 4:24 am

    Opps, sorry, forgot to mention: he can only teleport to places that he’s lready been to or knows very well, such as the iconic image of Mount Rushmore, or whatever. He can travel at around five hundred kilometres per day before the spectural form dies and he’s forced back into his own body. 🙂

  544. B. Macon 05 Jun 2011 at 11:52 am

    I like the limitation that he has to hide his (now unconscious, seemingly dead) body.

    How versatile will this superpower be? If he’s a solo superhero, I think it might be an issue whether he could get himself through a variety of situations. (If he’s on a team, I think that’d probably be less of an issue–superheroes on a team can be more specialized for particular situations).

    Also, what’s his personality like?

  545. Roseyon 05 Jun 2011 at 11:38 pm

    His superpower is fairly limited until he has complete control over himself: he is only able to teleport small distances, when walking through walls he can sometimes get stuck, his flight might suddenly give out, etc. He has yet to join a team, but I’ve come up with one already, so he’ll probably just join them instead. He usually teleports his body away from the scene and into the back of his closet, but yeah, it is a constant issue, as he has yet to learn his abilities in his usual form.

    Generally, he’s anti social, as he lost someone close to him when he gained his abilities, and has next to no self confidence in terms of anything he does. His family has been broken up because of a divorce, and he hasn’t really got anyone to talk to. I would consider him to be more of an anti hero than anything else, really.

    And just because I’m really paranoid, (c) Astral to me.

  546. Sylaron 10 Jun 2011 at 8:35 am

    Now that I think about it, the letters S and L do sound sexy and sensual. So if someone heard the name Sylar, they’d think he was some sexy sweetheart rather than a psychotic serial killer.

  547. B. Macon 10 Jun 2011 at 10:07 am

    Yeah, I think Sylar seemed very normal. His name wasn’t distinctly villainous and he didn’t look very villainous, either.

  548. FotV/Annaon 10 Jun 2011 at 10:35 am

    Is he actually anti-social?
    1.failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
    2.deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
    3.impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
    4.irritability and aggression, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
    5.reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
    6.consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
    7.lack of remorse, as indicated by indifference to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

    or is he avoidant (avoids social situations, relationships etc.) or asocial ( inability to ’empathise’, to feel intimacy with, or to form close relationships with others ). Sorry used to be a psych major. The Antisocial Myth drives me crazy.

    Also I would recomend against Astral. It doesn’t seem particularly interesting and wouldn’t make sense as I doubt he would advertise to everyone that his actual, vulnerable body is hidden somewhere and he only has powers in his Astral form. They will likely never know that it was his Astral form. How about Phantasm? Evocative of his ghost like powers and doesn’t give away if you want to kill him you have to find his unprotected, though hidden body.

    Story sounds cool though.

  549. Roseyon 12 Jun 2011 at 2:13 am

    Thanks for the advice! Really helped me better define his character. Yeah, he’s far more around the 1 or 3 areas, I think. He also has very little restraint. Generally, he doesn’t work well on a team, because he can just rush into the heat of everything without asking.

  550. The magnificent Aquahorneton 12 Jun 2011 at 3:20 am

    how dare you take the name Huitzilopochtli in vain! >:-( foolish mortal!

  551. B. Macon 12 Jun 2011 at 4:23 am


  552. Wolburgeon 13 Jun 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks for this but I’m still stuck. I write fan fiction stories and witted now I’m working on a x-men one. It’s set in the future after Xavier dies. Before he dies though he adopted a mutant that had telepathic and telekenetic powers. He names his son Byran Xavier. I’ve got a super hero name for almost everyone else but I still can’t grasp a good name for him. Hes an outgoing character, he sort of reminds me of cyclops because he tries to master his abilities himself but also teaches others how to master theirs. Does anybody have any good names for my guy?

  553. FotV/Annaon 13 Jun 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Scion. It means decendent.

  554. Wolburgeon 13 Jun 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Sounds cool, definetly better than the ones I’ve been thinkning of, I want to find a few others to compare it to, but definetly going into the process. Thx!

  555. Malcolmon 14 Jun 2011 at 6:47 pm

    For my superhero I thought of the name Light Star or Starlight. I’m having a problem choosing between the two. But for his birth name I was thinking Louis Miles, i’m trying to think of something that roles off the tongue.

  556. The Jedi Penguinon 15 Jun 2011 at 10:19 pm

    “For my superhero I thought of the name Light Star or Starlight. I’m having a problem choosing between the two. But for his birth name I was thinking Louis Miles, i’m trying to think of something that roles off the tongue.”

    Hmm, what is he like, personality wise? A character’s personality can have a lot to do with how you name him. I personally like it when a name alludes to a character’s nature without being overt.
    Also, what sort of powers does he have? To me, Light Star and Starlight seem kinda generic and uninteresting. However, I am not as knowledgeable in superheroes as many here.

    And a personal question, does anyone know a feminine name that would be plausible for a male to have? I’m searching for a violent, self-loathing anti-hero of mine, who goes by Dom (short for Dominic)

  557. Wingson 15 Jun 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Alexis comes to mind, as does Riley. Shay is apparently male.

    – Wimgs

  558. The Jedi Penguinon 15 Jun 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Shay bring the Uglies series to mind for me, much too close for comfort.

    Dominic Riley, that works rather well I think.

  559. B. Macon 16 Jun 2011 at 3:05 am

    “Does anyone know a feminine name that would be plausible for a male to have?” I met a veteran infantryman named Courtney.

  560. Grenacon 05 Jul 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I have a character named Cirocco, yet she hates her name and she shortens it to Coco, the only people who call her by her full name are her parents, her boss, and this guy she doesn’t get along with.

    Would it be okay to refer to her as Coco and only have her called by her full name in formal situations? And of course when the dude in the story wants to make her angry (won’t happen often).

  561. B. Macon 06 Jul 2011 at 12:57 am

    Yeah, I think that’s fine. I think readers would be able to remember that Cirocco is Coco. (That said, it’s still a really unusual name).

  562. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 12 Jul 2011 at 8:25 pm

    When I want a weird name, I tend to take a normal one and mix new letters in. Mary = Matary. Gideon = Gidebon. Tom = Trosam, etc. I find they’re still pronounceable and don’t look totally stupid like “Ehahagfhueiuhfhsab” would.

  563. Crystalon 13 Jul 2011 at 10:42 am

    Yeah. That reminds me of something I read in a book a couple of years ago. The author would take two place names and blend them together to name a fictional place.

  564. Lt. Hangon 26 Jul 2011 at 10:37 am

    So, one of the main characters in my superhero story is a gadget-based hero whose powers rely in huge amounts of electricity.

    His backstory involves a secret project of the military, a hydroelectric powerplant, a cool uniform and the ever-present mad scientist.

    His superhero name, at least for now, is Marshal Spark. I really like his last name as Spark, but the first name is my main trouble. I want it to be a rather evident reference to one of the most famed scientists who worked on electricity while remaining somewhat original in the superhero department.

    My first idea was naming him Thomas (as in, Thomas Edison), but Thomas “Tom” Spark sounds an awful lot like Tony Stark, and having a gadgeteer hero with that name is enough to distract readers from him.

    The other possible first names are Alessandro, Nikola (or Nicholas, to be less blatant) or James Prescott. Any thoughts on this matter?

  565. B. Macon 26 Jul 2011 at 12:08 pm

    If you’re open to something a little bit more exotic, you could try something like Alva (shortened to Al) or Menlo (and people just address him as Spark). Another possibility would be Ben/Benjamin, a reference to Benjamin Franklin. (In addition to the kite experiment, he also invented the lightning rod).

    “Thomas ‘Tom’ Spark sounds an awful lot like Tony Stark…” I find that an astute observation. I didn’t see it until you mentioned it.

  566. Lt. Hangon 26 Jul 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I think Ben/Benjamin would be a good name for him.

    “I find that an astute observation. I didn’t see it until you mentioned it.” Haha, thanks. I didn’t see it when I first wrote his reference file, but, after reading it out loud to check if it sounded good, it sounded too familiar. It’s almost like having a hero named Jones Stuart with a magic artifact.

    Anyway, thanks for the help!

  567. B. Macon 26 Jul 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “…it sounded too familiar… almost like having a hero named Jones Stuart with a magic artifact..” I’d be okay with Jonah Stuart. For one thing, John Stewart is just one of the GLs and he’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I hear “magic artifact.” If Jonah Stuart were something like a space cop, then I’d be worried. 🙂

  568. ekimmakon 26 Jul 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Ok, would like a bit of help.

    You remember that story about the ice powered genki girl I was considering the other day? I need help coming up with a hero name for her.
    I toyed around with the idea of Yuki Girl for a while (so I can have a scene where her alter ego complains about it, how could anyone could consider using a name like that, not realizing yet that she IS that girl), but it’s not good for a real super heroine name.
    Still going to use that, but I’m going to give her a proper name later.

    Any suggestions? You could probably find info on her elsewhere on the site, but if you want, I can reiterate it here.

  569. ekimmakon 27 Jul 2011 at 3:53 am

    Yes? No? Maybe?

  570. B. Macon 27 Jul 2011 at 8:18 am

    I’m not very good at coming up with names that fit other people’s styles. Umm, what would you think about Genki?

  571. ekimmakon 27 Jul 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Well, I did find out in the back of one of my manga books that Yuki is a combination of yuu, which means tender or kind, and ki, which means princess. So that was a laugh. Genki sounds like it’ll make a lot more sense.

  572. invader-mynaon 27 Jul 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I thought Yuuki meant snow? Well, a lot of cryokinetic characters are called Yuuki anyway, so Genki is a lot better I think.

  573. ekimmakon 27 Jul 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Yeah, you’re probably right. I was just looking at a specific case, where they were named for those things. It probably means snow as well.

    Anyway, spent an afternoon writing, and produced about three chapters worth. I might finally want to get a writing forum here, but won’t post right away. I’d like to have a second look, to take a second look at the grammar.

  574. Bpfishon 13 Aug 2011 at 10:50 am

    I need to know if my story is any good! Can someone beta read it for me?

  575. Nicholas Caseon 13 Aug 2011 at 11:00 am

    I think it would help if you told us where it was…

  576. Bpfishon 13 Aug 2011 at 11:04 am

    Sorry! I was going to copy and paste the site but it won’t come up on my iPod. It’s at worthyofpublishing.com. If you search bpfish it’s the first story that comes up. I would’ve copied and pasted it, but, like I said, it’s not coming up on my iPod.

  577. Mynaon 13 Aug 2011 at 11:15 am

    It’s giving me an error and says I can’t connect to the server. What’s your story about?

  578. Bpfishon 13 Aug 2011 at 11:20 am

    This girl who can read minds. She gets kidnapped and taken to a special school. When the guards (who kidnapped her) come in to talk to her she does something that makes her seem dangerous. They accidentally open all the doors in the school and her and some friends escape. They want to get back to the school and free the other kids there, but they get sidetracked and met some new people. It’s really something you need to read to understand, so I hope they fix the site.

  579. Aj of Earthon 13 Aug 2011 at 11:25 am

    @ekimmak & invader-myna:

    Genki is the Japanese word for “good/well” in the context of mood or state of being. For instance the question “Ogenki desu ka?”, which anime/manga fans will probably be familiar with, means “How are you?/Are you well?”

    To which, if in the affirmative, the proper response is: “Genki desu.” or just “Genki.”

    Meaning “Good/I’m good/I’m well.”

  580. Nicholas Caseon 13 Aug 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Bpfish, I feel your story has some major flaws. “Bonnie” seems 1-dimmensional in the first few paragraphs. It might make more sense if she decided to keep quiet or tried to run out of the room.

    Also, building up Bonnie more might help readers care why they hate her so much or what will happen to her if she is taken by this mysterious guy that points a gun at a bunch of children.

    And your narrator seems to talk to us frequently-which usually is a bad idea. Especially,
    “Oh, yeah. I might as well tell you. I can read minds. I know it sounds nuts, but it’s true. I’ve been able to do it since I hit puberty.”
    ick…no offense but I downright HATE this part. I would’ve LOVED to have discovered her power myself-rather than being told she can read minds.

    Also, I recommend giving Bonnie a different power entirely. Your story will lose 75% of any potential drama if she can just read minds all willy nilly.

  581. B. Macon 13 Aug 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Nicholas, could I recommend checking out this article on reviewing diplomatically and this one?

  582. Nicholas Caseon 13 Aug 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I knew you’d say it lol. I guess all that tough love from stickpage has gotten to me…I’ve gotta stop going there….

    Sorry my review was so blunt. I could’ve worded that more professionally. My apologies…

  583. Bpfishon 13 Aug 2011 at 5:28 pm

    It’s okay. I seriously would have it told to me like that. So, for a different power, what would you suggest?

  584. Nicholas Caseon 13 Aug 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Well you seem like you are just starting out so I would steer away from physic powers in general. I personally would entirely redesign Bonnie although she can be saved. Its just that when you save a character-you tend to forget that you have redesigned the character later on in the story and sway to some of your old character’s habits and such.

  585. Chihuahua0on 13 Aug 2011 at 6:15 pm

    About the Brian part: My protagonist is called Bryan, which is pronounced the same, but it has a different edge. He’s a bit of a smartass in the narrative though, the sort of character that invokes sympathy but has character development in store for him, so is it okay for him to have this name? It’s too late for me to change it, as it fits his character pretty well, along with clicking with his surname pretty well (Richardson).

    Also, how does the name Finn Walker flow?

  586. Snowon 13 Aug 2011 at 6:51 pm


    Finn Walker sounds good to me, but I feel obligated to point out how similar it is to Flynn Rider from the movie Tangled. I’m not sure if you were going for that or not, so I figured I’d let you know.

    What do you mean, “has a different edge”? I’m afraid I don’t understand.


  587. Chihuahua0on 13 Aug 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Alternate spellings have different implications in text. For example, how Jacob and Jakob is different, and how Madeline and Madelyn is different. Bryan is a little more sharper than Brian. Also, from looking at popularity charts, Bryan is a trending name while Brian dropped before my protagonist’s birth date.

    And I wasn’t thinking of Flynn Rider, but since Finn’s last name (or Bryan’s) isn’t going to be used that often, and Tangled probably would fade from the spotlight once I finish this, it’s probably a non-issue.

  588. Snowon 13 Aug 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Oh, thanks. I get it now. 🙂 I misunderstood; I thought you were saying that the pronunciation, though the same, had a different edge to it, and I wasn’t sure how that could be. Thanks for clearing it up.


  589. Koldon 16 Aug 2011 at 6:45 am

    Hey B.Mac

    Im having trouble coming up with a name for my superhero.
    He has ninja – like powers, (defying gravity, teleportation, speed, strength, etc)
    He’s African, i.e. he’s black (if that helps)
    He’s a dark hero, sort of like “Wolverine” and “Batman”
    He was born in South Africa, but his mother couldn’t take care of him so she dumbed him on a boat that was headed to Japan, where he grew up in a secret ninja training camp. He got his powers from an experiment when he was a child, an experiment where they inject a new born baby with artificial genes. He is not the only one, though he does not know this yet and these “mutants” have a specific tell-tale marking from the experiment; three dots on their shins.
    He believes in ultimate justice, so he would rather kill a murderer than send them to the police.

    What would be a good name for him?


  590. Snowon 16 Aug 2011 at 9:29 pm

    So, he only has ninja-like powers, or he has ninja training, also?

    Are you looking for a civilian name, or a heroing name?

    (My brother suggests “Afreakin-Ninja”, but I don’t think that’s quite what you were going for.)

  591. Basilon 23 Aug 2011 at 6:46 am

    Okay, I’ve been trying for three or so weeks to come up with a name for a superhero of mine for a book idea/RPG campaign I’m working on, so I figured I’d ask for some advice here.

    The hero’s powers are insect and arachnid mimicry – he can walk on walls, is somewhat stronger and faster than a normal human, can turn his skin into a durable exoskeleton at will, and can produce highly potent venom. (I haven’t decided on any other powers yet.)

    I was initially thinking Arthropod, but that doesn’t fit right. I also considered Carapace and the ever-so-original-and-descriptive Bug. For obvious reasons, I can’t use anything spider-ish, and Nightcrawler’s already taken.

    Any advice?

  592. Milanon 23 Aug 2011 at 9:09 am

    Hi Basil! Maybe if we knew his personality or the mood of the game.

    Pest, Vermin, Parasite, Fester, Creep, Roach, Aphid – Kafkaesque
    Ferroroach – skin like iron, soft praline center
    Duopede – eliminating ninety-eight redundant legs

  593. Basilon 23 Aug 2011 at 5:15 pm

    He’s mostly sarcastic, but follows the typical heroic line of thinking exhibited by the greats.

    The mood of the game is mostly somewhat serious, with a few characters like this one to lighten things up occasionally.

    Btw, his nemesis’ name is Centipede – a mugger who got dunked in a mutagen bath and became an absolute monster. (Yes, I know, typical comic-book reasoning, but it works for what I have in mind.) He actually used to go by Centipede before he got mutated, mostly because of his reputation as a predator.
    Basically, in mutated form, he seems really slow and clumsy. Then, when he notices something that is viable as prey, he strikes like a rocket (or some other cliche).
    I bring all this up to ask for advice with the villain’s name too. I like Centipede, but I’m not sure if it sounds menacing enough to other people. I for one am terrified of centipedes, so it works as nightmare fuel for me.
    I like the concept of a horrible centipede-human hybrid, so are there any names that might let me keep that?

    Anyway, thanks for the advice so far.

  594. CKon 29 Aug 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Hey, how goes it? I have this comic book/graphic novel that I’ve been developing for a while, and I’m having major issues coming up with a name for one of the main characters. All of the main players are members of a superhero team, and all of them have come together to fight out of necessity for survival rather than out of any sense of justice and the like. Except for their leader, Pathfinder, who’s got an intense but very naive view on justice (something he’ll have to grow out of over time). The other major players so far, just so you know where I’m coming from with names, are as follows:

    Pathfinder – Leader, Human with gadgets and a suit that mildly increases strength and speed
    Flux – Super healing/Manipulation of Electricity
    Mercy – Empathic/Can sense and temporarily manipulate the emotions of others
    Catalyst – Kineticist/Can absorb and redirect kinetic energy
    Tombstone – Direct contact causes rapid aging and slows down his own aging
    Shade – Shifts pigment, reflexivity, etc. of all cells in her body to change her color or even become transparent.
    (If this team seems huge, know that Tombstone serves more as a mentor and doesn’t usually fight with them, and Shade won’t join the team till after 2 of these characters are lost)

    Then there’s 2 more, one with a name that I’m leary about and another with no name. The first is a girl that can manipulate light waves, focusing them into tight cutting beams or dispersing them or adjusting the actual form of the wave to shift its hue. I’ve been calling her Ultraviolet, but was thinking of just shortening it to Violet (that color is a major element of her uniform), or changing it to something else altogether. Ultraviolet seems too long.

    The other one is a mind reader who starts as a good guy but eventually becomes a bad guy, I’m not sure yet if I want his name to change when he switches sides (the switch WILL be permanent). He’s not skilled enough to manipulate people other than subtle pushes on the same level as hypnosis, but he’s good at pulling out whatever information is right on the surface. One facet of this is that anybody he fights, he knows all the moves they know, and while he may not be as practiced, he can anticipate to a degree whatever move is coming next. But I have NO IDEA what to call him.

    Any help with these two would be GREATLY appreciated. If any more info is needed on the setting, let me know. Since I’ve already copyrighted the first few scripts and trademarked with intent of use for the characters with names and costumes, I don’t mind giving out those details.

  595. Brian McKenzie (B. Mac)on 29 Aug 2011 at 2:38 pm

    A caveat: I’m not very good at names. I feel names are usually particular to the author’s style.

    I think Violet would be okay. Alternately, since her powers have to do with colors in general, perhaps something like Spectra.

    For the turncoat, Sway comes to mind. (He can sway people with his mind, and he himself sways). Prod? Spur? I thought of Push, but unfortunately Marvel got there first.

  596. CKon 30 Aug 2011 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the fast reply! I don’t feel I’m particularly good at names, either. Of all the superhero and supervillain names I’ve established so far (and there’s a lot, outside the main characters I listed), the only ones I feel strongly about at all are Pathfinder, Flux, and Shade.

    I think I like Spectra more than Violet . . . I’ll run that by my team, see what they think. Spur was one I actually considered briefly but it didn’t feel quite right to me, and you’re right that Push would have been good if it were still up for grabs. Strictly speaking, you can’t copyright a name so I might get away with using it, but if this “Push” character (I’m not familiar with the character personally) is similar enough to mine in physical design/powers, there could be trademark issues. I actually got the initial idea from Stephen King’s “Firestarter,” where the main character’s dad was said to “push” people into doing things or believing things in an almost hypnotic way. His power wasn’t telepathy though; after pushing a taxi driver to think a $1 was like $100 or something, later the bad guys have hold of the same $1 as evidence and even though they weren’t there to be pushed, they still sort of perceive the bill as $100.

    Mercy is actually another one I have doubts about. I tried not to dwell TOO long on that one, because after a time I plan on having her commit suicide via drug overdose. But regardless, Mercy was definitely one of those “good enough for now” names as opposed anything I planned to stick with. If any readers here have a better idea for a sweet-natured, girl-next-door type empath, let me know. Thanks!

  597. Brian McKenzie (B. Mac)on 30 Aug 2011 at 11:06 am

    Another option for Mercy that comes to mind (but would probably require renaming Pathfinder) is a name that starts with Patho (pathos being Greek for “suffering” or “experience” or an emotional appeal generally and a little bit of play on “path”/disease, since it seems like her emotional state is not very healthy). Alternately, Passion or something starting with pher- (phermones are chemicals that can trigger a behavior or emotion). If you’re looking for something ironically cheerful for somebody that commits suicide by drug overdose, Zest.

    “But regardless, Mercy was definitely one of those ‘good enough for now’names as opposed anything I planned to stick with.” Fair enough! I think the worst case scenario (and it’s really not that bad) is that you can just try a placeholder name and you’ll probably think of something you like more later on. I think Mercy is a perfectly functional name. I don’t think it’s incredibly inspired, but really, how many names are? (I feel it is extremely rare for a name to really contribute something to a work).

    Some more wacky names that come to mind:
    –Exoemo (exo being Greek for “others” or “outside” and emo is part of emotion).
    –Emogenic (-genic is Greek for “producing,” so a bastardized form of “producing emotions”).
    –Emelan or Emelian (bastardized play on “melan,” black color. Her bright nature notwithstanding, I’m guessing her emotional state is not all bright if she commits suicide).
    –Emotic (bastardized “pertaining to emotion”)
    –Anything based on “cardi” or “cordi” (“heart,” which is associated with emotion. This is where the name Cordelia comes from). Some other variations that are actually used as names include Cordollya, Cordula, Cordiella, Cordeilia, Cordilia, Cordell, and Cordele.

  598. hearMEnow55on 04 Sep 2011 at 9:59 pm

    What would be a good name for a villain who can control the earth. Her main ability is to be able to create/control like a mud monster what kind of name would be good?

  599. CKon 06 Sep 2011 at 2:39 pm

    @B. Mac:

    Thanks again! I hate to use something with “Patho” in it, if only because one of my favorite series of novels has a character named Pathos, even though their powers aren’t really the same. In her case in particular, I don’t want to come up with anything too ridiculous/goofy, which I think is what is making her name hard. And you’re absolutely right, it really is a rare thing for somebody to come up with a name that’s truly inspired. I’m really hoping Pathfinder is name that strikes people as fairly inspired and adds to the character/story.


    As an example you could use as a jumping off point to get your naming juices flowing, I have a villain that controls earth (more specifically rocks and minerals, as opposed to mud) who I’m calling Quake. Like Mercy, the name isn’t particularly inspired, but he’s only around for 2 issues with no plans (so far) of bringing him back. But maybe you can think of something Quake related.

    Looking more at Mud related words though, how about Silter (as in silt, which is fine sand or clay that is carried by water and deposited as sediment). Looks like you’re going for a female villain, maybe you could use Alluvium, which literally is a deposit of sand, silt, clay etc. left by running water. Those are just a couple I came up with after 5 seconds on my Mac’s built in Thesaurus, looking up “mud.” I abuse the crap out of my Thesaurus when I write, especially for names like these. Now I kinda wish my character was female so I could use Alluvium . . . although I may end up using Silter myself, now that I’m thinking about it. If you go with that too, I promise not to raise trademark issues with you 😉

  600. hearMEnow55on 06 Sep 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks a lot I was considering aluviulm for a bit and it does seem to fit with her and all I was also considerig terra firma but in a character in teen Titans is call terra who can control the earth so if I were to use it I think copyright issues would come up what do you think?

  601. CKon 07 Sep 2011 at 12:26 pm


    Well strictly speaking, you can’t copyright names of characters. What you CAN do is trademark them, which is to say that you reserve the right to that specifically designed character. And by character design, I mean the COMBINATION of physical appearance, name, color scheme, etc. Trademark infringement comes when you use all or part of somebody else’s trademark with the intention (or perceived intention) of referencing that trademark.

    So for example, if you had a character called Spiderman (yes, I know the original is Spider-Man with a dash) and he’s got spider related powers and a blue and red costume color scheme, Marvel would probably nail you to the wall. But if you came up with a character similarly named but it was obvious somehow you WEREN’T referencing Marvel’s Spider-Man, you’d theoretically be fine. Spider-Man may be a bad example, because I can’t even conceive of a way of making that work, but hopefully you get the point.

    A good, real life example of a superhero trademark infringement case is Captain Marvel, originally of Fawcett comics. In the 1940s, Captain Marvel’s “Captain Marvel Adventures” was the highest selling comic book, even more so than Superman, until DC (then called National Comics Publications) sued for infringing on their Superman trademark. Making things more interesting, DC went on to acquire the rights to Captain Marvel in the 1970s, but because Marvel had by that point trademarked their own, completely unrelated Captain Marvel, DC had complications. They could use the Captain Marvel character, but were not allowed any promotional use of the name lest they come under trademark infringement from Marvel, hence the newer Captain Marvel comics from DC being titled “Shazam!”

    Long story short, trademark infringement is a serious and complicated business, and what might fly in one case could get you screwed in another, depending on how much the original trademark owner wants to fight you on it. And being that Marvel owns an earth controlling character named Terra, I’d advise against creating your own earth controlling character named Terra Firma. Technically the name is different, but it is similar, and with similar powers, and both being female, it does seem to invite the comparison, which is exactly what trademark infringement is. You might be safe if you design the character visually completely different than Terra, and it helps that your version is a villain, but do you really want to run the risk of coming up against trademark infringement on Marvel? Especially now that they’re owned by Disney, who (I’ve heard) tend to be ruthless with such matters.

  602. hearMEnow55on 08 Sep 2011 at 6:09 pm

    yeah i would just be better off using a different name i still like Alluvium so i look around and see what i can find also on using terra firma but if i cant i can go back to that lol but for my main character her name is ghost and she can go between the shadow zone and the real world also she can create “shadow ghosts” which are shadow versions of herself and the only way to get rid of them is sun light (light from a light bulb just weakens them) and heat what do you think of her?

  603. M*A*S*Hon 15 Sep 2011 at 1:18 am

    okay what if I have a character that has the same name as a lesser known character from let’s say dc or marvel would I be able to keep my character’s name as long as it’s different from their characters

  604. B. McKenzieon 15 Sep 2011 at 2:52 am

    Short answer: I wouldn’t worry about it because it won’t affect your odds of getting published. If you get published, your publisher may ask you to change the name.

    Longer answer: Marvel or DC might sue you, so a publisher might preemptively decide to change the name to head off that possibility.

    The main thing I’d like prospective authors to take away on potential legal issues is that we should probably tackle these issues when we get there, and not before. Unless you’re brazenly ripping off a well-known name (like Spider-Man or Batman or whatever), a publisher will take on the story if it’s otherwise publishable. Then the worst-case scenario is that the publisher may ask you to change the name if it feels that the risk of getting sued is too great. (Given Marvel’s and DC’s legal departments, publishers definitely have some reason to be cautious). In the grand scheme of things, changing a character’s name is easy, so a publisher will probably not reject you over that IF the story is otherwise publishable.

    To any authors in this situation, I would really recommend spending your time addressing the things that will actually prevent you from getting published. (For example, is the story interesting, are the characters well-developed, do you have a really strong grasp of writing mechanics, etc).

    For more technical knowledge, please see this article from lawyer Ivan Hoffman:

    “The rights of trademark can potentially afford the owner protection for the character’s name, physical appearance and distinctive designs and perhaps other qualities. To the extent that such rights exist, the rights of the owner of trademark are to prevent the use of a mark as a trademark in a manner that is likely to cause confusion in the minds of the public as to the source. In other words, if the mark is being used by another party in such a manner that potential consumers are likely to believe that such use is endorsed by or is otherwise associated with the mark’s owner, then the mark’s owner may have rights to prevent such use and to seek damages and other remedies for the same.”

  605. M*A*S*Hon 15 Sep 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks B. Mac I think I will keep the names as of right now but I will change it if im advised to do so

  606. S.D.on 16 Sep 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Ok. I am creating a zombie apocalypse story. Or at least something similar. My main character is mercenary that finds himself with a group of unlikely partners on their way to destroy the creation of the “infection”. My problem is though i can’t think of a name that fits the character.

  607. Coralon 23 Sep 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I’m not sure what a good name for the Zombie character is but I need help making a name for my character. Her alter ego name is Carol Louise and She is a Blacksmith. Her superpower is that she can bend metal and turn into metal. She doesn’t turn into silver though.(everyone keeps giving me silver names) Her best friend and partner in crime has one weakness and that’s silver.
    Please help.

  608. Tamaron 29 Sep 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Solid article. I’ve always felt that “Name a wise character Sophia!” business was silly, too.

    I have a question regarding a hero’s *code* name (I.E., Superman as opposed to Clark Kent.) How exactly do you come up with one that isn’t taken? With the big two comics companies having been in business for so long and run so many titles and issues over the years, it seems like everything I come up with that sounds decent was used by Marvel 50 years ago already in some obscure storyline I’ve never heard of. Is there a solid superhero database somewhere that can reliably tell me if my names are already taken?

    Or is this even something to worry about? If my hero is the Crimson Hagfish, and DC also happens to have a Crimson Hagfish, will they be unable to sue me (or just willing to overlook me) if the two characters are blatantly different? I know there are instances of different companies having characters with the same names – does it even bring up legal issues when the characters are sufficiently different, or is there some complicated deal regarding rights and royalties behind the scenes before that can happen? (Obviously I’m not going to try to get away with naming an original character Superman, but yeah.)

  609. Tamaron 29 Sep 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Whoops. You just answered pretty much exactly that question shortly above mine. Sorry about that. x3

  610. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 12:23 am

    Hello, Superhero Nation.

    My head is filled with a multitude of questions, regarding my characters/plots/etc, that I’d like other opinions on. For now, I’ve only this to ask: would any of you be capable in helping me establish a good superhero group/team name?

    The very basic and simple plot outline is:
    The team consists of six teenagers; four metahuman, one alien, and one human. They band together after the alien, Va’Lorn, crash lands in Texas, causing serious changes in their lives. The world this is set in is inhabited by various super beings and aliens, so this isn’t anything new for the general public. Each of the teenagers that are Earth born have already been acting as ‘superheroes’ for some time, either solo, or as sidekick/duo. For reasons that are caused by Va’Lorn’s arrival, prominent members of the young heroes’ rogues galleries cross paths with each other and their respective heroes, allowing the teenagers an opportunity to work together to combat them. After the initial defeat of the villains, there remains a potential and mysterious (how cliche…) threat which gives the teenaged heroes enough reason to decide to stay together and face this new danger together.

    I can give more details if needed, but, be warned, ‘brief backgrounds’ by my standards tend to be of more length than tradition.

  611. CCOlsonon 21 Oct 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Who names them? Do they name themselves, or does some reporter come up with a name for them. Also, if superhero teams are a relatively common occurrence (Yeah, we got that foursome of do gooders living in that big tower over thar!) then most of the obvious names might already be taken.

  612. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Most obvious names are already taken by teams from other comic companies.
    But they would have named themselves. The leader is more serious, having been raised by an Army colonel, so she would probably veto down the more ‘silly’ names.

  613. CCOlsonon 21 Oct 2011 at 2:43 pm

    What is the team mainly fighting? Crime? Natural Disaster? Catastrophic supernatural disaster? Terrorists?

    What is the general mentality of the team? Cops? Rescue Workers? Soldiers? Disenfranchised chaotic good youth?

    How is the team organized? Loosely and out for selves, loosely and looking after each other, ordered but democratic, ordered and autocratic, chain of command?

    What is the power trend of the team? Mostly air, mostly ground, tactical mix, mostly magic, mostly wacky (see Mystery Men)?

    Where do they come from? Where do they live?

    And again, who comes up with the name?

  614. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 3:31 pm

    The team mainly fights two groups; race of planet conquering aliens who were after Va’Lorn, and a ‘mysterious’ organization that reveals itself. This organization is trying to obtain the alien tech of both the ‘evil’ aliens and Va’Lorn’s race for whatever their nefarious plots may be.

    They act as soldiers who preemptively strike against their main two foes, and also prevent/stop any attacks by them.

    Their is an obvious chain of command, but they all grow to trust each other enough to respect their opinions on missions.

    Mix. I’ll list their powers, each number being for a member.
    1) Can change size. Maximum of one hundred feet, minimum of one inch. Strength increases with size, maintains normal strength when smaller.
    2) Telepath, but limited to communicating only with the voluntary, can’t probe other’s minds. Superspeed, tough and durable bones, skin, etc as a result of growing up on a planet with extreme gravity. Slightly stronger than a human, but not by much. Increased learning capabilities.
    3) Can generate and control electromagnetic energy. This allows him to magnetize objects, release EMP’s, create ball lightning, and electrical blasts, generate electromagnetic fields, temporarily stimulate or paralyze sections of the body (his own or others by touch), etc.
    4) Engineer. Power gauntlets, boots, and helmet. Gauntlets have a sonic cannon in the palm and wrist mounted energy blasters (limited discharges), boots allow light, and helmet has computer interface. Light body armor with detachable backpack that has thrusters for direction in flight.
    5) Limited photokinetic. Can create life-like holograms, or bend light around her immediate area to simulate invisibility.
    6) Cursed werewolf. Can willingly shift into a (half) werewolf form during the night that grants him enhanced senses and physical attributes. During the phase of the full moon he shifts into a (full) werewolf form that takes control of him, and acts on pure animal instinct, but this form is much stronger physically.

    They come mainly from the eastern seaboard of the United States. They’re base of operations is in Rhode Island, but their missions aren’t limited to their surrounding area.

    They, as a group, agree to the name. I’m thinking the alien, Va’Lorn, is the one who suggests the name that is finally accepted. He would have recently read the entire dictionary and various online databases to familiarize himself with the human language and culture, and offers up a name that fits their team.

  615. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I see grammatical errors in that previous post that bother me, unfortunately this site doesn’t offer me the chance to edit previous posts.

  616. B. McKenzieon 21 Oct 2011 at 4:34 pm

    “unfortunately this site doesn’t offer me the chance to edit previous posts.” Believe me, you’re not the first person to ask. My technical guy, P. Mac, looked into it and said it wouldn’t be feasible.

  617. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 10:55 pm

    No big deal. I feel like you changed your name, though. Wasn’t it B. Mac before?

  618. MisterEon 21 Oct 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Any suggestions on a team name, B. McKenzie?

  619. B. McKenzieon 21 Oct 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Administrators and moderators can edit comments, but they can edit everybody’s comments. In this theme, I haven’t yet found any way to allow people to edit just their own comments.

    The only faintly feasible solution I’ve found so far is changing the theme, which would 1) change the color/layout/feel of the website significantly and 2) would require a frustrating amount of work on my part.

    If any coders would like to offer any advice here (on how to make it possible for people to edit their comments in WordPress on the Palaam theme), please contact me at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.

  620. MisterEon 23 Oct 2011 at 1:32 pm

    So, no suggestions on a team name?

  621. MisterEon 29 Oct 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Anybody have any thoughts in a team name…?

  622. B. McKenzieon 29 Oct 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t know. I feel like it’s difficult to offer name suggestions because names are really particular to the author and the author’s style. I would recommend just using a placeholder (even something as generic as the Guardians) and then you’ll probably come up with something more unique as you’re writing.

  623. MisterEon 31 Oct 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve considered using a placeholder name, but I’ve got what is best described as OCD about not knowing the name of a character/team. I’ll start writing using a placeholder name, but then I’ll just sit there trying to force an idea for a name to come to mind. Hence why I came here for assistance. But I can definitely try and use a placeholder name for now.

  624. Zaft2314on 31 Oct 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I have a female hero named Atom Girl. She has atom vision, which her to see far away and see very small objects even the molecules and atoms in every object or person, she can also see through anything and emit a beam of energy from her eyes, flight that comes from her ability to fly on the molecules and atoms in the air, super strength and almost near indestructibility due to her own molecules being more closely compacted and dense.

    Any comments that can help with the name or does it fit her?

  625. Damzoon 05 Nov 2011 at 12:48 am

    If she’s near indestructible then how can she be challenged. There’s no fun in a character that cannot be defeated.

  626. B. McKenzieon 05 Nov 2011 at 3:17 am

    Yeah, Zaft. I’m not very concerned about the name, although it does strike me as pretty generic. (Maybe something more distinct will come to you as you’re writing). I’m more concerned about whether you’d be able to hold readers in suspense about whether she’ll succeed or not. If she’s nigh-indestructible, will you able to challenge her?

    Lastly, her powers sound quite a lot like Superman’s. She can fly, she’s super-strong and nearly indestructible, and she has eye-beams and x-ray vision.

  627. morganon 07 Nov 2011 at 5:34 pm

    thank you so much it really helped me write a good superhero story!!:)

  628. ShyVioletson 08 Nov 2011 at 5:32 am

    hmm okay 🙂
    Thank you so much for clearing that up 😀

  629. ShyVioletson 08 Nov 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Not to be rude or anything (because you all are amazingly helpful) but i still need help with the names 🙂

  630. B. McKenzieon 08 Nov 2011 at 5:56 pm

    It’s very hard for me to offer suggestions for names (because names are so particular to the tastes of the author, the details of the character and the mood/style of the book). I’d have to read chapters first and, even then, my style might not match up with yours.

    Theo Knight sounds okay, as long as it’s okay in-story that it sounds a lot more like a guy’s name than a lady’s name. (If you’re looking for gender-neutral names, I have a list here).

  631. ShyVioletson 08 Nov 2011 at 7:42 pm

    As a girl with a boy name I really like it when girls don’t have feminine names. A feminine name also wouldn’t fit with the character.

    As for the my novel, is a mystery, though its fairly light hearted in the vain of Nancy Drew and Trixy Bellden with the main characters being teenagers (albeit super powered teenagers). Its also going to have elements of comedy and possible romance ( o.O i cringe at that because I’m clueless when it comes to romance so that probably wont come up ever)

  632. Grenacon 08 Nov 2011 at 10:31 pm

    If it’s light-hearted, you could call her Snitch, since her power allows her to see things she isn’t supposed to know about.

    I like the name Theo on a girl, it has a nice ring to it. Does her last name have any significance?

    Overall, I like that her name sounds masculine. It gives me a sense of a tomboy or a girl masquerading as a guy.

  633. B. McKenzieon 08 Nov 2011 at 11:59 pm

    “As a girl with a boy name I really like it when girls don’t have feminine names. A feminine name also wouldn’t fit with the character.” Okay. As long as that’s a conscious choice, that sounds workable.

    “It gives me a sense of a tomboy or a girl masquerading as a guy.” Another (complementary) interpretation that came to my mind is that someone might go with Theo over Theodora not just/necessarily because it’s less girly but because it’s shorter and less old-fashioned. (Likewise, a guy named Albert might go by Al or perhaps even Alex for reasons other than seeming more manly). Some traits that might lead a character to go with the shorter name might include bluntness and/or an unusual sensitivity to standing out or getting picked on for being unusual. Jay Gatsby picked out his name for the opposite reason–he wanted something more daring. Likewise, I usually go by “B. Mac” rather than Brian because it’s suitably outlandish and because it reduces the potential for confusion with other Brians. Also, once you go for the Mac, you don’t go back.

  634. ShyVioletson 09 Nov 2011 at 5:30 am


    She has *2 older brother so I think it would make sense for her to be a tougher more tomboyish character.

    Oh and her last name doesn’t have a lot of significances to her but her mother is the head detective of the local police force so her last name does tie her to her mother.


    Generally, I’ve found most young people with a name 3 or more syllables tend to have a nickname and some with much shorter names do to (i.e. I know two Matthews who go by Matt and to Johns who go by Jack, I also know two Gabbys and at least five Maddys) My nickname is sadly common and I can think of three other girls and to other boys who share it.

    On an unrelated side note the name Brian has a very positive connotation for me personally 😀

  635. Dashon 15 Nov 2011 at 11:46 pm

    You say that the “K” sound is harsh, so one should avoid it. In neurolinguistics, the exact opposite is true: people respond more readily to the K sound and remember it more easily. So you should not only start some of your character names with a K sound, you should work it in there if possible. Gene Roddenberry knew this and used it extensively. Kirk, Spock and McCoy, Scotty, Picard, Ryker and Crusher, Q. James Cameron does it, too: (Terminator) Kyle Reese & Sarah Connor; (Aliens) Hicks, Vasquez, Carter Burke; (Abyss) Coffey, Catfish, Carnes; (Titanic) Jack v. Cal; (Avatar) Jake v. Col. Quaritch.

    Think of some of the most famous characters: Clark Kent, Luke Skywalker, The Joker, Scarecrow, Catwoman, Peter Parker, The Hulk, Buck Rogers, Akira, on and on. Many names that are otherwise unremarkable are often given an appellation with a K sound in it in order to catch our attention: Captain (America, Marvel, Planet, Hornblower) or Doc/Doctor (Savage, Watson, Who, Evil, Doom, Strange), for instance.

    Baseball uses a K to signify a strike because the originator intuited that the final letter of “struck” was more memorable than the S. That’s the reason why royalty almost universally have K sounds in their titles: King, Queen, Duke, Marquess, Count.

    When someone doesn’t use names with Ks in them, you can hear how odd it sounds. Lord of the Rings has virtually none, so when Tolkien uses one, it really stands out. Orcs! (True, Merry and Pippin’s last names have Ks in them, but I bet only the hardest-core Ringer can tell you what they are.)

    K is a powerful tool in your writer’s toolbox. Wield it well.

  636. ShyVioletson 16 Nov 2011 at 6:42 am

    Hmm well I think the K sound is hard and the letter looks point which gives off a specifice feel when you read it. Many K names are balanced with much softer other sounds. And C names and Qu names don’t feel the same at all as K. It as much visual as anything.

    PS: there last names are Brandybuck and Took so…….

  637. VIPER-Xon 16 Nov 2011 at 10:06 am

    Yo my real name is [deleted], im only [deleted], but i love writing stories. The problem is I always get board of writing halfway through my book and cant start up again. And I am kinda into kid super heros that are my exact age. So I have always wanted to write a book about this kid named Ulric, but his superhero name is Mega Kid. And heres the plot:When this kid was young, he was taking from his bedroom by Aliens who experimented on him then stuck him back. Now he keeps having these foggy dreams(cause he was really drugged up) about this and cant tell what the dreams are because he cant remember it. Well his class goes on a feild trip to this scientist who has made a teleporter, but the radiation from the teleporter triggers his super powers. And he can do almost anything. But he doesnt find out where he got his super powers until book 2, when he must fight his creators, the aliens.
    I would like everyone to mail me at [deleted] and tell me what they think of the names and the plots. And if you want the books, give me your email and ill send the book to you for free.(if i ever finish the book(s).)
    IF YOU EMAIL ME YOUR THOUGHTS, THX! cause i dont think ill check back here… Because im always busy.

  638. Indigoon 16 Nov 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Probably not the best idea to post your real name and email address on the web (see recent comments under About SN 🙂 )
    On the other hand, I think your story sounds cool. Who is your target audience?

  639. Wingson 16 Nov 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Eh, it’s all been done. Literally – search this site and there’s probably a half dozen comments with basically the same plotline: self-insert kid gets superpowers mysteriously, gets generic codename, fights creators, radiation can apparently do anything, author is obviously young and was foolish enough to put his/her personal information up online, author is planning way too far ahead and is unlikely to ever make good on these lofty aspirations…

    Words to the wise:

    – Don’t get carried away by your stories. Sometimes they burn out on their own (personal record for this was a week), but most of the time it just ends up with a lot of disjointed planning that ultimately goes nowhere. No sequels until the first book’s done! 🙂

    – If you’re twelve, don’t say you’re twelve. First, while it’s stereotypical, most reviewers are less inclined to take a kid seriously – and even if you are that 1% who has the skills to match the enthusiasm, they’ll still be leery. Second, it’s not smart: telling your name, age and email adress on the Internet isn’t a good move.

    – Spellcheck and grammar check before you post. Trust me, you wouldn’t believe how many times B. Mac’s had to edit posts to make them legible. Give the guy a break, he has a life now and everything. 😉

    – Finally, my writing this post is not “flaming”. You’re young. To paraphrase Chuck Jones, you’ve all got a hundred thousand bad stories in you, better start getting them out now. And I know the feeling all too well – hell, I’m still tossing out stories left and right. Probably had…what, four or five big projects* that I thought were literary gold in the early days but that I wound up realizing really, really sucked. Like…black hole levels of suckitude.

    In short? Don’t stop writing…but feel free to let it grow before you throw it out into the big wide world (or big wide Internet, but you know what I mean).

    /public service announcement

    – Wings

    * I’m not even counting all the fanfiction. Those were dark days.

  640. Indigoon 17 Nov 2011 at 12:13 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself 😉

  641. Grenacon 17 Nov 2011 at 1:10 am

    I had a fanfiction project that I was planning to make into a fan comic. I thought it was super awesome and amazing and that my MC wasn’t a Sue. Cut back to years later and I realized how terrible it was and how much of a Sue my character was.

    I put a lot of thought into the story…but it was just so bad.

    I sincerely hope my current novel WIP at least has a chance ;^;

  642. ShyVioletson 17 Nov 2011 at 5:31 am

    I think most of us have had a Sue we were sure wasn’t one. I have several dozen old notes books filled with stuff I will probably never use. On the other hand, I’m almost done with the first chapter of the story I’ve been working on. I’m writing in first person so I’m trying to make sure the story keeps moving and doesn’t get caught up in info dumping. So far its looking good but sooner are later I’ll have to through it to the hard, cold judgment of my sister and one of my best friends. Then is they don’t kill my hopes and dreams I’ll pass it on to you guys 🙂 I’ll probably posy pretty slowly (as in one chapter at a time) but if i get inspired I could come out with a bunch all at once.

    @ Wings: there you go being all helpful 😀

    @ Grenac: I’m not pro and I can be kind of a harsh judge and grammar Nazi but if you want I could take a look 🙂

  643. Grenacon 17 Nov 2011 at 6:48 am

    Ah, I can’t wait to see it 8D! Reading other people’s stories is awesome.

    Um…I’m kind of ashamed to say this, but uh…I sort of restarted my novel….DON’T KILL ME GUISE OMG D: I just couldn’t move forward with it anymore. I’m sorry ;^;

    I have my review forum, but that version is outdated now, haha.

  644. ShyVioletson 17 Nov 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I ca feel all the ideas bouncing around in my head so hard the just have to come out!
    “I sort of restarted my novel” That’s okay. Sometimes it has to be done 🙂 don’t just trash it though. Try to reuse some of what you already have.

  645. Anonymouson 17 Nov 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I did post a character song I’d like crit on.

  646. Grenacon 17 Nov 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Woops, that Anon was me.

  647. ShyVioletson 18 Nov 2011 at 5:39 am

    Okay 🙂

  648. MGHon 01 Dec 2011 at 9:13 am

    Hi Everyone!
    This site is amazing. It has helped me so much! I wanted to ask for some help on naming one of my characters. Her real name is Juliet Clarke. She can manipulate gravity and create force fields. It would take a long time to explain everything so I’m just going to summerize. In a nutshell, Superpowers are rare. The police think that any superpowered person is a menace and has to be stopped so to avoid being arrested, they all go ‘underground’ to a headquarters of sorts and learn to master their powers so they can go undectected in the ‘real world’. They all have code names. I’m having trouble with Juliet’s code name. It can’t be something elaborate. It’s just suppose to be something they thought of off the top of their heads that has to do with their powers. (Some of the other ones are: Apollo, Twister, Wolf…) Any suggestions? Thanks!

  649. ShyVioletson 01 Dec 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Shield, Force, Zero, G…..thats all I got. My most humble apologies.

  650. Indigoon 02 Dec 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Gravity? Lunara? Crescent? Eclipse? Something related to the moon would be cool-as a reference to how the moon’s gravitational pull affects the tides of Earth’s oceans. For example, one of my characters, Luna, has similar powers, except for the forcefields-more like telekinesis.

    That’s all I can come up with at the moment 🙂

  651. MGHon 04 Dec 2011 at 7:44 am

    Thanks Everybody 🙂 What do you think of Rocket? Or Riptide? (because she alters gravity which in turn alters the tides so she ‘rips the tide’) Let me know what you think!

  652. ShyVioletson 04 Dec 2011 at 9:58 am

    Rocket sounds cool but Riptide sounds like it would be really misleading.

  653. Anonymouson 04 Dec 2011 at 5:03 pm

    What name would you suggest for a character who has the ability to assimilate the powers of video game characters?
    The catch to her powers is that she can only take on one character’s powers at once, the powers (for her) are half strength, and she can only use them for ten minutes. What weaknesses might a character like that have?

  654. Indigoon 04 Dec 2011 at 6:03 pm

    When you say assimilate, do you mean that she can take on the powers/abilities of any video game character she chooses? The most obvious weakness is that the powers only last for ten minutes..how long does she have to “recharge” before she can take on a different set of powers? Could you perhaps post a more detailed description of her powers? I’m having a little trouble understanding it…

  655. Anonymouson 04 Dec 2011 at 6:26 pm

    She can’t spontaneously take on any characters powers. She has to see the character using their powers before she can copy his/her/it’s abilities. She has to wait at least two hours before taking on other powers. It is possible for her to only wait one hour, but this is extremely dangerous to herself and others, as she will not be able to properly control the powers.

    When she copies somebody’s powers, she can only wield them at half strength.

  656. Comicbookguy117on 16 Dec 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Ok I’m not sure if this article is discussing the birth names or codenames of characters. But I have a question about a codename of a recently created character. Ok so this character is going to be part of a group of superteens. She is a girly-girl who constantly tries to keep the peace between teammates, citing the ‘power of friendship’. She also happens to be a humanoid monster with light purple skin who can turn into a hulking bigfoot-like creature with thick purple fur. Now the color, at this point, is changeable. I just went with purple skin/fur because the first codename that popped in my head was Lilac. Because of the color, her personality and general sweetness. Other possibilities include Fushia Freak and Monstergirl. The latter is so original isn’t it? Lol. But seriously, her codename is giving me a little more trouble than the other members. Can anyone offer any advice?

  657. Comicbookguy117on 16 Dec 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Also, side note, I’ve got another character. Reall foul-mouthed tomboy type. Anyway, she’s got the ability to turn soundwaves into vibrantly-colored energy. Each color carries slightly different properties. I codenamed her Shock Jock because of her powers and her foul-mouth. But all together with the others, I’m not sure how I feel about it as a codename. What do you guys think?

  658. Indigoon 17 Dec 2011 at 12:44 am

    For the second character you mentioned-the one with the sound/color abilities-how about Prism, Spectrum, Illuminate, or something along those lines?

  659. GigawattConduiton 17 Dec 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve come up with several characters, and I think their superhero names need some work.

    1) Buzzshock: Electric hero. Alternate names considered were Conduit, Amp, and Gigawatt.

    2) Pulse: Creates soundwaves. Soundwave I’m sure is copyrighted, and Boombox sounded too kiddie to me.

    3) Circuit: Technology hero. Alternate names were Android and Cyborg.

    4) Avenger: Gun based hero. I also thought of Seraph and Gunslinger for her.

    5) Dragon: Teenage hero with fire powers and a dragon tattoo. Also thought of Kid Ninja and Kenshin.

    6) Serpent: Teenage hero with water powers.

    7) Xenomorph: Alien with shapeshifting powers.

    8) Reaper: Alien who can absorb powers.

    Please let me know what you think of these names or any other names I didn’t think of.

  660. Johnon 01 Jan 2012 at 6:02 am

    Ok I am writing a superhero team novel. I can not come up with a team name. The natural leader has a spce rock that when he holds his body is coated with a super strong metal. Two of them are twins and one has fire powers and the other water. The last member can turn into any animal that he has actualy seen. The only name I have is the last one and it is Animalia. I have no secret identity names either.

  661. Johnon 02 Jan 2012 at 10:20 am

    Ok. Here is some more information the guy with a space rock is 16 and he hates letting people down. The fire twinn iss a girl who is always ready to fight yet she is not good at planninng. The water twin is calm and she has a crush on the guy with a space rock she always thinks things through. Animalia is a wise native american who is very into his abilities. They are all 16years old. Could someone please help.

  662. Davidon 08 Jan 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hey. I am working on a vampire novel series and in it, I have four vampire families, all of which are a part of the Illuminati bloodline. Is the name “Illuminati” an okay name to use, or too cliche?

  663. B. McKenzieon 08 Jan 2012 at 9:11 pm

    It does strike me as a bit cliche, but if the ancient conspiracy feel is intentional, I think “Illuminati” is okay.

  664. YoungAuthoron 16 Jan 2012 at 11:31 am

    Any suggestions for a speed super hero? I’ve come up with Acceleration and Velocity but i can’t think of any better ones. (i have a speed super villain named darkhorse so suggestions for that are welcome too.) Electric-based super hero with the name Volt. suggestions are welcome. i have a batman like gun toting super hero which is currently named the Scarlet Avenger but i’d like a better name (carries knives and and bows(crossbow included). All feedback is welcome. Also it would help if anyone went to the Superhero creation quesitionaire and gave me some advice there. Thank you!

  665. B. McKenzieon 16 Jan 2012 at 9:04 pm

    You could try basing a name on something besides the superpowers. I have some ideas here.

  666. Anonymouson 16 Jan 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you. That was extremely helpful! i’ve changed my batman character (Kane) to be the Crimson Avenger.

  667. YoungAuthoron 16 Jan 2012 at 9:20 pm

    ^^ that above post is mine.

  668. Anonymouson 24 Feb 2012 at 3:06 pm

    how about a character that has positive traits
    creative and generous
    negative trait he is a bit of a pushover in away this is a side effect of his generosity

  669. Anon10on 24 Feb 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Sorry didn’t give much information about the character
    Haven’t decided his name yet but he is generally a creative individual due to his artist background and interests in art he is a university student studying an art course. He grew up not having much as a child in terms that his family wasn’t very well off financially so he is quiet generous to others but the side effect to his generosity is that it makes him a little bit of a pushover. Not sure if that really makes sense.

    With powers i’m thinking telekinesis as it can be use in a variety of ways can be backed up by his creative edge. however i also feel that telekinesis can be quite hard to challenge suggestions on how would be appreciated, basic origin he was born with his ability, just like several other people in his world however, finding it difficult to create motivation for being a superhero of sorts any ideas???

  670. B. McKenzieon 24 Feb 2012 at 4:56 pm

    The generosity –> pushover angle strikes me as promising. Depending on how you’re able to use that (e.g. which other characters you use and how they interact with this character), it could be very interesting.

    “…[I’m] finding it difficult to [give him a] motivation for being a superhero of sorts.” You could tie this into generosity and/or his family background. (If he grew up in a poor area, crime might be a more personal thing for him).

    For ideas about how to challenge the character, I’d recommend this article.

  671. Anon10on 24 Feb 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks B. Mckenzie that article is really useful have got some more things to think about 🙂

  672. Creedon 31 Mar 2012 at 8:33 am

    Yo, I need help…again.

    I’ve been creating the villains to go along with the comic-line, and if you’ve read my other comments on “5 superhero plots that need to die”, then you’ll know which i’m talking about. The villains are starting to look like Batman’s famous “ROGUES GALLERY” but this needs to be my characters not a cheap nock-off.

    If you have any advice on making supervillains that go along the dark enviornment close to batman’s but still mine, please respond.

    For starters, I thought of bad-guys that have a similar attire or theme. My character symbolizes the stage before death: Darkness. Like he’s, as I said before, “Death’s Advocate.” Not actually murdering but making the criminals think on how close they came to death when he’s around.


  673. WonderstruckWriteron 19 Apr 2012 at 2:48 am

    I’m having some trouble finding a name for my character. She doesn’t actually name herself it’s what the reporters call her. She does all of her crime fighting at night as not to be seen. She has earth manipulation powers (mainly consisting of moving rocks with her mind and creating earthquakes as well as turning her skin to stone.) but she rarely uses them because she does not want to stand out to the people she’s fighting (uses hand-to-hand combat, instead). Protecting her secret identity is REALLY important to her, she does all that’s necessary to keep her secret safe. She first dresses in an all black sweats with a simple masquerade mask (haven’t decided on the color yet) but then after the reporters “name” her she redoes her outfit accordingly. So, I’m at a loss as to what to call her. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

  674. B. McKenzieon 20 Apr 2012 at 1:08 am

    “I’m having some trouble finding a name for my character. She doesn’t actually name herself it’s what the reporters call her.” I’d be careful with this setup… Asking readers to remember three different names (her given name, the name the media gives her, and the name she gives her super-identity) could be problematic. What does this extra layer of complexity add? I think that, if it adds something, the name will probably suggest itself (probably because there’s a plot-relevant* contrast between how the media sees her and how she sees herself).

    For example, if she comes up with a different name than the media does because the media wants to sensationalize and really sex up this story, but she sees herself in a pretty serious light, then I think it’d be pretty easy to come up with two names reflecting the contrasting perspectives of both (e.g. Sleek, Allure, Gloss, Nightfall or the Midnight [NOUN] for the media and something far more plain/less ridiculous for the name she gives herself–maybe “Amy Black” or another regular name that hints at darkness).

    *If the contrast isn’t plot-relevant, I’m guessing this will take too much reader bandwidth for too little impact.

  675. WonderstruckWriteron 20 Apr 2012 at 2:19 am

    Actually, she doesn’t make a name for herself, she just takes what the media calls her and uses that. Thanks for the suggestions though 🙂

  676. Jeremy Melloulon 20 Apr 2012 at 2:48 am

    An easy way to pull the name off is by having her unsure of the name she wants and ending up being latched to the one attributed to her by the reporters. Like has happened with other heroes (see Invincible).

  677. B. McKenzieon 20 Apr 2012 at 10:46 am

    “Actually, she doesn’t make a name for herself, she just takes what the media calls her and uses that.” Oh, ack, I’m sorry I misunderstood that. Clearly, I should not be doing this at 1 AM (err, actually 3 AM, but SN time claims it was 1 AM).

  678. WonderstruckWriteron 21 Apr 2012 at 3:22 am

    Haha no worries 🙂 And thanks, Jeremy, for your suggestion!

  679. Jeremy Melloulon 21 Apr 2012 at 4:56 am

    Yeah no worries. Though I now realize that’s what you were saying. Guess I also made B. Mac’s mistake.

  680. WonderstruckWriteron 21 Apr 2012 at 5:42 am

    Alright, I’m thinking either Starling or Nightingale. I went with bird themed because at first her masquerade mask has feathers so she looks kind of like a bird…A starling normally has dark, iridescent plumage and well, a nightingale has the word night in it. What do you think?
    Also, many comic companies already have the names taken but they’re minor characters. Do you think this will cause problems if I use them? Thanks 🙂

  681. B. McKenzieon 21 Apr 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “Also, many comic companies already have the names taken but they’re minor characters. Do you think this will cause problems if I use them?” Here’s my take on copyright issues:

    If the issue is just that your character has the same name as a fairly obscure Marvel or DC hero, it is probably not a huge problem. Your eventual publisher might ask you to change the name, but that’s such an easy change that it would probably not scare away prospective publishers. However, publishers might pass if the copyright issues are more integral to the plot and cannot be changed as easily, particularly if the concept is very similar to a well-known character. The easier it would be to change, the less likely it is to scare publishers. (Alternately, you’re legally fine if you’re covered by “fair use”).

  682. WonderstruckWriteron 22 Apr 2012 at 12:17 am

    Ok, thanks! 🙂

  683. Jeremy Melloulon 22 Apr 2012 at 1:37 am

    Also – don’t think about what logically makes sense to you. Think about what makes sense to your character / the press / whoever is going to be giving her her name.

  684. WonderstruckWriteron 22 Apr 2012 at 4:58 am

    Actually, B.Mac’s first comment gave me an idea. Like if at first the media calls her something ridiculous so she names herself and enforces that name because she doesn’t want to be stuck with ‘Bird Girl’ or something equally horrible.

  685. B. McKenzieon 22 Apr 2012 at 10:14 am

    What would the advantage be of giving her one awful name and transitioning into a better one versus just having her get the better name from the start?

    (One possible advantage that comes to mind is that it shows that she’s somewhat proactive, but is this worth the extra space? It might be possible to show proactivity in a more substantial, plot-relevant way…)

  686. WonderstruckWriteron 22 Apr 2012 at 11:51 am

    O.o I hadn’t thought about that…it’s just I don’t think that the media would call her Nightingale right off the bat…Would they?

  687. B. McKenzieon 22 Apr 2012 at 2:39 pm

    “it’s just I don’t think that the media would call her Nightingale right off the bat…Would they?” Does it sound any less believable than calling her Bird Girl right off the bat?

  688. WonderstruckWriteron 22 Apr 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Hmm…I guess not. Thanks for all your help!

  689. Hobbeson 11 May 2012 at 7:17 am

    Ok Awhile Ago I Posted A Story idea About Romero Bay. I can’t Seem To Locate The Comments. I posted my characters information and still can’t seem to find them. B.Mac Please Help!!

  690. B. McKenzieon 11 May 2012 at 7:48 am

    Okay, if you sign in at the bottom, you can access a search engine that will let you search through the comments here. I did a search for Romero Bay, and that gave me the link to your review forum here.

  691. Hobbeson 11 May 2012 at 7:17 pm

    B.Mac Its Where I Tell My 3 Main Characters Names And What They Are This Is Important!!! I really Want To Start Working On This Project Again.

  692. B. McKenzieon 11 May 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I went into the comment search engine (which you can use, by the way) and searched for Lavinia and found this post. Next time, I would appreciate if you would do your own search, because you know more about which search terms work best for your work than I do.

  693. Hobbeson 12 May 2012 at 10:30 am

    Thanks You!! Im Sorry

  694. DeZenon 13 May 2012 at 7:53 am

    Thank you for helping me clear up a problem I’ve been wrestling with for the last few weeks. Recently, my project hit a massive stumbling block when I suffered, what I like to call, the trifecta of sucky luck. I had been working with the hero name ‘Dynagirl’ for my energy based hero for the past year and a half of planning. That was until I stumbled onto a web comic that, not only used that name as it’s title, but had the character had a almost identical physical traits and shared the same last name.

    Needles to say, much non-pg language followed this discovery forcing me back to square one. I’ve been trying to find and alternate since and this has helped immensely. Thank’s for helping.

  695. Anonymouson 14 May 2012 at 10:16 am

    does Bearman and Snakeman sound crap?

  696. B. McKenzieon 14 May 2012 at 11:07 am

    “Do Bearman and Snakeman sound crappy?” They do feel sort of outdated to me–Batman and Spider-Man were introduced in 1939 and 1962 and there haven’t been many [Animal]-Man names in the past 25 years. What would you think about, say, Kodiak and Mangrove?

  697. Anonymouson 15 May 2012 at 12:11 pm

    sound to mistical to me i’m trying for more of a si fi or action kind of name

  698. B. McKenzieon 15 May 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I’d recommend just moving forward with the story, Anonymous. Names will come eventually.

  699. Anonymouson 16 May 2012 at 8:17 am

    okay sightly off topic how should you name a corrupt city?

  700. Creedon 19 May 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Hey Guys,

    first I’d like to thank you on helping me before on my Character trouble. I’m actually in the process of making the first draft! 🙂 but I need help on another story plot. Two to be exact- sorry

    1. This first one is about the constant battle between Heaven and Hell. The protagonist is known as the “Demon Hunter” but carries a HUGE problem. A very, very unlikable Demon has somehow attatched itself to the Demon Hunter’s sub-concioius and, at the hunter’s worst times, will overtake his human mind and replace it with his madness (and when I say madness i mean MADNESS…).

    The Demon Hunter sees both Angels and Demons, but the entire mystery is how he does. It’s sort of a Draw-in; you have to go into the story to figure it out. HOWEVER… I don’t even know how he does!!! I’m stuck! and I need help-

    2. The second one is in the year 2645, after a huge breakout between rogue machines and Humans over 4 planets. One robot wakes up after being struck by lighting
    2 years after these events. He then goes by the name VAN WILL and has to figure out what happend to his planet and others around.

    My only problem with this is that I kind of make the robot humanish (sorry for bad grammar) What I mean is , he’s sarcastic, impulsive except he’s a 7 foot robot.

    Any help on both would be fantastic

  701. Dukeofnachoson 25 Jun 2012 at 2:22 am

    Is it corny to use Antha and Uel Sams for twins? (Sams, Antha = Samantha Sams, Uel = Samuel)

  702. Ashleyon 02 Jul 2012 at 11:07 pm

    What do you think of the name Elliot Neville?
    He’s the villain in my book, and he likes to be evil, but with class and style.

  703. B. McKenzieon 03 Jul 2012 at 3:24 am

    I like Elliot, but Neville sounds a bit too soft to me (unless the villain is very unthreatening). Also, I think Neville works better as a first name than a surname.

  704. YellowJujuon 03 Jul 2012 at 8:50 am

    My characters first name is my first name backwards and his last name is my middle name, so his name is Elyk Davids. Whatcha think about that name?

  705. B. McKenzieon 03 Jul 2012 at 9:52 am


    1) Using a variation of your name for the character’s name (unless the work is meant to be some sort of fictionalized autobiography) might raise authorial distance issues. I’d recommend making sure that the character is not a romanticized self-insertion (e.g. please give the characters flaws, have him make mistakes, and hold him accountable for his decisions and his mistakes).

    2) I feel like Elyk is really hard to pronounce and might look strange to readers, especially if the setting is vaguely modern. If you were dead-set on using a variation of your name, I’d recommend using David or perhaps Lyke (another anagram of “Kyle”) instead. Or maybe something like David Elky.

  706. aharrison 03 Jul 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @ YellowJuju If you’re dead set on Elyk, maybe you could re-spell it to make it easier to read? Ellik, Ellick or Ellyk – I don’t know about those, but maybe there’s a variation that wouldn’t look too bad. The name itself doesn’t sound that bad to me or implausible, but I agree that it doesn’t look like something you would expect in a regular name. Also, if you play with the spelling, it would maybe help keep some distance between you and your character.

    I’d also take the “s” off of Davids, but then my boss’s last name is David. I might be biased there is thinking David sounds better.

  707. YellowJujuon 03 Jul 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Ok! Thanks for the feedback!

  708. Jerkon 09 Jul 2012 at 7:14 am

    OK, here are my character names. The setting is a fairly dark fantasy world named Castenas, inspired mostly by A Song of Ice and Fire and the Malazan Book of the Fallen, with a lot of characters. These are the 22 that I consider “protagonists”, of a sort – this list is organised by “groups”. (I know some people consider that confusing, especially when the backstory is intentionally fed in slowly, but I personally enjoy it, and the success of ASOIAF proves there’s a market for it.) Planning 4 books.

    The main three:
    * Jonas Godslayer (arrogant, petty and selfish descendant of the legendary hero Ran Godslayer, who works for a corrupt merchant as an enforcer and has the mysterious ability to bring people back from the dead)
    * Brenn (Jonas’ best friend, a pyromaniac orphan taken in by Jonas’ employer, who has a hatred for magic and therefore specialises in eliminating fugitive members of the Order of Hondar)
    * Lahra (a former prostitute taken in by Jonas’ employer, who enjoys a casual relationship with Jonas and works alongside him in reverse-engineering magical devices to be fenced on the black market)

    The Order of Hondar (the theocratic order of mages which served as the official magical organisation of Castenas, but have been officially disbanded by Varkand due to their open rebellion against him):
    * Cerris Godslayer (Jonas’ grandfather, a high-ranking member of the Order deeply bound to its traditions who will do anything to hold on to them)
    * Tolsa One-Eye (Jonas’ mentor when he was in the Order, a young and dynamic man struggling to live up to the legacy of his own recently-deceased mentor)
    * Keth (Tolsa’s other student, who serves as a rival to Jonas due to his
    * Djak the Workhorse (a gruff but good-hearted smith, one of Jonas’ drinking buddies, who may or may not have some strange ties to the Order…)

    The Storm Creed (a mystical religion that the Order of Hondar considers heretical):
    * Varkand, the Grey Prophet (a mysterious prophet who founded the Storm Creed, and has since used his great magical ability to overthrow the Castenasi Emperor, in his quest to find the secret of immortality and fix the social instability in Castenas and the inflexible traditionalism of the Order [not spoiling his past history with the Godslayer line])
    * Dareth Orr (a minor noble who was made second-in-command of the Creed due to his parents supporting it from its foundation, but he doesn’t want to be and clashes with Varkand over many of the finer points of their theology)
    * Neela (a woman who was magically tortured and bent to the will of the Creed from a young age in order to become an inflexible agent of their will and their most effective killer)
    * Salima (a member of the Order stolen from them at a young age and indoctrinated to become Varkand’s mage-advisor, who enjoys experimenting with magic and pushing the limits of how far it can go)
    * Domen (the commander of the Storm Creed’s elite assassins, who constantly strives to prove himself to Varkand because he was not raised in the Creed like all the others)
    * Errok (a young child created by Salima’s magic to serve as Varkand’s successor in case he dies without an heir, who loves to tinker with magic with a childlike curiosity… with usually deadly results)

    The empire in exile:
    * Tornac Nehriss (the tyrannical deposed former Emperor of Restana, who has since moved overseas and will stop at nothing to regain his throne)
    * Fari Nehriss (Tornac’s daughter, who serves as a more reasonable and calm counterpoint to his fiery and reactionary rhetoric about overthrowing Varkand)
    * Rood Galbar (the commander of the Imperial guards, who struggles to reconcile his love for Fari with his professional duties as a soldier)
    * Meyran Galbar (Rood’s brother, an idealistic fellow guard who aspires to the ideals of the heroic knights he read about as a child)
    * Tarkatai (an honourable yet pragmatic warlord from the foreign land of Jhamek, who fights a guerrilla war against Varkand and ends up allying with Tornac)

    The royal court:
    * Kyrus Whitehand (a treacherous, scheming noble who takes advantage of the war between Varkand and Tornac to advance his own position)
    * Soni Carrock (Kyrus’ lover and partner in his schemes, a former member of the Imperial guild of assassins who took on the guise of a noble to give herself a new start in life)
    * Alma Carrock (Soni’s daughter from a previous marriage, a tough and resourceful young woman who joined the military to get away from the web of deception at the court)
    * Olvet Kreygan (Jonas’ employer, a dye merchant utterly driven by the pursuit of wealth, who trades with both the Storm Creed and Tornac’s forces to make a profit from the war)

  709. B. McKenzieon 09 Jul 2012 at 8:05 am

    “These are the 22 that I consider ‘protagonists,’ of a sort… (I know some people consider that confusing, especially when the backstory is intentionally fed in slowly, but I personally enjoy it, and the success of ASOIAF proves there’s a market for it).” Some thoughts…

    –Yes, George R.R. Martin has had success with some massive casts (e.g. ASOIAF and Wild Cards). However, this is still an exceedingly difficult sell. When you’re writing your query (or writing a brief description for readers if self-publishing), I think it’s extremely important to make the plot as easy to understand as possible. Realistically, you have two minutes in a publisher’s office to hook the readers. Even if I gave you five, I wouldn’t have any idea of what the central plot is like. I need to be able to sell other people on this, and I don’t have a hook to do it. It would probably help to make it clearer what the most important 1-2 goals or threads in the book are. My best guess is that it’s the conflict between the new regime and the deposed emperor, but I have no idea how any of the three most important characters tie into that.

    –The characters themselves could sound more memorable. Granted, your situation is unusually difficult because 2-3 sentences describing each character takes about 725 words. However, these 2-3 sentences could do more to make the characters sound like the sort of people you’d really want to read a book about. Incorporating more memorable/unusual decisions would probably help develop the characters and introduce key plot points.

    –If at all possible, I would recommend going with a plot-centric approach rather than a list of characters.

    –When you’re selling this to prospective publishers, I’d recommend cutting out the “I personally enjoy it,” because it doesn’t do much to convince a publisher that this is likely to succeed. Also, PAs can infer that you enjoy the type of story you’re writing.

    –Are you a first-time author? I think it’s somewhat difficult for a first-time author to sell a series. (This strikes me as a much less serious issue than the cast/story, though–if you can REALLY sell them on the story and show them that many people will be interested, then asking for four books probably won’t be a deal-breaker). That said, it’s another thing which could possibly go wrong, and publishers are risk-averse.

  710. Jerkon 09 Jul 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Well, I’m not really looking to publish at the moment and mostly writing for personal enjoyment. That said, I do want to publish it once I’ve made some edits to my ideas (not much written so far). This wasn’t really intended to serve as a “pitch”, just my list of ideas.

    Basically, yes, the plot is about the struggle between the new regime and the deposed emperor, and Jonas getting caught in the middle of it, struggling to live up to his ancestor, and finding out the history his family had with Varkand. (Which I won’t spoil here.)

    I know what you mean, it is hard to do just a brief summary of characters in one sentence like this. Is there any article here where I could post more about a few characters in depth?

  711. Amberon 14 Jul 2012 at 10:00 pm

    In one of my stories one of the charters has healing, flying and telecunises as powers but I cant think any “super name” with the randomness of his powers. I ussally don’t use classic hero names. some examples of names I used for other charters are shadow for charter who kind of has phantum powers and malisa ( based off madusia) for a who normally has normal hair but can twist into snakes and then turn pepole to stones with her eyes when it is. In this paricular story there are lots of pepole with powers and most kids gets a trainer when they are young who gives them there “muntant” name.

  712. YellowJujuon 14 Jul 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Maybe Angel, or something along those lines.

  713. DAnderson 15 Jul 2012 at 10:27 am

    Hey guys,
    I haven’t been on the this site for awhile because of Uni but now I’m stuck on name for a hero who can fly and has the power of pyrokinesis.

    I am really stuck. Any help will be appreciated!

  714. D.E.H.on 19 Aug 2012 at 7:35 pm

    So i’m making a comic and i’m naming my superhero The Talon does anyone think that its to close to any other comic characters

  715. D.E.H.on 19 Aug 2012 at 7:55 pm

    @DAnders if your hero uses wings for his meanes of flight then i would suggest The Dragon,Blaze angel,or flamejet

  716. Edgukatoron 20 Aug 2012 at 2:54 am

    @DEH – just did some research on it. There’s a character in the Static Shock cartoon series, a decepticon on the Transformers, a female clone of Wolverine, a bit character in an alternate DC universe and a Marvel character set in the distant future. None of these sound particularly big name enough to really cause a problem.

    I would go with the standard B.Mac line on this – a character name is never a real problem (unless you’re directly ripping someone off). By and large, if it will be a copyright problem, the publisher will just ask you to change it.

  717. Samon 20 Aug 2012 at 7:26 am

    Sorry for posting this here, but I had this on the other naming thread, and no one seemed to reply to me. I need a superhero and alter ego name, or just suggestions on how to name him based on his character. Also, I really like names like the Green Hornet

    “I have a character in desperate need of a good name. Pretty much he’s a young vigilantie in high school with no powers at all. He lives in Chicago and is part of a middle class family. His origin story was that his dad’s business was going under and he posed as a “Hero” who was really just an illegal bounty hunter who caught crooks for cash. The motive to do so came from him believing that his father was going to commit suicide.

    Although he started as a bounty hunter, he later became a vigilantie after his father was admitted into psychiatric care. His mask has a six sided shape on it, that looks a bit like a diamond. This was also the logo to his father’s failed company. The mask is Rorschach-esque except with holes for the eyes and the mask is black while the shape is red. His costume is a black coat over a blood red shirt, and with black and white striped pants. He also wears a beanie hat (when he plans on fighting) and a classy D’orsay (yes, i did get that from google) when he just plans on talking.

    He also has a little communications beed in his ear so he can talk to his friend, who helps him on most of his jobs/adventures. Although it is a bit of a cliche, I am careful not to make him a tech geek that can build anything.

    My hero also has a couple utilities stashed in the inside of his coat. Eggs filled with glass, a deodorant can and duct tape. He may have more, but I need a name for him first.”

  718. YoungAuthoron 20 Aug 2012 at 9:11 am

    @Sam-The Black Mask? (<- taken i think) Diamond Mask? Mystery?
    Also, you might wanna give him more than just "Eggs filled with glass, a deodorant can and duct tape." Like maybe a crowbar or a pipe? A blade of somesort? a cane even?

  719. B. McKenzieon 20 Aug 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Sam, the character sounds sort of generic. Does he have a personality? When you’re selling the character, I’d recommend spending a lot more time on major decisions which help develop his distinguishing traits and personality. costume. Right now, his costume gets 90 words and his personality gets (by my count) 0. If you’re doing a page-long synopsis for a publisher, I’m having trouble coming up with a scenario where the costume warrants more than 2 sentences.

  720. B. McKenzieon 20 Aug 2012 at 1:14 pm

    “I would go with the standard B.Mac line on this – a character name is never a real problem (unless you’re directly ripping someone off). By and large, if it will be a copyright problem, the publisher will just ask you to change it.” Yeah… I think the only problem it would be serious enough to scare away prospective publishers is if the character in question were so major that the publisher thought you might be writing fan-fiction. If I see a character named Batman or Superman, instant rejection. But if it’s a more obscure and/or generic name like Steel or Angel*, fan-fiction isn’t the first possibility that comes to mind. If the character is otherwise original, changing the name is relatively simple.

    *That said, I do hate characters named Angel, especially if the character’s only connection to angels is having white wings. Generic is usually forgettable.

  721. Samon 20 Aug 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @B.Mac Actually, I’m pretty sure right now I’m scrapping that character for now. I have hit a mental block with him. I do have another one (With a personality,) but the name I was going to use was taken by a minor x-men.

    So basically, his powers consist of his mass being made entirely out of water. He can turn into any form he wants, and even change into ice, regular, or gaseous states (this is based on temperature, not his will.) He was a detective in the Chicago Police Department, but resigned before he reached middle ages. I’ve read many superhero stories where the cops were against the heroes, so I decided to make the struggle internal where his inner cop was against the inner vigilantie. It is for this reason he never becomes a vigilantie at all, and only participates with others when it benefits himself.

    He is extremely hot-headed, and will use his powers to fight others. He also can be reckless, but always tells the truth, and is extremely vocal on his view that everyone should do so. He’s almost forty years old but looks older. His powers activate when he touches water, and slowly wears off after that point. Without his powers, he is in bad shape physically. He is a rational thinker but not a super-genius.

    As for my other story, do you have suggestions for a personality that fits the setting/mood? Also, I want that story to be a little less dark and brooding and more fun and lighthearted (like the story “Mud Man”) Thank you for reading this.

  722. B. McKenzieon 20 Aug 2012 at 5:53 pm

    “He also can be reckless, but always tells the truth, and is extremely vocal on his view that everyone should do so.” I could definitely see this potentially leading to conflict with a police department. For political reasons, police departments will sometimes underreport crimes to make the city look safer and the politicians/police look better (e.g. Dallas police underreported crimes like smashing a glass mug on somebody face as a lesser crime, whereas state and federal officials would have ruled it a felony aggravated assault). Alternately, if there’s doubt about whether a crime happened (e.g. a woman is not sure whether it was rape or merely a one-night stand she regrets), the police might subtly and/or unsubtly encourage the victim to go home rather than open a case where the police would be hard-pressed to get a win.

    “As for my other story, do you have suggestions for a personality that fits the setting/mood? Also, I want that story to be a little less dark and brooding and more fun and lighthearted (like the story “Mud Man”)…” Hmm, I’ll think more about this and get back to you.

  723. D.E.H.on 23 Aug 2012 at 4:17 am

    @edgukator thanks for telling me about possible dangers i’ll be sure to be careful

  724. B. McKenzieon 23 Aug 2012 at 4:58 am

    “As for my other story, do you have suggestions for a personality that fits the setting/mood? Also, I want that story to be a little less dark and brooding and more fun and lighthearted…” I think Incredibles had a really solid superhero-vs-society angle without making either the heroes or the plot particularly dark. In particular, Dash’s main conflict was his desire to excel in a setting where being openly super is undesirable and/or dangerous. Bob feels like he can be doing more, but his wife and boss are uncomfortable about the consequences there. In my own work, The Taxman Must Die, an IRS supervisor transfers the titular taxman after he opened up a can of worms by auditing a supervillain. Personality-wise, he’s definitely not anybody’s idea of a badass, but he is stubborn enough to create conflict with his ex-coworkers.

  725. Emily M.on 01 Sep 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I have 6 characters. So far, I only have three whose names have been nailed down. Turns out, the original names of the other 3 characters have already been taken, and I have to think of new names.
    The problem is I can’t think of any alternate names that would fit the chracter’s personality/motivations/powers, especially since all the cool names have been taken. *cough* MARVEL. *cough*

    I’m trying to think of good names for these three characters:

    -An easy-going, self-absorbed, crafty, baseball-oriented vigilante who thinks and strategizes like a master chess player. (male) (Formerly Crackerjack)

    -A petite, birdlike vigilante with a mean-spirited, blunt, snarky attitude. Powers: vocal/sound/word manipulation. (female) (Formerly Spitfire)

    -a goofy, insensitive, but compassionate sidekick. Powers: electricity/light manipulation. (male) (Formerly Spark) (Not so much an electricity/light associated name. I’m looking for a name that implies revolution, rebellion, and change. Something simple, but dynamic.)

  726. Edgukatoron 02 Sep 2012 at 1:20 am

    “-An easy-going, self-absorbed, crafty, baseball-oriented vigilante who thinks and strategizes like a master chess player. (male) (Formerly Crackerjack)”


    “-A petite, birdlike vigilante with a mean-spirited, blunt, snarky attitude. Powers: vocal/sound/word manipulation. (female) (Formerly Spitfire)”

    Dirge? Dischord?

    “-a goofy, insensitive, but compassionate sidekick. Powers: electricity/light manipulation. (male) (Formerly Spark) (Not so much an electricity/light associated name. I’m looking for a name that implies revolution, rebellion, and change. Something simple, but dynamic.)”

    Revolt seems obvious

  727. YellowJujuon 17 Oct 2012 at 10:21 pm

    So far my characters names are:
    Robert Stuggers- Main Character (Chris calls him Stugs)
    Chris Falkner (Dad is Henry Falkner)
    Melissa Greene
    Arnold Winfield
    and Vincent Symalgin (villain).

    Are these decent names?

  728. B. McKenzieon 18 Oct 2012 at 7:23 am

    What would you think about changing Vincent to Victor?

  729. YellowJujuon 18 Oct 2012 at 7:36 am

    I was gonna that but I thought there were enough villains named Victor. I like that more than Vincent so I guess there will be one more Victor. Haha

  730. Neuromanceron 15 Nov 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Why in the hell did Watchmen have to take the name Rorschach?????? it is so blatantly awesome!

  731. Mariahon 05 Dec 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I try to avoid using the same beginning letter for characters, but somehow I ended up with Pricilla, Paul, and Poppy. I’m not attatched to Poppy, so I think I’ll change that, though I like the innocence of it. She’s a minor character that appears only in backstory.
    Pricilla and Paul, though. Do they sound different enough that I could bend the rule? Pricilla I like because it sounds extravagant and “Prissy” is a nickname of it. (First used as an insult, then later affectionately.) It’s the name of my main character who believes herself to be a goddess. I’m afraid it sounds too cold for a main character.
    Paul I like because it evokes Paul from the Bible. He’s a character that starts out on the wrong side but then sees the light. (The scribe character, if you remember from my other comment.) Naming him Saul would be too blatant, I think. I want a plain name for him. He’s a mentor.

  732. Mariahon 05 Dec 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I’m changing Poppy to Tansy.

  733. Nayanon 06 Dec 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I am trying hard to find a name for my superhero and his team. I don’t want to use a name based on superpowers. He wears a costume of blue color and his logo is blue flame of fire. He is a dark, mysterious superhero and kills criminals with the help of his teammates at first. So the crime world calls him ‘Blue Death’ and his team ‘Killing Machine’. Workable? Please help.

  734. Nayanon 07 Dec 2012 at 8:35 am

    Another question. I want a make a major character Indian. Now, I want to know most familiar Indian surnames in America. Patel, Gupta, Kapur, Varma, Sharma…?

  735. B. McKenzieon 07 Dec 2012 at 12:59 pm

    “I want to know the most familiar Indian surnames in America.” Off the top of my head, I’d feel really comfortable pronouncing Patel, Singh and Gupta. As for names which aren’t necessarily terribly common but would probably be easy for English-speakers to pronounce confidently and remember, I would feel very good about Shah, Mishra, Khan, Kumar, Chopra, Amin, Parab, Jain, maybe Chandra, and maybe Kadam.

    PS: Do you think “Darpa” is borderline believable as an Indian surname? (It’s for a weapons engineer).

  736. Nayanon 07 Dec 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I googled ‘Darpa’ as a surname and found that there are only 171 people in America with it. But I find it believable as an Indian surname as it sounds a bit similar to some other Indian surnames like Sharma, Varma etc.

    A request to B. Mac. Can you write an article describing the differences between Anti heroes and Villains?

  737. B. McKenzieon 08 Dec 2012 at 1:50 am

    Antiheroes are protagonists that are gravely flawed in some way (e.g. Batman or the Punisher are brutal towards criminals and their quest warps how they interact with other people). However, unlike villains, the audience generally wants antiheroes to accomplish their goals–many antiheroes have disagreeable methods but mostly agreeable goals.

    A fourth, super-rare classification is the anti-villain, either someone with nefarious goals but relatively benign methods (e.g. Napoleon in His Majesty’s Dragon) or someone who is a major obstacle to the main characters and appears villainous but is probably doing the right thing (e.g. Professor Snape isn’t actually trying to kill Harry Potter in Philosopher’s Stone–that’s a misunderstanding on the part of the main characters).

  738. Karmaon 08 Dec 2012 at 3:39 am


    “I am trying hard to find a name for my superhero and his team. I don’t want to use a name based on super….”

    Do you want help naming your hero or also his team?

    Can’t help you with the team as I dont know much about it at the moment….

    So, some suggs on the hero:


    Thats it I guess…

    Hope it Helps…^_^

  739. Mariahon 09 Dec 2012 at 1:23 am

    So… my two “P” names are okay?

  740. grrron 23 Jan 2013 at 7:03 pm

    can you help me with a name???

  741. Blackscaron 09 Feb 2013 at 7:54 pm

    So, I have a question. Do the names ‘Ace’ and ‘Alice’ sound too similar to be used in the same novel? They’re both MCs, but Ace plays a bigger role than Alice, as Ace is the primary main character. They’re rivals, by the way, so they appear in same scenes quite often.
    Alice is a fiery girl with powers to match (like that isn’t done every time I turn around), and Ace is a caustic boy with power over fortune-both good and bad, mind you.

    What do you think?

  742. B. McKenzieon 09 Feb 2013 at 8:24 pm

    “Do the names “Ace” and “Alice” sound too similar to be used in the same novel?” I feel it’d probably be helpful to change either name, especially if there are any scenes where Ace and Alice are both present.

  743. Blackscaron 09 Feb 2013 at 8:44 pm

    @B. McKenzie

    Alright, I’ll see what I can do. Thank you very much!

  744. Miladisgoneon 15 Mar 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Hi, Just found this site very interesting, okay my question is that i created this supervillain that uses light, actually absorbs lights and then throws them as burning projectiles. His alter ego’s name is William Reaman. first i wanted to know that is William Reaman a good name for a Supervillain and second that I’m stuck at the name for the costumed character and don’t know what to call him. i would appreciate if someone helped me!

  745. Dr. Vo Spaderon 15 Mar 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Since my character’s name is “Vo Spader”, I thought I could put in a part where it is questioned/mocked. I thought I’d throw in a Woodstock reference, but I’m not sure how many people would get it. Also, my story’s tone is kind of serious, but not quite Watchmen and I’m uncertain as to what audience this could attract. (Thus my uncertainty about the aforementioned Woodstock reference.)

  746. B. McKenzieon 16 Mar 2013 at 3:35 am

    Woodstock happened in 1969, so I’m guessing that anyone younger than 45 would probably miss the reference because they were not alive when it happened. I was trying to figure out what the Woodstock connection was, and I came across another character named Vo Spader.

  747. Dr. Vo Spaderon 16 Mar 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I really didn’t think that was possible…it isn’t a problem is it? Also – my Vo comes from VO (or v.o.) which is a wine term meaning very old. Spade sounded too generic, so I added the -er.

  748. Dr. Vo Spaderon 16 Mar 2013 at 4:21 pm

    When I told a good friend my main character’s name was Vo Spader, he suggested that I name his close friend Mark Diamond. “Mark Diamond” is a character in the SAME SERIES that the above Vo Spader is. FML

  749. Dr. Vo Spaderon 18 Mar 2013 at 6:42 am

    Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

  750. B. McKenzieon 18 Mar 2013 at 6:44 am

    I think Mark Diamond is generic enough that you probably wouldn’t get sued over it (and I get the impression that MD is a relatively minor character in the other series). However, Vo Spader is super-distinct and a sufficiently major character to have his own Wikipedia page… I would expect that your eventual publisher will probably ask you to rename him at some point, but I wouldn’t worry about that until you have a publisher.

  751. Dr. Vo Spaderon 18 Mar 2013 at 8:12 am

    [Expletive deleted]

  752. Anonymouson 18 Mar 2013 at 2:50 pm

    @Miladisgone: William Reaman should work fine for your villain’s real name, assuming the story is set in a world and time pretty much like our own. The real name of a superhero or villain doesn’t have to relate to their powers, and in my opinion they shouldn’t (a fire using hero whose real last name is Blaze? Wow, whodathunkit?). As far as the villain’s costumed name though, since he absorbs light and hurls fire I’m getting an image of a solar powered villain and solar flares. Maybe try something like Sunfire, Solaris, or something related to the sun and solar phenomenon as a starting point (I’m not sure if Sunfire or Solaris are someone’s TM so just make sure first if you plan on publishing your story).

  753. B. McKenzieon 18 Mar 2013 at 5:11 pm

    “[Expletive deleted].” On the plus side, it’s a relatively quick rewrite.

  754. Miladisgoneon 19 Mar 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks @Anonymous, It was helpful.

  755. JustaKidon 20 Mar 2013 at 7:30 am

    I’m writing this powered teen story and I need gang/faction names anything will help.

  756. Cinnoon 28 Apr 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I dont know if i’ll get a response, but I desperately need help naming my main character..

    The characters in the story don’t go by any superhero names (With the exception of a few people) But their names all have some clue to their powers. This is explained later in the story, but its too complicated to get in to now.

    A few examples of this: Tatum can perform levitation, and Katie (nickname Kate) has duplication powers.

    The problem with this, is my main character is going to have Ice powers. His main use of this power, at the beginning at least, is freezing the moisture in the air. This lets him create ice pretty much anywhere.

    I dont know what to name him. It has to be an average every day name, that somehow relates back to ice, cold, chilly, freezing, etc…

    Unless i name him Jack (Tooo cliche) or something, I have no ideas..

  757. Qwertyon 28 Apr 2013 at 11:11 pm


    I also like to name my characters with their traits in mind, and to do this I often use a website that has a database of thousands of names with their meanings and etymology. I searched a number of things that would describe your character’s name (ice, cold, chill, like you mentioned) and I didn’t come up with anything that sounded like it could work. (Unless you like the name Stribog, which is the Slavic god of ice and cold. Almost every other name I found was feminine.)

    I personally think, however, that “Jack” is a good name for that character. It sounds like you want to name your characters with “normal” sounding names, so without using a foreign-sounding exotic name, I think Jack is the best choice. Especially if the character’s powers aren’t revealed until later in the story, and the audience won’t realize it’s a cliche till they find out what his power is. It’s a common enough name that people might not get suspicious, unless you give away his power early on.

  758. Astramicanon 11 May 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Hey, can I get any suggestions for naming a group? It’s not a character per se, but I’m stuck.

    The group are teenage super-thieves. They’re not heroes, but are barely edging the line of ‘villain’. They don’t hurt anyone, but they love to torment the super-heroes and are thieves.
    Think of ‘Catwoman’ times seven – mostly doing it for thrills, steals stuff, annoys the heroes, can sometimes be the good guys if they want to but don’t normally.

    The group has seven people in it, all are teenagers, all have super powers. The leader is Pride (a teleporter). The other members are Pyro (pyrokinesis), Jumpstart (super-speed), Faery (a faery), Snake (half human, half snake hybrid), Electric Storm (can shoot electricity from his hands) and Thunder Boom (can create sonic explosions from clapping her hands, along with a mild version of Black Canary’s scream).

    The team dynamic is pretty casual. Unlike most super-villain teams, they’re actually pretty close. They like to hang out and tease each other. Sometime’s they’ll clash, but generally have a laugh. They’re not the typical “I’ll betray you as soon as it benefits me” team, although more likely to pick on each other than a hero team.

    So far, I’ve been calling them ‘the Sinister Seven’. It seemed like a dodgy name when I picked it and it hasn’t improved over time. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure it’s copyrighted… I think I’d heard the name somewhere and put it down, but I can’t place where it’s from.

    If anyone can give suggestions, that would be really nice.

  759. B. McKenzieon 12 May 2013 at 12:00 am

    Hmm. Some thoughts, Astramican.

    1) I’m pretty sure Sinister 7 has already been taken. Normally, I don’t think that’d be a major issue (if the name is generic enough that it wouldn’t bring the other series to mind), but this name is distinct enough that I’d recommend changing it before submitting to publishers.

    2) Do these characters see themselves as evil? If not, I’d generally recommend against giving them a name which is explicitly evil (unless it’s a name only used by outsiders, but not them), because it would raise point of view issues.

    3) Personally, I’d recommend going with something more related to larceny than evil/sinister, like The [modifier] Bandits or [Location] [Synonym for Thieves] (e.g. River City Rogues or whatever).

    4) Alternately, since the characters are pretty casual, you could have them go without a name.

  760. Dagger_Dropon 13 Jun 2013 at 5:50 pm

    For anyone needing first names for characters visit this site: http://www.behindthename.com/ (has helped me A LOT. As for last names: http://surnames.behindthename.com/

  761. Dagger_Dropon 13 Jun 2013 at 6:50 pm

    The novel i’m thinking of writing is about a boy that gets super powers and joins a superhero team i’m calling the Vigilants for now.
    His name is Milo Paxton and has powers of manipulation. he can change the physical shape/form of an object. His powers are limited to the object’s volume (he can’t turn a gold coin into a giant statue) and their state of matter, with the exception of water. Basically he can make a wall of stone if he touches the stone and there’s enough of it to make the wall of that desired size.
    He’s kind of timid and often feels that he isn’t good enough to be a hero. He is pretty kind but is slow to act and has a tendency to over think things and stress himself out in the process. When overly stressed he does a hand stand to ‘clear his head’. Other quirks of his are that he taps his fingers a lot and can’t sleep in a bed unless he lies crooked or completely upside down.
    What would be a good name for him? And what do you think of the team being called The Vigilants?
    The other members are:
    Ms. Miracle- Haley Nielson. Strength, flight, increased durability/healing factor, and brilliant intellect. she has most weaknesses of average people. She is a scientist and the face-girl for the team. She also takes a liking to Milo and takes a position as his trainer. Haley is Indigo’s best friend and she loves confrontation, often arguing for the sake of argument.

    Dust- Blake Moore. Can transform his body into black sand that he can manipulate (he can turn his arm into a spike or a blade, and he uses his power to transform into the black sand and go through a keyhole), he is weak against electricity which truns him into the sand for a little while. he is secluded and dislikes confrontation with people other than criminals. Because of this he is most often shut-up in his room. He is an incredible sketch artist and his walls are covered in art and photos he pans on sketching (he has a lot of free time being in his room all the time). he also loves classical music and plays it loudly out of a stereo in his room with the window open.

    Labyrinth- Michael Donovan. Telekinesis, Psychometry, Danger sense, Astral projection (He can push his mind & senses out of his body and ‘go’ to other places though this leaves his body vulnerable to physical or mental attacks. He’s the leader of the team and married to Indigo. He depends on her to protect him while using his astral-projection and trusts her with his life. He is the glue that holds the team together.

    Indigo- Jessica Donovan. Can create purple energy projections, The projections can crack and shatter if struck hard enough. She is second in command. Indigo is Ms. Miracle’s best friend and the two are often seen together. Jessica is rather petite in height and form but she doesn’t let it keep her from being a power superhero and never lets it keep her from taking on the baddies.

    (No alias as of yet)- Claudia Johanson. She can turn her body into stone (Think Gray Gargoyle). Claudia is quiet but has a temper. her favorite hobby is listening to music and almost always has her headphones on when not in the field.

    The main antagonist is Doctor Savage; a power stealing, intellectually enhanced, chaos worshiping Super-villain. He is incredibly cunning and captures Dust at one point (No small feat) and tortures him with repeated electrocution.

    What do you think of the names an powers? There are other characters that are more like emergency respondants for the team and are only asked in on special circumstances. Is the Vigilants okay? any thoughts would be awesome.

  762. Elecon 14 Jun 2013 at 11:00 pm


    Your story sounds incredibly interesting and not clichéd from your very detailed description. 😉

    I think that the characters seem well suited to their name, and it’s interesting that you have a lot of reclusive personalities in the team. This could make for some interesting plot developments. How much of your story have you completed already? Or are you just in the planning stage. I’ve love to help with your ideas.

  763. Amber Don 15 Jun 2013 at 2:17 am

    In one of my stories there are a lot of people who have powers in the world (about 1in a 100,000 people have powers) anyways out of those there is a very small amount of them who are born with a chemical in there blood that can make normal people have powers. I’m trying to think of a name for this type of person, any suggestions? (The ones who are born with the chemical)

  764. Dr. Vo Spaderon 15 Jun 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Conduits and Transmitters might work (although they seem a little…abvious? Blatant?) You could also try Titans, if that would make sense in your story. Distributors, Tutors, Handlers or Donators are other ideas you might like.

  765. Anonymouson 15 Jun 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Someone has a PS3..or was it an accidental inFamous reference?

  766. Dr. Vo Spaderon 15 Jun 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Seriously psyched for SecondSon… Sorry Amber, “Conduits” have been used and may not be available. Can’t believe I didn’t catch that.

  767. Dagger_Dropon 16 Jun 2013 at 7:39 am

    Thanks Elec, I appreciate the support. i’m just in basic planning at this point, I’m really focusing on characters and the society supers have made the world into. Do you have an idea for a code name for Milo? I’ve been working on one for a while with no success :(.
    In this story’s world heroes aren’t uncommon. The government is actually run by supers, this is called the Law Syndicate (Temporary name). Almost all registered heroes work for the Law Syndicate. The Vigilants also fall under that category, Like most super teams the Law Syndicate has supported the government funds them.
    Supers are revered as celebrities to the public and a law has been passed saying that if a super wishes to keep their secret identity secret then reporters are not allowed to blow their cover and reveal it to the world. They can find out just not tell anybody the super hasn’t signed off on or they may be arrested for a federal crime.

  768. Alexon 26 Jun 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Sir, I thought of the following names for my superheroes, wanna know if they are appropriate. Comment.
    1. Knightwolf
    2. Aphrodite
    3. Thunderbird
    4. Rex
    5. Magpie
    6. Enigma

  769. Mr.siron 26 Jun 2013 at 6:50 pm

    This sounds very animal based, could you give me their powers?

    P.S. anybody else think this site should have a debate page?

  770. Dagger_Dropon 27 Jun 2013 at 11:23 am

    I think a debate page would be pretty sweet

  771. Thalamuson 27 Jul 2013 at 9:29 am

    I thought I’d lay out the names for the five main characters in the plot I am working on, and see what people think:
    John Verdigris (Unsure if I should use Jonathan to make the name softer? The surname was the first thing that came into my head when I conceived the character – after his basic traits – so I am attached to it, but what do you think? I like the firmness and earthiness of “John” and also like the V in the surname, along with the way it sounds)
    Ambrose Mierdan (Unsure of the surname, after finding out what mierda means in Spanish: stick with it or change it? I like Ambrose – named for the patron saint of learning and students, as the character is a logician, though not religious – but am unsure of the “br” sound. I am hoping the “S” at the end of the first name makes it smoother)
    Vivian Andersen (On all of these I am fairly certain about the first names, but I couldn’t really think of a second name that fits this one. Andersen is a placeholder until I find a better one. I chose Vivian for the harsh V sounds)
    Sebastian Thulis (I deliberately chose this name for the sensuous sound of it. As you may guess, he is the chessmaster kind of character in the book, and his name needs to sound smooth)
    Any thoughts, comments, or constructive criticism would be much appreciated.

  772. Thalamuson 27 Jul 2013 at 9:30 am

    I should clarify that my novel is urban fantasy, not superhero or sci-fi.

  773. Thalamuson 29 Jul 2013 at 1:05 am

    I apologise for posting needlessly, but I noticed that this has fallen off the recent comments bar, so I hoped that someone would have a look at my comment (the one above the one above this one) and offer any advice.

  774. GreenWithAwesomeon 29 Jul 2013 at 2:17 pm

    @Thalamus; I’ll give it a shot! ^^

    John Verdigris: I really like his surname, lol. It has a nice, smooth ring to it. John’s a very common name, but I agree: it does have a firmness about it. It might be nicer-looking if you changed it to Jon Verdigris, but that’s just personal preference. The ‘h’ is silent anyway so it doesn’t matter too much.

    Ambrose Mierdan: *Google translates* Hah! That’s hilarious! Honestly, you’ve got the ‘n’ at the end so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Unless the character hails from Spain it shouldn’t be noticeable either. You can change the name later, if necessary. Ignoring the elephant in the room, ‘Mierdan’ could be pronounced differently when you read it. Is it ‘Meer-dan’ or ‘My-er-dan’ etc., y’know (ignoring my poor skills :P)? As for Ambrose, it’s a nice name (reminds me of Ambrosia… FOOD OF THE GODS!) but the ‘s’ sound mingles with the ‘m’ so it sounds like one word. And I see what you mean by the ‘br’; reading it over and over again may become tedious.

    Vivian Andersen: Definitely gettin’ the firm ‘v’ sounds! I haven’t seen Andersen spelt like that (I’ve seen it as Anderson). The ‘n’ at the end of Vivian and the beginning of Andersen is a bit tough to say, but it’s a plcaeholder so that’s fine. If your characters intense, you could put another surname with the K, V, X and H (although alliteration would kill the firmness me thinks). If you wanted to balance it out using L, U, S and/ or O sounds would be good. Taking @B. McK’s suggestions here XD.

    Sebastian Thulis: His name is awesome. My only qualm is the ‘b’ sound. It kinda’ disrupts the flow, if you see what I mean. But keep his surname dude, because that definitely portrays his smoothness.

    Yeah. I ain’t done hardcore reviews of names before but it was fun, and I hoped it helped. ^^

    ~ GwA

  775. Thalamuson 30 Jul 2013 at 5:41 am

    Thank you for the advice! Ambrose’s second name is (in my head) pronounced My-er-dan, but I’ll leave it to the reader to decide how they pronounce it. The character doesn’t hail from Spain, so I’ll just hope you’re right with that one: I suppose at worst it’ll give some Spanish speaking readers a laugh if they notice it. I agree that “Andersen” doesn’t fit, but I never really thought I’d go with that anyway. I’ll do some research (i.e. listen to the names of people I meet – lots of people seem to have stranger names than I could ever find through manual research). I see what you mean about the “B” sound in Sebastian, so I’ll think it over. Again, thanks for the help!

  776. Blackscaron 30 Jul 2013 at 11:38 am

    Okay, so I know I did post this before, but it was in the wrong section. I’m reposting it here, as well.

    Would someone mind taking a look at them, and tell me if their names suit their personalities?
    Here goes! I’m posting Alice, John, Charlotte, and Erik’s first! I’ll get to Dagmar and Oz later.

    ((WARNING: Long post ahead!))

    -Alice Brandt, age 15 – The easily frustrated daughter of the renowned slayer Celeste Brandt, Alice possesses an ‘I must kill ALL the vampires’ mindset. She loathes them with every fiber of her being, and would go to extreme lengths to hunt and kill one. She’s rather desperate to prove to herself that she can be a decent slayer; she forever agonizes over her mother being far better than she. Despite this, she and her mother have a decent relationship, and tend to get along rather well. Alice also has the tendency to snap at others, though she’ll usually offer a hasty and awkward apology once she realizes what she’s done. That doesn’t necessarily mean that people always forgive her, though!

    Her slightly irascible demeanor is partially due to frustration at her own shortcomings, and partially due to her impatient nature. Alice also has a slight ‘hero complex’, meaning that she wants to be a hero so, so badly. She often fantasizes about ridiculous scenarios, usually involving her taking down thirty vampires at once and saving all of her friends. This also means that she would jump into an argument concerning one of her friends to defend them, even if she knew her friend was wrong. However, Alice is not the type to start a physical confrontation with another human, and prefers verbal battles.

    She also has an affinity for ridiculous video games, particularly those of the horror genre. She can frequently be found quoting them, even in her sleep. (Yes, she’s a sleep-talker.) She also enjoys technology of any sort, and her laptop, which she also uses for gaming, is like her best friend.

    Alice has not yet synced with any weapon. However, her gloves seem to be able to sync with themselves, allowing her to use her element bonus in hand-to-hand combat. While this is a rare skill, this is not necessarily good; fighting a vampire without any weapon is suicide.


    John Grayson, age 15 1/2– The self-proclaimed ‘coolest coolkid who ever cooled’, John has an obsession with anything that would make him seem cool. His logic is: coolness = popularity, popularity = friends. He’s somewhat lonely on the inside, but masks this with sarcastic quips and ridiculous metaphors. He never seems to take anything seriously, though that doesn’t mean that he’s the ‘peppy, cheerful jokester’.
    People automatically assume he’s a delinquent, due to his attitude and total disregard for his schoolwork and duties as a slayer-in-training. They even say he constantly has a dangerous look in his eyes, though this is rarely, if ever, true. He’s not really excitable, but he will go up and introduce himself to people on occasion.

    John also has a penchant for swordplay, which he learned from his adoptive mother, Lacie Grayson, who felt it necessary to train her son to survive in a world full of bloodthirsty monsters. At about age three, his parents left for a mission and never returned. John never got to know him, so he doesn’t really care, nor does he sit and angst about it.
    He’s also rather protective of his sister, who was also adopted by Lacie, though she didn’t come into the picture until John was about ten. She’s about six months younger than John.

    Also, John enjoys cooking, and he’s actually quite good with young children. He tries to keep this under wraps, though, as he does have a reputation to uphold!
    John is usually not the type to defend others in arguments, and prefers not to get involved. This, however, does not apply to his sister. He’s very protective over her, and he actually does have quite a good reason to be.

    John has synced with a set of two katanas. (I have a reason for this! They’re light and enable faster speed than with a heavier sword; John has more of a lean, wiry build, so light weapons suit him better.)


    Charlotte Grayson, age 15 – Eloquent, snarky, yet somewhat forgetful, Charlotte is a speed-type vampire with an odd fondness for trashy romance novels, particularly those centering on werewolves. Lacie, the vampire woman who adopted both her and John, selected one of them at random to turn. (It was for an experiment that Lacie was conducting; she wanted to see how the two children would react to each other. She had been expecting Charlotte to hate and even abuse John – yes, she would have intervened if this happened – but the opposite was true. The two got along rather well, with John defending Charlotte physically against potential bullies, and Charlotte lying to any teacher or authority figure to save John’s reputation.

    (I should note that vampires are able to go out in the sunlight, though if they are exposed to it for more than a few hours at a time without shade of any sort, their skin will slowly begin to smolder, and after four hours they will catch on fire and burn to death. They can safely be inside with windows open, though they will be uncomfortable. Direct exposure is what harms them. Also, they’re rather lethargic on sunny days.) Also, John is aware that his adoptive sister is a vampire.

    Charlotte is quite a good liar, though sometimes she is so caught up in her web of prevarications that she mixes her own lies up. This usually does not end well for her.

    Tying into her skill at lying, Charlotte is also rather fond of gambling, particularly games involving cards. While she’s not yet old enough to participate in the big leagues, she has gotten involved with slightly smaller ones. She’s rather lucky, though her fortune only seems to apply to her games.

    She’s somewhat absent-minded, too. Sometimes she’ll be so wrapped up in her own thoughts that, if holding both a slice of bread and a DVD, she’ll put the DVD in the toaster and the bread in the DVD player, purely by accident.

    If she were to get into a fight, she would probably stick to rapier-sharp jabs and elaborate insults. She’s only about 4’10”; she knows she wouldn’t be able to hold her own in a fight.

    Charlotte has synced with a set of throwing knives, by the way, and they are long enough to use as regular daggers.
    (There is a reason why she’s in an academy for slayers, by the way.)


    -Erik Reinhardt, age 15 3/4 – The wealthy son of a councilman, Erik has quite the dramatic flair. A simple story about helping somebody find a lost pen will turn into a desperate battle against a malicious vampire who had mistaken the pen for their own.

    He’s haughty, jumps to conclusions even more quickly than Alice, and gets rather defensive very rapidly if accused of doing something wrong.

    Erik has a fondness for cheesy rom-coms, and uses things he’s seen the protagonists of said rom-coms do whenever he attempts to ask a girl out. He’s actually a total sweetheart when it comes to dates, though many of the people he’s fallen in love with have only wanted him for his father’s money. Of course, he blames himself, and has rather low self-esteem. Self-depreciating humor is something one would hear rather often from him.

    Erik is a loyal friend, however, and would always be there as a shoulder to cry on.
    Granted, he’d mutter death threats about the person who hurt his friend, and would probably go try to beat the crap out of said person as soon as he got the chance. He’s not one to waste time with arguments, and prefers physical fights. However, he is not the stereotypical ‘dumb brute’ type. He’s rather intelligent, and he does possess a rather advanced vocabulary, though not as extensive as Charlotte’s.

    He’s also very fond of firearms, and knows how to shoot three different types of rifles. He has been known to hunt for sport, though he’s had to set that aside in order to focus on being a slayer.

    He’s been known to do drastic things if he feels threatened; he’s more drastic than Alice, who at least only reserves that for vampire hunting. If someone joked that he couldn’t shoot to save his life, he’d whip his gun out and fire a few rounds right there.

    Rumors also say that he synced with a rifle that shoots pure bolts of lightning, but no one’s quite sure. (He has, though I’m still working out the details)

    Okay, done. Wow, that certainly was long!

    Again, sorry about the re-post! I don’t want to seem like a whiny brat, or anything.

    Thanks in advance!

  777. Thalamuson 31 Jul 2013 at 12:48 am

    Blackscar: I am new to this myself, but I think that all the names are good for their characters, with the possible exception off “John”. “John” just brings to mind – for me – a kind of straightforwardness and common sense (probably due to it being such a common name). It doesn’t seem to quite fit the personality you gave. All the other names sound great, though, as do all the surnames.
    I hope you find this helpful.

  778. Blackscaron 31 Jul 2013 at 9:02 am


    Thank you very much for taking the time to review my post! I really appreciate it! 🙂

    John was the one I was concerned about, actually. I’m rather fond of the simplicity of the name, as it’s a welcome change from some of my more…interesting names, such as Dagmar or Aston.

    Would you have any recommendations, or suggestions? (I’m not sure if I’ll change it, since I do like the name quite a bit, but I’m more than willing to listen to suggestions!)

    Thanks, though!


  779. Thalamuson 31 Jul 2013 at 9:35 am

    Maybe Joe, instead of John? It is similarly simple, but seems to suggest a joker/cool-kid character more than John does (probably due to the absence of a consonant at the end). I don’t know where your story is set, or whether it would be a common name there, so you’ll have to make a final decision, but that’s my two pennies worth.

  780. Blackscaron 31 Jul 2013 at 10:36 am


    Thanks for the suggestion!

    However, I’m not as fond of the name ‘Joe’. I’m not sure why; it’s odd. I do totally agree with your reasoning.

    I’m leaving it as John for now, though Joe will definitely go on the list I’ll make. 🙂


  781. Artemison 05 Aug 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hey guys, I am having some difficulty coming up with a superhero name for my character. Her real name is Amber Lennon and she is in her mid-twenties. As a child she was raised by her father who is a mastermind crime lord in Chicago named Count Lucifer and housemaids. She runs away from him when she is seventeen, but he still had a heavy influence on her. She renounces her family’s wealth and breaks into an empty apartment which she begins living in and furnishes it with stolen goods. She is a highly trained martial arts expert and thief and is notorious in Philadelphia. After being on the police wanted list since she first took a train to Philly, she breaks into Clifton Enterprises headquarters. Al Clifton is a popular senator, but he is secretly a genius weapons broker who creates highly advances technology. Unknown to Amber, she steals a lot of his micro tech, but she is finally caught. She is then recruited by a government organization and they tell her that if she is willing to cooperate they will reconsider sending her to prison. She does after admitting that she has wanted to leave her life of crime behind for some time now and help the organization hack past a defense system to use a small device that allows the user to time travel. But because she was the first one to use it (high risk so she volunteered) she is the only one able to use it, but the trade off is that the amount of time that she travels she loses at the end of her life, so if she rewinds or skips two months she will die two months earlier, etc. After learning to control the time traveling, she becomes a vigilante. She uses the time travel sparingly and usually in increments of a few seconds to change position in combat.
    The names I have come up with so far are Vagabond (kinda boring) and something regarding Saturn (Roman god of time) but I don’t have anything I really like yet. Any ideas would be really appreciated. Thanks

  782. Aleajon 06 Aug 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Artemis, you could try Shifter, Anomaly, Snap, or Hourglass.

  783. Thalamuson 06 Aug 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Artemis: one question. If the character wishes to leave her life of crime behind her, what was stopping her before? She was caught breaking into a technological company, which I don’t think would be an obvious target for someone who just wanted to get by, and if she was doing it for the thrill then she wouldn’t be so keen to leave it behind. I would say that an option is that she was being forced to commit crimes, but you explicitly said that she ran away from her mastermind father, and it might seem a little odd to just leap out of his grasp and right into someone else (who would essentially serve the same function as her father). Another option (and more likely) is that she does enjoy committing crimes, and she is more reluctant than you are planning on making her to work for the government. Just my two pennies, but I think that would make her more interesting as a character, if she wasn’t just another person who does what the government tells her. I realise you weren’t asking for character development help, but I thought I’d throw that in anyway.

  784. Thalamuson 06 Aug 2013 at 11:52 pm

    I would be wary of using Saturn, as he is associated with agriculture and death (both things which probably created his influence with time, as both are time orientated). I would suggest something which more people might get as an association with time: Kronos (or Chronos) seems an obvious one, but I think it is taken. Any time-keeping device reference seems like an option, though might feel clichéd. Tempus, the Latin word for time, could work but might be taken. Any alternative name for time, or a god of the same (though check other associations first, because they might be more well known in some areas than others) could work. I’m just throwing stuff out there.

  785. Artemison 07 Aug 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for your feedback on the name and character. I was thinking that she wanted to stop being a robber, but it was the only thing she knew how to do and she had no means to fall back on as it was her only source of income. Once the government finds her, they tell her that her options are to test the time machine and work for them or be sent to prison, so she decides to work for them and kill two birds with one stone (not going to prison and escaping her life of crime)
    In terms of the name, I was thinking of having her be from London instead, so maybe there is a British phrase or name that I could use as part of the nickname, like Lass or Lady or something like that.

  786. Thalamuson 08 Aug 2013 at 12:18 am

    Are you British yourself? Because I am, and the term “Lass” is far more common in the north of England and Scotland than it is in London, which is quite far south in comparison. Lady might work but only if she is really, really upper-class. Otherwise it will sound a little strange. The term “Lady” has strong ties to the aristocracy, and the term “Lass” is the opposite, sounding very northern and middle-class. I would be careful if you are setting your story in London and haven’t lived there for any great period of time, because you may have misconceptions.

  787. Cadillacon 08 Aug 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I am writing a story set in Paris, and although you said not to give your characters foreign names, there was not much I could do about that. I tried to give the French characters relatively normal French names, so their names are Romaine, Pierre, Victoria and Claude. But for their last names, I made it a French word that reflects their character’s role in the story. Instead of making it something important, I made it more of an Easter Egg because I don’t really care if the reader understands what the name means or not. Is that reasonable or should I just get rid of their last names altogether? Also, because my story’s theme is about gambling and I make a lot of metaphors with card games, I made the main villain an French mob boss named La Maison, which means ‘The House’ in English. Is it okay to do this or should I change their names?

  788. Yahtzeeon 08 Aug 2013 at 4:33 pm

    If possible, I need some advice on naming some character concepts.

    The first is a blood manipulator. I was considering something like Bloodbath, but that doesn’t really seem to fit the character, who’s generally more heroic (think someone like Spider-Man, but with more blood).

    The second is the offspring of an eldritch abomination and a human woman. So he looks more or less human, but has some rather weird aspects and abilities, such as his natural psychic field that subtly unnerves people around him, and which violently defends him against psychic attack.

    The third and last is the daughter of an archangel and a human. She’s inhumanly strong, can fly, and can manipulate holy fire.

    Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks.

  789. Thalamuson 09 Aug 2013 at 3:07 am

    Cadillac: I think La Maison is good for the name of a mob boss, especially one with a connection to gambling. A name like “The House” makes him sound imposing in a way which I can’t quite explain. I think the French names should be fine, but if anyone here has lived in France or hails from it, they might be able to suggest better ones. One thing I found when thinking of common names for foreign individuals is reading the example texts in high-school language textbooks, which often give good, generic names to the people supposedly giving information about themselves. I don’t know what the second name is, but making it an Easter egg sounds fine, as long as it also sounds like a real name that someone could reasonably have (it sounds like you’re going for realism in your story).
    Yahtzee: For the first I would recommend you research blood in depth (or at least read the Wikipedia page on it), because you are likely to come up with better names if you know about the thing your characters powers are based around. It could also give you ideas on how to use the powers in interesting ways. But you could also have your character name himself in a way not based on his abilities, because he might (if he is a heroic individual) not want to associate himself with his rather dark powers (on a related note, I personally think the idea of a good guy with powers considered evil sounds like an awesome concept). For the second, I recommend looking at Lovecraft’s work for ideas on how to put together a name. Someone like that might not have a codename, but go by their real name (as with many occult heroes, such as John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, and Zatanna Zatara) or by an occultic Lovecraftian name. For the third, I recommend you look at names of low level angels in Abrahamic traditions, as that should give you inspiration for the sort of names you could expect. I would recommend an “-el” on the end, which many angels have because it means “of God” (e.g. “Gabriel”, “Uriel”, “Michael”, heck, even the word “angel” itself). Hope you find this useful.

  790. Yahtzeeon 09 Aug 2013 at 9:07 am

    I found it very useful, Thal. Thanks! I really appreciate it.

  791. Proxie#0on 07 Dec 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Good afternoon everyone, just looking for some feedback on the names of characters in my most recent work, which is currently untitled.

    Alright, to begin:

    Damien Crosse: [I understand Damien is usually a “bad” name, and like it for its…grayness]
    Damien is the protagonist of the story. He is loyal and kind, and generally very outgoing. If you are not in his top ten list though, you can forget any help, unless the situation is dire, or you are a friend of a friend. He is very committed to his beliefs, and thus it can be fairly hard to change his mind. With all this in mind, he is also not very reliable so far as deadlines go, and, unless it is something important to him, he is liable to forget it. Damien is in a great relationship with his sister, Cordelia, and almost as good of one with his brother, Alex. But his relationship with his father is relatively low, they have not spoken in the years since Damien joined the military.

    Alexander Crosse: [Alexander can usually be associated with great men and good goals, as well as conquerors, and I like that]
    Alex is the primary, and for about 40% of the story, cloaked antagonist (do not know who he really is, disguised). He is very ambitious, and very kind to most people, assuming they do not get in his way. When they do, he can get…violent. He does not like to fight fair against people he knows are better than him, and will cripple them if possible, including eliminating their associates. He does not like hurting women or children, but will if he is forced to. He has very strong ties with his family, and will do most anything to help them, including hurting himself or others, but would likely not sacrifice his own research.

    Douglas McKenzie:
    Douglas [and his squad of mercenaries] is the secondary antagonist, and as such, has more face time than the other two. Douglas and his men/women work for the “security firm” called G5LInc. Yes, this is a play on the name of the largest existing “security firm” in the world. However, this one is based in the US, not the UK. Anyway, Douglas will take advice on what “jobs” he and his squad take, but ultimately runs a false democracy. He wants to ensure that they do not, and are not forced to, take any jobs that will go against his or his mens/womens moral codes. He is not against fighting as a proxy for other countries wars, though would never side with the person who he believes is in the wrong. What he would consider the wrong would be someone who is essentially forcing their will upon the other side, or the more cruel side. He would never personally, nor have his men or women hurt an innocent man, woman or child. He may put them to sleep temporarily, but he would not permanently injure them. Douglas is very close with each of his subordinates, and they are more of a family to each other than each has alone. The only exception to Douglas’ moral code is that anyone who hurts his family, or his extended family, is very likely to be hunted down and killed, regardless of who it is. Anyone who gets in the way of his vindication is liable to get caught in the maelstrom of hate and anger. He also loves humming show-tunes.

  792. Proxie#0on 08 Dec 2013 at 11:51 am

    Also, I apologize for the length of my previous post. I also forgot to mention that Alexander likes listening to classical music, it helps him think better. He also likes to pretend that he is/can conduct an orcheastra as well, but usually when no one is looking.

    And finally. Of the two brothers, Damien is actually more skilled at biochemistry/bio-medical engineering, but didn’t want to follow that path (because of their father). Alexander is great at it, but not so good as Damien.

  793. Proxie#0on 20 Dec 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I hate bumping posts, especially my own. But I just want to know if the names I have selected flow well, and go mesh well enough with the characters they are stitched to. Also, I was hoping to recive a little feedback on those characters as well.

  794. Wolfgirlon 12 Jan 2014 at 8:30 am

    In one of my books, I have a character named Minos, after a king of Crete in Greek mythology. I named him that because he’s a ghost, but I’m worried readers won’t get the reference. Anyone got any advice?

  795. B. McKenzieon 12 Jan 2014 at 12:31 pm

    WG, I don’t think readers will get the reference. Is that a problem? If so, perhaps you could work some explanation into the text. For example, the Thor movies covered everything viewers would need to understand about Norse mythology (because, let’s face it, most people don’t know much about Norse mythology). I would be impressed if 10% of your readers were familiar with Minos.

  796. ChickenNoodleson 13 Jan 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Hey guys, I need help with naming a character. Her abilties mainly revolve around manipulating the elements( fire, wind, earth,.etc.). Any suggestions?

  797. B. McKenzieon 14 Jan 2014 at 6:42 am

    ChickenNoodles, I’d recommend checking out this article. I don’t think naming a character after his/her powers is the most interesting option.

  798. B. McKenzieon 14 Jan 2014 at 6:57 am

    I’ve disabled further comments on this article. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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