A Name That Needs a Little Work......

I’ve been working on a modern apocalypse story for a while now. I have the majority of the most important characters named, but after writing a few scenes today with a certain character, I’m finding his name isn’t quit right. I’m hoping someone can help me flush out another name, or improve on the names I’ve used in the past for the character. My story takes place in [name_f]Canada[/name_f], mostly in [name_m]Ontario[/name_m]. Most of my characters have common names because they are just your average everyday people with no supernatural powers or anything.

I’ll tell you about the character. He is male, approx. 35 years of age. He was born a city boy. His father was higher-class, his mother middle class. When he was little his mother was killed and his father played a part in the death which the character finds out later. Because of this, the character carries a deep hate and rage. He is often moody and withdrawn. His business associates see a man calm and aggressive. Women that don’t know him see a sharp-dressed man, charming, and with a smile that turns heads and ‘after the fact’ their left wondering what they did wrong. Anyone he let’s in usually has a hard time walking away. He has two passions; reading, which offers some distraction for the thoughts in his head, and wood-working in the form of building boats. This character is also deaf in one ear as the result of a boating accident. Looks wise: He’s good-looking and he knows it so he presents confidence. He’s tall with a slim build. He spends a lot of time around the water so he’s tanned. He has green eyes that sometimes look blue in the right light. His hair is on the long side and is sandy blonde. He usually sports a little face scruff but it’s well-groomed.

The first name I gave him was [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop. Then I changed it to [name_m]Tom[/name_m] Dunlop. I did so because I have another important character named, [name_m]Michael[/name_m] [name_u]Sinclair[/name_u], and I didn’t want two ‘M’ names. [name_m]Both[/name_m] characters are similar in how they detach themselves from everyone. The major difference between the characters; [name_m]Michael[/name_m] shows no emotion at all and he never makes a decision based on his feelings, where as the character I’m trying to name does everything based on emotion. I prefer [name_u]Mason[/name_u] to [name_m]Tom[/name_m] but [name_m]Tom[/name_m] fits because of it’s meaning, ‘twin’. This character really is two different people most of the time. I also thought about incorporating [name_m]Tom[/name_m], [name_m]Thomas[/name_m], [name_m]Thompson[/name_m] or something along those lines for a surname, but I have another important character with a “T” last name.

[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think [name_m]Michael[/name_m] [name_u]Sinclair[/name_u] and [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop are too similar sounding?
[name_f]Do[/name_f] you prefer [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop? or [name_m]Thomas[/name_m] “[name_m]Tom[/name_m]” Dunlop?
Also, if you have other names you think could work, I’m game to hearing them. Maybe it will flush out a name that totally fits, one I’m not doubting.

I’m going to list the other male characters just so nothing that I’ve already used gets suggested.

[name_m]Lucas[/name_m] MacLeod
[name_u]Seth[/name_u] [name_u]Wylie[/name_u]
[name_u]Owen[/name_u] Trask
[name_m]Michael[/name_m] [name_u]Sinclair[/name_u]
[name_m]Walter[/name_m] Suggs
[name_m]Jimmy[/name_m] Beaudry
[name_u]Ray[/name_u] Coombs

This character had a love interest, but she died. Her name was [name_f]Trish[/name_f]. He is going to get another love interest. Her name is [name_f]Kate[/name_f]. If that helps at all.

Perhaps [name_m]Thom[/name_m] or [name_m]Thompson[/name_m] as a first name?

Thanks for responding, rkrd.

The thing is, this character is in his mid-thirties, so born in the late 70’s. [name_m]How[/name_m] common was it back then to hear of someone with a last name as a first name? That is sort of a modern day trend. I know every-so-often there is an exception to every rule, but…

To answer your first question, no, I don’t think having a [name_u]Mason[/name_u] and a [name_m]Michael[/name_m] would bother me. I’d say maximum four characters with the same letter first name.
However, I do think [name_m]Tom[/name_m] works better for him.

I don’t think [name_u]Mason[/name_u] and [name_m]Michael[/name_m] are too similar. But, I’m not sure it works for other reasons. [name_u]Mason[/name_u] just doesn’t seem like a very 70s name to me. You also said you don’t want a last-name-as-first-name, but [name_u]Mason[/name_u] is a surname. It may even be the name that started the trend! I think you’re better off with a classic like [name_m]Tom[/name_m]. Or you could use the sound-alike [name_m]Jason[/name_m], which was actually popular during the decade your character was born.

I see this character as kyle [name_m]Thompson[/name_m]. [name_f]Hope[/name_f] it helps

I’ll throw my stuff in here. For future reference, use the Writer’s Forum Rules to format your posts. It makes things neater and easier. Please read them if you haven’t. Thank you.

For your questions:

[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think [name_m]Michael[/name_m] [name_u]Sinclair[/name_u] and [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop are too similar sounding? – I don’t think so. They don’t share the same sounds at all except an M. It’s not like [name_u]Billie[/name_u] and [name_u]Bobbie[/name_u].

[name_f]Do[/name_f] you prefer [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop? or [name_m]Thomas[/name_m] “[name_m]Tom[/name_m]” Dunlop? – I prefer [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop for the sound but [name_m]Tom[/name_m] Dunlop (not [name_m]Thomas[/name_m]) for the meaning.

[name_m]How[/name_m] about:

[name_m]Tomlin[/name_m] – little twin
[name_u]Ashley[/name_u] – ash wood (because he wood works)
Briscoe – birch wood (wood working)
[name_m]Carver[/name_m] – wood sculptor
Joyner – one who works with wood
[name_u]Galen[/name_u] – calm
Ronith – a charming man
[name_u]Wylie[/name_u] – clever, charming, crafty

Good point. I was born in the 70’s and grew up in the 80’s but believe it or not, I went to high school with a couple guys named [name_u]Mason[/name_u], so honestly it never occurred to me as a surname. (http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi) In 1975, [name_u]Mason[/name_u] was 455 and [name_m]Tom[/name_m] was 463 which surprises me. But, I think in the case of most people, [name_m]Tom[/name_m] is the nickname of [name_m]Thomas[/name_m], and in 1975, [name_m]Thomas[/name_m] was in 20th spot.

As for [name_m]Jason[/name_m], I love the name to death, but for some reason I’m not feeling it for this character. [name_m]Jason[/name_m] is more suited to my [name_m]Luke[/name_m] character.

[name_u]Kyle[/name_u], to me, seems to young. I went to school with numerous [name_u]Kyle[/name_u]'s…they along with me are in our 30’s now, but for some reason the name feel too young…ummmm…to boyish, not masculine enough, I think is more what I’m trying to say. I think [name_u]Kyle[/name_u] would be a better fit for my [name_u]Seth[/name_u] character if I wanted to name him something different.

I don’t think [name_u]Mason[/name_u] Dunlop and [name_m]Michael[/name_m] [name_u]Sinclair[/name_u] sound the same. And as I said above, they both work to deflect their emotions. [name_m]Michael[/name_m] is still, like stone most of the time, he never lets his guard down. He speaks that way too, very direct and calm. “[name_u]Mason[/name_u]” doesn’t stay still for long, he yells, when he thinks others aren’t watching he let’s his guard down and his thoughts and emotions are right there raw for everyone to see. He often acts quickly and without thought. So both characters are very different.

Now, the other names you suggested. Are you meaning them to be first names or surnames? Briscoe and [name_u]Wylie[/name_u] definitely cannot be options. I don’t want to use another ‘B’ surname and I already have a [name_u]Seth[/name_u] [name_u]Wylie[/name_u]. I don’t mind the sound of [name_m]Carver[/name_m]. His future love interest is [name_f]Kate[/name_f] Cargill so that would be another ‘C’ name. [name_u]Galen[/name_u] is interesting. I’m surprised it’s a Greek name…it sounds more Irish. It’s an option. Now, when you suggest [name_u]Ashley[/name_u], you mean for a surname? Other than [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] MacIsaac, I don’t know of too many guys named, [name_u]Ashley[/name_u].

No I meant as first names. Didn’t notice the other [name_u]Wylie[/name_u] up there >.<

Ashley is originally a male name so I always love to try to see it reclaimed. I know a male teenage Ashley, and there’s the one from Gone With The Wind. But anyway, Ash maybe would just work too. Ash Dunlop.

Thanks, dantea for the suggestion, but I’m just not feeling [name_u]Ashley[/name_u]. It may have started out as a make name but it’s more female now and I wouldn’t want to confuse readers…I highly doubt I’ll ever get the story published, but just in case.

Last night when I was at a local book club meeting, a couple of us got talking about our latest writing projects. I happen to mention this character and how I was going back and forth on a name. [name_f]One[/name_f] of the ladies came up with an interesting name; [name_m]Gareth[/name_m]. Now, she didn’t use Dunlop for a surname. Instead she choose a surname she found in our local phonebook; Heerschap. [name_m]Gareth[/name_m] Heerschap. Thoughts?