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Author Topic: Naming issue
Foste
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I am tearing my hair here.

Yesterday I finished my short story THE SHE-DEVIL and now as I am reading my beloved Heroes Fantasy Quarterly, what do I find?

A story which features a character named Galen. Just like my MC.

What should I do? I plan to send my story to HF so maybe I should change it...

Help...

[This message has been edited by Foste (edited January 15, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Foste (edited January 15, 2011).]


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Meredith
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I don't think I'd lose sleep over that one.

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J. N. Khoury
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Pretty much so long as your MC isn't named Harry, Frodo, or Luke... who cares? If you were writing a novel, and another novel in the same genre had the same named MC that might be cause for more concern. With a short story, I wouldn't sweat it.
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aspirit
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Fun fact: A boy named Harry Potter uses magic against an evil wizard in a 1986 movie called Troll.

Foste, you can find similar names (in origin, usage, or sounds) on Baby Names World. Heroic Fantasy Quarterly might assume that you don't read their recent issues, or that other Galen story might needlessly influence their reading of your story. If you can quickly find an acceptable replacement for your HF submission, then I suggest you do change it.

I wouldn't worry about changing the character's name for another market, though.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Lead time on an accepted story is long enough that it shouldn't be a problem. Meaning that you may have to wait months before you see your story in print once they buy it.
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Foste
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I suppose you are all right. I just have the stupid feeling as if someone snatched the name right from under my nose.

Thanks!


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tchernabyelo
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Factually, Galen was a Graeco-Roman physician of the second century.

Fictionally, Galen was the name of Peter Woodward's technomage character in the "Crusade" TV series (SF/F fans may be most familiar with this one).

There are writers called Galen Beckett, Galen Kindley, Galen Holcomb...


I wouldn't worry about it unless you genuinely want a unique name for your character, in which case come up with something, Google it, and repeat the cycle until Google is stumped


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rstegman
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change a letter.

Instead of Galen, make it Galan or Galin or Galon. They are sound similar to the eye, less chance of being recognized. My spell check accepted Galen but not the other three. It must be a common, accepted name.

The worst worry would be if your story had the same plot situations as the story you read. Names are not a problem


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MartinV
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Hey, my brother-in-law's last name is Galien.
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EVOC
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I would not worry about it either for most of the reasons alread mentioned.

Besides how many people in real life share the same name.


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Robert Nowall
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Associations-with-the-name are quite a problem. Just yesterday I started a new story (more on that later in the next "Did You Write?" installment.) I was going to name my (female) lead character "Dana"---then couldn't get the (male) actor Dana Andrews out of my mind. I changed it to "Dane," of which said name associates in my mind with a (female) lead character in an old SF story, but, though I'm aware of other Danes (male, female, or subdivision-of-humanity), doesn't carry the same burden.
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