April 19, 2014, 11:11:14 AM

Author Topic: When people steal your names...  (Read 1993 times)

EricaDakin

When people steal your names...
« on: April 08, 2013, 04:54:04 PM »
Has anyone else had this problem before? You start writing your book and you think of a really cool name. It's awesome, everyone else will love it as much as you do!

...And then you discover other books with characters with the same name. Or, even worse, football players whose kids are called that. But you can't possibly change the name now, because to you the character is alive, and that's just what they're called.

Is anyone else as annoyed by this as I am, or should I rejoice because obviously I did think of a good name, or other people wouldn't be using it?


Butterflies instantly came to life in his stomach, and the little bastards were heavily armed. - The Republic of Thieves.

Jian

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 05:11:01 PM »
Has anyone else had this problem before? You start writing your book and you think of a really cool name. It's awesome, everyone else will love it as much as you do!

...And then you discover other books with characters with the same name. Or, even worse, football players whose kids are called that. But you can't possibly change the name now, because to you the character is alive, and that's just what they're called.

Is anyone else as annoyed by this as I am, or should I rejoice because obviously I did think of a good name, or other people wouldn't be using it?

Nope. I am definitely one of those people that get annoyed when people use your names. For example, I once thought of this awesome name that I had yet to see at all in fiction. And then, I kept running into it.

In fact, I once registered on a website with that name, and it was taken.

It's a lot worse when the name of your book has literally been used. The original title of my first, awful book was the Guardian. A year later, I find around five books with that name. I have to say, it is rather frustrating. xD
Oh, I have a blog. http://dullboredom.wordpress.com/

Check it out, if you've got the time. Much appreciated.

Writer. Read my free, serialized story Radio Silence and vote to keep it free and serialized!

xiagan

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Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 05:37:46 PM »
I remember the time when I had to change the MC's name in my query because that publisher already had a fantasy book going with a nearly identical name... Was totally annoying, to see another name it that character's place...
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Fallen One

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 06:06:32 PM »
Well, I guess it can't be avoided: there are only so many letter combinations in any given alphabet, and it gets even worse when you take nicknames into account.

 What I usually do is a) Just use common names and hope the characters will be memorable enough, or b) find random name generators on google, then start hitting them until I find a nice combination, and finally changing a few letters to avoid the chance of other people having the same name.
Current work: translation of my novel "Return of the Reaper" from spanish to english. You can check my progress at http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/work-to-be-critiqued/fantasy-from-south-america-perhaps-not-suited-for-minors-(quite-violent)/

 Feel free to comment!

Funky Scarecrow

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 06:08:25 PM »
Not so much names, I tend towards fairly real-world naming conventions even in secondary world novels, but themes and sometimes even entire plots? Oh, hell yes! I'm like a barometer; whatever I'm interested in doing now, someone else was doing a while back and is just about to publish. Usually Mark Chadbourn, Sarah Pinborough, Jonathan L. Howard or Christopher Fowler.
I am NOT short. I'm further away than I look.

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 08:10:21 PM »
Not so much names, I tend towards fairly real-world naming conventions even in secondary world novels, but themes and sometimes even entire plots? Oh, hell yes! I'm like a barometer; whatever I'm interested in doing now, someone else was doing a while back and is just about to publish. Usually Mark Chadbourn, Sarah Pinborough, Jonathan L. Howard or Christopher Fowler.

Isn't some hack writing under your real name?
The last Rhega.

Sean Cunningham

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 08:48:50 PM »
I regret not being able to use the word "Twilight" as the name for something now. :(
"You can't prove it won't happen."
- Futurama

Nyki Blatchley

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 09:59:00 PM »
Not very often.  I have found one or two matches by googling, but they're all fairly obscure.  I did once find that a name I thought I'd invented was actually a RW name.  I hate random mixing of fantasy and RW names, so I changed it.

The really annoying thing was that I had a really great title back in the 70s and I didn't use it at the time.  By the time I was ready to use it, a few years ago, I couldn't.  It was Songs of Fire and Snow.

wolfking

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 01:57:32 AM »
I had the same issue that I have been struggling with. I go to behindthename.com for ideas and I thought I for sure had an original name. I used it from day one and then a year later...I see a book with the same name as the MC. Im not going to change it unless it comes up in the publication, should something come of it.

We can't always be original in the name department I guess. The story is the main thing. Make that original and it will get you noticed.

jefGoelz

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 03:49:42 AM »
I've googled the names, and when I wanted the name to be different, but found a prior use, I just changed it.  Willy said a rose by any other name will still prick your hand if you ignore the thorns . . . or something like that.

EricaDakin

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 08:32:07 AM »
I've googled the names, and when I wanted the name to be different, but found a prior use, I just changed it.  Willy said a rose by any other name will still prick your hand if you ignore the thorns . . . or something like that.

See, that's all well and good when you're just starting, but I found this out at a point where the book is as good as finished, and by then there's no way I can just rename a major character. At the moment I'm comforting myself that the character's full name is different, and it's just the shortened version that everyone calls him by which is the same as in other books.  :P
Butterflies instantly came to life in his stomach, and the little bastards were heavily armed. - The Republic of Thieves.

Lor

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 10:48:36 AM »
I've googled the names, and when I wanted the name to be different, but found a prior use, I just changed it.  Willy said a rose by any other name will still prick your hand if you ignore the thorns . . . or something like that.

See, that's all well and good when you're just starting, but I found this out at a point where the book is as good as finished, and by then there's no way I can just rename a major character. At the moment I'm comforting myself that the character's full name is different, and it's just the shortened version that everyone calls him by which is the same as in other books.  :P

When I go to the dentist I have to give my date of birth because there are three other girls in town with the same full name as me, it happens. If you build the character well, they'll be memorable in their own right :)
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." - Miss Piggy

ZRWilliams

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 05:24:25 PM »
I've never had it happen with football player's kids but in games. When I started playing Oblivion I found three characters in that game that had my characters names! I couldn't change my character names after 200K words of story and character development though so I totally know what you mean. Actually my first character ever was named Quinntus. I thought it was beautiful and brilliant. Then the name ended being used for a bad guy in a Dresden novel. Sigh.
Each hour wounds. The last hour kills.
Neil Gaiman-- "American Gods"

Jian

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 05:56:06 PM »
I've never had it happen with football player's kids but in games. When I started playing Oblivion I found three characters in that game that had my characters names! I couldn't change my character names after 200K words of story and character development though so I totally know what you mean. Actually my first character ever was named Quinntus. I thought it was beautiful and brilliant. Then the name ended being used for a bad guy in a Dresden novel. Sigh.

Well, in my language (if you mispronounce it slightly), that means 'Necklace'. xD

So, I think you dodged a bullet there.

I have to say, though, I got more annoyed when I read or watch stories that have characters with my actual name. In one of Guy Gavriel Kay's books, one of the characters had my first name... and she was a courtesan. I was not pleased.  :P
Oh, I have a blog. http://dullboredom.wordpress.com/

Check it out, if you've got the time. Much appreciated.

Writer. Read my free, serialized story Radio Silence and vote to keep it free and serialized!

EricaDakin

Re: When people steal your names...
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 08:46:37 PM »

I have to say, though, I got more annoyed when I read or watch stories that have characters with my actual name. In one of Guy Gavriel Kay's books, one of the characters had my first name... and she was a courtesan. I was not pleased.  :P

Haha, if I found a book with a courtesan called Erica, I think I'd be okay with that. Now if she was some dizzy bint with a really annoying squeaky voice or something, that'd be different...
Butterflies instantly came to life in his stomach, and the little bastards were heavily armed. - The Republic of Thieves.

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