Nomenclature in fiction (comic scripting included of course) is an art unto itself. Some people are particularly good at it, some not so much–some love coming up with names, for some it’s like getting root canal.
I’m in the boat that likes to spend the time to find the perfect name for a someone or something.
It really helps a story shine, or perhaps more importantly keeps a story from having a lead weight strapped to its back–which is exactly what a wrong name can feel like seeing it repeated over and over in story.
Non-writers don’t have any idea how much thought and how much time it can take to actually come up with good names… Especially, when you’re working on an original IP that has a large cast or a lot of things to name.
Nomenclature is usually something I address towards later in the life cycle of a script because it indeed does/can take so long. Clients tend to react coldly when they touch base with you 2 days after project start and you say “yeah the writing’s going great I’ve got the names to half the cast selected” 🙂
ok, this is suppose to be a quick tip Nick, get to it… right…
You’ll often find people in my first draft scripts with character names like “Klingon” or “Wolverine” or objects like the “Spoon sword” or the “Turtle crystal”.
This isn’t me overworked, under-caffeinated and running on 2 hours of sleep. This is deliberate madness.
Finally here’s the tip.
*Names grow on you as you develop a script.*
So if you have a character whose name is important, but don’t have the time to address just yet AND you substitute or use any kind of “possible” name–over time you’re going to start to associate the name with the character and by the end of the project you may be inclined to KEEP the name or some close variation of it.
This behavior often leads to “meh”, subpar names.
My solution is using over-the-top, ridiculous names that have absolutely no connection to the source work.
These names can not grow on you and must be drastically changed before finalizing the script–at which point you can sit down and spend the proper time brainstorming for a name that has weight, impact and meaning.
Just remember, if you deliver any drafts to the client with the crazy names on board, you may want to give them a heads up first. ▪
About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S. Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.
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