Author Topic: HELP ** Character Name Overload, “Marsha-Marsha-Marsha” Whew !  (Read 897 times)

Offline Skip Slocum

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I just noticed a problem in my story. My wife read a portion of it aloud.
My characters name is sounding like a scratched record stuck in a loop.
I have fight scenes, love scenes, jousts and just dinner conversations.

How can I cut the number of times I write HIS name?

First, my main character’s name is MATT.
When he was younger, and or dealing with Grandpa, Mom or Cugan (the old general) I could get away with interjecting “The boy” occasionally to break it up. I can also use, Youngster, the lad, and he, if the subject carried “HIM” into the next sentence.

However, when MATT is fighting men and the action is going back and forth between them, how do I keep from the repetition of, “MATT, MATT, MATT, and of course, MATT?

Now that my character is getting older, I’m loosing, Youngster, lad and, the boy, as names.

Is there something I’m missing?
Is it my point of view or diction?

In a one-on-one scene between “HIM” and “HER,” it isn’t quite as bad because I can use, He, Him, His, and of course MATT and keep everyone straight.

Some of my teachers here in the Circle, have cautioned me about, “Head-Hopping” with point of view. However, in a fight, it quickly goes back and forth so fast, and “He” won’t cut it or the reader gets lost. What shall I do?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 02:40:23 AM by Skip Slocum »

Offline Diver

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Re: HELP ** Character Name Overload, “Marsha-Marsha-Marsha” Whew !
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 03:41:00 AM »
Hey Skip,

Love the Brady bunch reference. Scary how many other scenes that brought to mind, in addition to the one you meant.

How about:

nicknames/formal names (ie, is Matt short for Matthew & could someone typically use his formal name?)
last names (I don't remember reading Matt's last name anywhere so I don't know if that's possible)
Teasing nicknames or ones Megan might come up with for him (for use in dialogue - 'My Sweet Baboo, would you...then he could reply without a Matt-dialogue tag.)

Replace lad with:
friend
sir
brother
my liege?
the man
 - by the way, I would think Cugan will always refer to him as 'lad' or 'boy' no matter how old he gets :)

in battles, can you describe, ie
the attacker
the defender
the protector
the victor
the winner

If you post a particularly Matt-happy scene, I'd be happy toss my 2 cents in if it helps-

Cheers,
Diver


Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: HELP ** Character Name Overload, “Marsha-Marsha-Marsha” Whew !
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 04:00:48 AM »
Hey Diver. I can see how Grandpa and Cugan could get away with lad or young man, so I'll keep that in mind. When he is with Megan, in a one-on-one scene, I'm okay there ... I think. but, I have scenes with Matt, Megan, Cugan, Koop, Mom, Kay, Grandpa and Helen ... oh-my. those get kinda dicey at times.

The last two scenes I've posted are heavy in the "Matt" column, but I didn't notice until I heard my wife read it aloud

Offline Diver

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Re: HELP ** Character Name Overload, “Marsha-Marsha-Marsha” Whew !
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 09:56:03 AM »
Hi Skip,

Just had a go at replacing a number of 'Matt' s in one of your posts - in Review.

Cheers,
Diver