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            So, I have a quick question for you all.
            Years ago, myself and some friends were involved in a role play by the name of possibly pirates on another board. To this day, I think it is the only role play I've been in that has been successfully completed. I came to the decision that I'd like to turn it into a novel, and I'm finally getting back into it (I'm thinking of using a technique similar to what you find in a song of ice and fire books, as in each chapter focus on a different character and what happens around them).

            Anywho, my dilemma is this - my character, who is also in the main four, goes by the name Elizabeth. Kind of typical huh? When I created her, I chose the name simply because I liked it for her. Now, though, I'm worried about how it might come across, having a character named Elizabeth, who is a pirate. And a captain. /fail

            The other main characters are Raff, Richelle, and James. Pretty not-the-most-common-popular-pirate-names.

            So I just don't know. Part of me thinks I should change her, but ehh. Any advice?
Aeveternal's avatar

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Your character sounds very good, and I support you in this.

On to the advice...

You have the choice to change your character's name. And honestly, I think you should. I've been out and around the world of literature just as much as anyone else, and people don't like it---even despise it---when they spot a striking similarity between something they are awfully familiar with and something in what you are writing.

I have been down this doubtful road like you, because I used to have a story that is, give or take, comparable to Twilight. And a big facepalm to that. My story got stuck in my head around a year before Twilight was released in the theaters and even barely that popular at all.

So, if I may conclude, the current predicament you are in is that you want to release your story to the world but may receive unwanted attention due to a few certain characters---one of them being your cherished main character---being coincidentally so much alike to another person's work, even though your story was created without the knowledge of the said person's work.
Ha! I just have to find the right name!
You know, theres actually a scene in the possibly pirates role play where Liz and richelle slip into a lords disguise in order to help free James?
Ring any bells? /coughnewestcarribbeanmoviecough
I hate that this has even become an issue in the world. I personally don't give a rats if you use a name that shares a similarity with some other fictional character but the reality is that lots of people would give you flak for it.
Sadly I think you will have to change the characters name. Don't make them overtly obvious pirate names (Cap'n Pegleg etc) just make them sound seaworthy.
DarknessofHeavenandDreams's avatar

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What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.
DarknessofHeavenandDreams
What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.


I think the problem is that he's worried about his Elizabeth sounding too close to Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth.
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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Kairi Nightingale
DarknessofHeavenandDreams
What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.


I think the problem is that he's worried about his Elizabeth sounding too close to Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth.


Why? Look at the name Edward. Disney and Full Metal Alchemist used it first. No to mention all the kings in history.

Elizabeth was a popular name back then due to a certain queen. I'd rename Richelle , a name that doesn't fit at all, and give Elizabeth a more accurate last name.
I_Write_Ivre
Kairi Nightingale
DarknessofHeavenandDreams
What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.


I think the problem is that he's worried about his Elizabeth sounding too close to Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth.


Why? Look at the name Edward. Disney and Full Metal Alchemist used it first. No to mention all the kings in history.

Elizabeth was a popular name back then due to a certain queen. I'd rename Richelle , a name that doesn't fit at all, and give Elizabeth a more accurate last name.


Those Eds aren't sparkly vampires who are in love with a human girl. So, I'm not sure that's a good analogy. He's worried because his Elizabeth is a pirate and becomes a captain just like the Elizabeth in Pirates.

I'm not saying I would change my character's name over it in his case (unless she acted exactly like her and their back story was the same) but if you saw a popular movie come out with a main character just like yours running about, wouldn't the thought of looking like a copy-cat give you pause?
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Kairi Nightingale
I_Write_Ivre
Kairi Nightingale
DarknessofHeavenandDreams
What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.


I think the problem is that he's worried about his Elizabeth sounding too close to Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth.


Why? Look at the name Edward. Disney and Full Metal Alchemist used it first. No to mention all the kings in history.

Elizabeth was a popular name back then due to a certain queen. I'd rename Richelle , a name that doesn't fit at all, and give Elizabeth a more accurate last name.


Those Eds aren't sparkly vampires who are in love with a human girl. So, I'm not sure that's a good analogy. He's worried because his Elizabeth is a pirate and becomes a captain just like the Elizabeth in Pirates.

I'm not saying I would change my character's name over it in his case (unless she acted exactly like her and their back story was the same) but if you saw a popular movie come out with a main character just like yours running about, wouldn't the thought of looking like a copy-cat give you pause?


There are tons of Elizabeths all over pirate literature. (link goes to a google search)
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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I_Write_Ivre
Kairi Nightingale
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Kairi Nightingale
DarknessofHeavenandDreams
What's wrong with Elizabeth? A real woman pirate had the name Anne.


I think the problem is that he's worried about his Elizabeth sounding too close to Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth.


Why? Look at the name Edward. Disney and Full Metal Alchemist used it first. No to mention all the kings in history.

Elizabeth was a popular name back then due to a certain queen. I'd rename Richelle , a name that doesn't fit at all, and give Elizabeth a more accurate last name.


Those Eds aren't sparkly vampires who are in love with a human girl. So, I'm not sure that's a good analogy. He's worried because his Elizabeth is a pirate and becomes a captain just like the Elizabeth in Pirates.

I'm not saying I would change my character's name over it in his case (unless she acted exactly like her and their back story was the same) but if you saw a popular movie come out with a main character just like yours running about, wouldn't the thought of looking like a copy-cat give you pause?


There are tons of Elizabeths all over pirate literature. (link goes to a google search)
Besides, who will really care if the other's are name something else and plot's different?
/just woke up, so not much to say. Except that I'm a she hurdyhurr
braxyBRAX
/just woke up, so not much to say. Except that I'm a she hurdyhurr


Oops. Sorry! sweatdrop
Haha thats okay
I'm just looking into if Eliza was a name found during the time period... I don't want to change her name too much is all.
Yes, I was thinking a shortened form of Elizabeth might be a good compromise. Maybe something like Bess would be appropriate for the era you're writing about.
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I think typical is good, actually. Or rather, typical of the setting is good. Elizabeth was one of the most popular names in Renaissance England (which was a few centuries before the "golden age" of piracy, but it doesn't seem likely it would go out of fashion quickly), and it was also popular in other areas of Europe, so it's probably a good choice for a European character.

Actually, at least in the Renaissance, it was popular to the point that a woman with that name would actually get called "Elizabeth the redhead" or "Elizabeth the blacksmith's wife" or "the tall Elizabeth" or something like that. The vast majority of people were named from a pool of 20 or so really popular names, so in a village of a couple hundred people, you were going to have some duplicates. This is how last names were invented. So a ton of pirates named Elizabeth wouldn't even be that unrealistic, if you're writing in the 1500s or so XD

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