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Nicknames in Narration

I just noticed that even when characters are referred to only by nicknames by other characters, I'll refer to them in the narration by their whole name. I have no idea why I do that. And it's not just one character or one story--it's across the board. I mean, I can't think of a reason not to do it, but I can't think of a real reason to do it, either.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Well, you gotta find a way to tell people their real name somehow. Plus, there's always someone in your life who still calls you by your real name, and you usually refer to yourself in your head by your real name.
May. 1st, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I do this too, and personally I prefer it. It depends on the voice of the narrator of course, but generally I figure that if the tone you're going for is that of a neutral, third-person narrator then it would be silly to refer to someone by his/her nickname. If the narration is more personal (either a first person narration or third person but heavily skewed toward one person's point of view) then reference via nickname might be more appropriate.

Does that make sense? (It's late for me...)
May. 1st, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
I do this too, I think it is helpful to the reader to have all of a character's names represented in one way or another.
May. 2nd, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
I think the narration should refer to a character by the name that fits them best. Perhaps the character is better illustrated through the nickname, rather than the full name.
May. 5th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
In first or third narration, I mostly just use the name that a) the character calls him/herself, or b) the name that most people call the character--usually the same name, and usually the full name. But name-changes can be cool as a shortcut to show inner change/maturity (like Frankie-> F. Jasmine-> Frances in The Member of the Wedding). As ilaniel noted, it depends on closeness of POV.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )