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Aidan Aasarin
August 4th, 2002, 02:11 AM
Looking for a little help on how to do this properly. I have a character whom evryone refers to by a trade name since they don't know his real name. Up to this point, that real name has never been revealed to a character nor to the reader. Now, I am planning a POV change through this charcter in the future and am wondering how to present his real name to the reader. He will of course know his own real name and thus it should be used to identify him. i am just concerned with the confusion this may casue the reader if it is not handled correctly.

August 4th, 2002, 02:55 AM
Do you require his name to be known?

Does anyone know his real name at all? If not, they would still call him by the trade name. Perhaps you could invent a subplot where he reveals it for whatever reason.

Also, was there a purpose to his name not being revealed, or did it just never come up?

Aidan Aasarin
August 4th, 2002, 03:10 AM
He is Very Old. he came to a new community where he is very withdrawn, like a hermit. Speaks very little to the peope near him. Those people just refer to him as "the hermit." The current character, in his POV, also refers to him as "The Hermit" not knowing any other name for him. Now, I will be writing a chapter soon from this hermits POV. Should I have him refer to himself as the hermit. ex:

The hermit looked on as the warrior moved past by his hiding spot. He fervently hoped the man would not turn this way. he just didn't feel like killing a man today.

Or should I immediately jump in with his real name in use and let the reader figure it out. ex:

Remis looked on as the warrior moved past by his hiding spot. He fervently hoped the man would not turn this way. he just didn't feel like killing a man today.

From description, the readers will easily be able to identify the "warrior" as the main character and the main character's POV just concluded with him entering the domain of the 'hermit' I am just concerned with what is good form or proper presentation as I have never had to use this situation before.

August 4th, 2002, 03:43 AM
Are you going to have the warrior and the hermit meet? If so, you can get around that with some dialogue of introduction with the hermit announcing himself as Remis and the Warrior commenting that he knows him as the village hermit. Something like that perhaps?

This way, your characters reveal the name and not yourself, as storyteller.

Aidan Aasarin
August 4th, 2002, 04:00 AM
The meeting wasn't going to take place for a little while between them as the hermit, intrigued by the warrior follows him. Until that meeting takes place I guess I should refer to him as The Hermit. ex:

The hermit looked on as the warrior moved past by his hiding spot. He fervently hoped the man would not turn this way. he just didn't feel like killing a man today.
"....What do you call yourself anyway?"
The Hermit paused a moment. It had been so long since anyone had ask his name. Yes, so long since he had a name. What is my name. "Call me Remis."
"Well met, Remis. I am Durong. I have come from the valliage in search of something or another."
"Pleased to meet you, Durong. Now if you would be so kind as to put your sword away, I would like to settle down the half dozen dragons standing behind that you disturbed."
Remis made a quick gesture as the Durong turned about, dispelling the glamour. he hoped Durong was sufficiently impressed.

Is this how I should go about it. refer to char. as 'warrior' and 'hermit' until such a time as I can introduce them in dialog?
It reads okay to me, but I just want to make sure it doesn't get too clunky reading 2 or 3 pages of 'warrior' and 'hermit' as tags before they are properly introduced. Thanks

August 4th, 2002, 04:43 AM
Yes, I believe this is a good way to do it, and the idea you have tried above will work fine for this, I'm sure, once you have tried it a few different ways. Just experiment with it a little until you are happy with what you have, and as with all dialogue, always read it out loud a few times to make sure it doesn't sound corny or stilted. I find doing this a great benefit in making my characters sound as real as possible.

Good luck! :)

August 5th, 2002, 01:48 AM
Alternately, it would sound more personal if his name was used. The reader will figure out who he is. If you continue with the hermit, as if you are talking about him, not through his eyes, it may or may not conflict with your style.

August 5th, 2002, 08:25 PM
I've never really understood the logic in witholding the name of a character. Personally I don't think it generates much suspense for the reader. As an author, I think the real question is what do you hope to accomplish by keeping it a secret?

The only instance I've seen it work is in a story where a elderly Jewish man finds a young artist starving - almost dead in the streets. He takes him in and nurses him back to health. At the end the reader discovers the young artist is named Aldolf Hitler.

Something that might work here is to put in a short paragraph where the hermit is first indroduced.

"He was the old man who lived by himself on the outskirts of the village, known to the locals simply by as "the hermit." No one knew his real name - no one wanted to and generally everyone was happy with that. Occasionally he had a vistor that would ask for him by the name Remis, but no one tied that name to him. To the villagers he would always be The Hermit."

If you mention it only once - the keen reader will take note of it and then on entering his point of view, the reader will pick up on this point and already you will have established a link between the reader, and the character.

I do however appreaciate that it can be difficult to introduce the name of a character while keeping a logical sequence of events. How many of us have ever tried writing a fight scene - the hero is invading the bad guy's castle and has to slay dozens of nameless guards - simply because it wouldn't seem logical to stop and ask, "hey, what's your name?"