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MrBF1V3
February 19th, 2005, 03:14 AM
This is an interesting situation.

I recently found a series of books about a character which happens to have the same name (in part) as one of my favorite characters.

I've written about half a dozen stories with this character (none published) and have a lot of fun with him. I changed his last name once, and it still causes editing problems.

To be specific, the series I'm talking about is the Sharpe Series. My character's name is Sharpe Connely.

Should I change his name, trying to aviod any misunderstandings? Should I ignore it, call it an interesting coincidence? Change the "S" to a "C"?

Think about it, what if someone had written, "Mr. Hyde goes to Washington", or "The adventures of Sam Tarzan"? Honestly, I don't think I'm on that level, but is there a proper etiquette for same or similar naming of characters? If there isn't, should there be?

Holbrook
February 19th, 2005, 03:56 AM
This is an interesting situation.

I recently found a series of books about a character which happens to have the same name (in part) as one of my favorite characters.

I've written about half a dozen stories with this character (none published) and have a lot of fun with him. I changed his last name once, and it still causes editing problems.

To be specific, the series I'm talking about is the Sharpe Series. My character's name is Sharpe Connely.

Should I change his name, trying to aviod any misunderstandings? Should I ignore it, call it an interesting coincidence? Change the "S" to a "C"?

Think about it, what if someone had written, "Mr. Hyde goes to Washington", or "The adventures of Sam Tarzan"? Honestly, I don't think I'm on that level, but is there a proper etiquette for same or similar naming of characters? If there isn't, should there be?


I think you will be ok.... names are just names... It is Richard Sharpe in the Bernard Cornwell books, and as long as your stories are not about an Rifleman serving with Wellington you will be fine....;)

KatG
February 19th, 2005, 07:48 PM
Names are not copyrightable and similar names are not unusual. In this case, it's the last name of a character in a book, and the first name of your character, so there's really little connection. And Sharpe is a very common last name, as is Connely, though you use the less common spelling of it. I don't think you have a problem.

MrBF1V3
February 19th, 2005, 10:18 PM
Thanks. It seems pretty simple when you explain it. I think I was worried over nothing :rolleyes: .
B5

JamesL
February 21st, 2005, 08:49 AM
If names were copyright, we'd all be in trouble! :p

As the others have said, provided your stories bear no resemblance to the Sharpe series, you'll be fine.

juzzza
February 21st, 2005, 09:33 AM
Forget your Sharpe character, I want to read about Sam Tarzan!!! I think that is brilliant, seriously...

Expendable
February 21st, 2005, 10:22 AM
Some of your odder names from fiction are actually in use. Using Yahoo's People Search, would you believe I found 11 people with the last name of Tarzan across the US?
200 Sharpes? (I think after 200 they want you to be more specific).
112 Frankensteins?
57 Gooses?

I also found six Sherlock Holmes and four 4 Indiana Jones.

No excuse now not to do a Sam Tarzan series. Sowwie ^__^;

MrBF1V3
February 21st, 2005, 11:42 AM
I can see it now . . .

Interviewer: Where did you get the idea for your world famous, translated into eighteen languages, runaway best selling Sam Tarzan series?

Me: Well, I made an offhand comment on a thread at sffworld.com . . . :rolleyes:

Better yet . . .

"Tarzan!" the detective yelled. "Get out of that tree!"

"I can't," Sam replied. "I'm afraid of heights."

"Just swing down on a vine," Jan Spade said. ;)

Okay, maybe there are some interesting ideas there to explore.
B5


BTW--I knew Sharpe, Frankenstein, Holmes and Jones were "real" last names. I just wonder about the parents who give a name like "Sherlock" to their kid. "Brilliant move Sherlock," is often a disparaging remark. What would the shortened nickname be?

Chlestron
February 21st, 2005, 12:15 PM
I agree, there's no need to change the name.

I also agree that changing a name, or compeletely removing an irrelevant character, is a tedious process and not only because you have to change all the instances of it. You also have to train yourself not to write the old name and write the new one instead which would be very difficult considering how long the character has been around.

Kirby
February 23rd, 2005, 02:31 AM
I just wonder about the parents who give a name like "Sherlock" to their kid. "Brilliant move Sherlock," is often a disparaging remark. What would the shortened nickname be?

Sherk, perhaps?