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  1.  (9457.1)
    quickly glanced through the bit on Warren's site about naming characters, and I had to think about "what happens when you have to rename a character? When I was a much younger punk, in my High School years, I had a character I had called The Avatar (Which had actually been inspired by the look of a Mr. Sinister action figure in my dream). The fact that Warren himself already had a character called "Avatarr" in his Doom 2099 book, at the time didn't bother me overly much.
    Over the years my blue-faced villain had evolved quite a bit from the Mr.Sinister/Mad Darwinist rip-off it had started out as, to something far more complex(I guess that's natural when toying with the same ideas for more than a decade). Nowadays, of coarse, the word "avatar" is thrown quite a lot, and more often than not, the word is not used in accordance with it's actual definition. Thus, I feel the name of the character MUST be changed, simply for commercial reasons. I don't believe using the name for the villain could get me hit with a cease and desist, but people now have a picture or two in their heads associated with the word, that I don't want to evoke. Sigh. Another hold up on an Idea nearly 20 years in the making....
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      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2011
     (9457.2)
    Scramble some letters or toss some odd ideas in a hat. You could always try the make of your first car as the first name and some other variable as the last name. I remember there was a villain whose last name meant "shit head" way back when. So if Juan Marioneta or Jean Marionette work for you, they're yours.
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2011
     (9457.3)
    Some things I've tried:

    Reach for a thesaurus if you're using a word as a name. Or look at the origins of the name or the equivalents in other languages.

    Look at similar terms, like Incarnate or Harbinger.

    Steal from history, or out-of-copyright fiction. When I wanted to suggest an alien race were like ghouls, I called them Vathek, after the novel that introduced the word to the English language.
  2.  (9457.4)
    stsparky: Hilariously brilliant! How about Humano Dio de Mierda?

    Oxbrow: Thanks a ton for the "origins of the name" link. That'll come in great handy in many other realms of research I dabble in.

    On another note, speaking of the English language...why does my spell checker not recognize "that'll" as a proper contraction? Is it not?
  3.  (9457.5)
    http://www.behindthename.com/ WIN!
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2011
     (9457.6)
    Re: "That'll": It's not really "proper," but it's a contraction in common usage. Open Office recognizes it just fine, so that means it's okay in my book.
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      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2011
     (9457.7)
    Easier than a thesaurus - this is one of the best uses Wikipedia has for me. EG An avatar is a "puppet" - so go to the English main page and enter that. Once on the page, click on one of the other languages offered. I picked the first name by thinking of rhymes for 'pawn' ...
  4.  (9457.8)
    I had to rebrand a throwaway "Dr. Radium" as "Mr. Radium" a couple years ago, and Silver Star turned out to be a Kirby character (but ours was Thelemite. Squatters' rights!). Those are the only two I recollect.

    However, last week, everyone else's discovery of the whole Ophiuchus thing took a little edge off an upcoming issue of Invisible, Inc.

    Ideaspace, man, it'll get you any which way.