Meta: First Names

Meta related to characters, plots, or other elements introduced by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
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MmeBahorel
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat May 11, 2013 6:38 pm

I think it depends on how you work with them. I do so much backstory that everyone is dealing with families and what not and needs first names. And if you work various timelines/AUs/etc., it can really help differentiate. It's a characterisation thing, too, adding intimacy. I deliberately use first names in narration for The Keeper of All Mystery to force that intimacy on the reader since I'm covering that portion of these guys' inner lives.

But it has so often been forced. Plenty of uses where it's being done rather ridiculously or needlessly. Overuse of names in general in dialogue. It depends on what you're writing whether or not they need first names. All mine have first names because of Keeper, but not all my OCs for Corner of the Sky have first names. Not all my OCs have last names. Some of my OCs just have nicknames, same as some of Hugo's characters. And some were not intended to have first names when first created, then I realise they are the best characters to bleed over and fill multiple roles in the plot, so suddenly they need first names or nicknames because they have mistresses and/or families suddenly in the picture. But it should be about the story's need, not the author's desire to tie everything up into a little bow. Hugo didn't even bother naming some of his characters - we should remember that.
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby SpiritOfDawn » Sun May 12, 2013 8:01 pm

*signs without further comment*
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Little Cozelma
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Little Cozelma » Fri May 31, 2013 10:27 pm

Hugo didn't bother naming his characters, and look what it has costed to us :D
That's a bit off topic, but I always have problems naming OCs, especially those of the high society. I can't come up with any last names for my comtesses, for example, and it is just as embarrassing as giving LM characters ridiculous names.

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Rebus
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Rebus » Fri May 31, 2013 11:19 pm

First names can add a great dynamic to a story when used well (have an example in mind but forget the name of the fic). But they are often so out of place in stories, to the point of being so ridiculous that I have clicked out of some fics when it became too much (like the Amis suddenly addressing each other on a first name basis all the time.)

For my Grantaire fic, I've had to name a few though. Would be weird if Grantaire's mother called him Grantaire ^^

So, I've got:

Grantaire, Nicolas ('Colas) [I only actually need a first name for Grantaire, but since he got one I felt like going all-out on the others as well]
Courfeyrac, Félix (was not meant to be a direct play on Tholomyes, bu I guess my subconscious made the connection while I was thinking up names, and it seemed to fit so well I didn't have the heart to change it)
Lesgle, Pascal
Joly, Eugène
Bahorel, Simon
Feuilly, Antoine
Combeferre, Frédéric
Enjolras, Marcel-Évariste

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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby CeridwenLynne » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:59 pm

Enjolras-----Gabriel
Joly----Alexandre
Combeferre---Matthieu
Courfeyrac---Gilles
Bahorel---Stephen
Grantaire---Charles
Feuilly---Sebastien
Bousset---Emile
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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WhoIam
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby WhoIam » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:37 pm

Enjolras: Sacha(means 'defender of mankind')
Combeferre: Charles(for now, anyway; means 'man,' because I literally couldn't resist)
Feuilly: Joachim(means 'justice')
Courfeyrac: Amadour(means 'lover')
Bahorel: Tristan(I can't remember why, but it does mean something Bahorel-ish)
Laigle/Legle/Lesgle/L'Aigle/Bossuet, whichever: Arnaud(means 'eagle power,' again, couldn't resist)
Joly: Felicien(means 'happy')
Grantaire: Denis(means 'follower of Dionysus,' fits him very well I think)

:D
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Gervais
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Gervais » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:13 pm

I decided yesterday that I like Aidan Courfeyrac, even if Aidan isn't French, partially for the sound and partially for the meanings: warmth, little fire. Now, I don't know when I'm going to use it, if at all--it would probably be in a modern AU before a canon-fic--but still, in my head he has a name now. :wink:
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Rachelle
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Rachelle » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:29 pm

I think with first names, you need to consider who will be using them especially if you write in canon era. The amis tend to use the surnames only in the brick(hence the need to make up our own names for them). So, are the first names going to be used by their family, other acquaintances, or by the amis at certain times?

Gervais wrote:I decided yesterday that I like Aidan Courfeyrac, even if Aidan isn't French, partially for the sound and partially for the meanings: warmth, little fire. Now, I don't know when I'm going to use it, if at all--it would probably be in a modern AU before a canon-fic--but still, in my head he has a name now. :wink:

I called my Feuilly "Anton" for a canon era fic despite the fact that Anton clearly has a French version "Antoine". It just worked in my head.
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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:34 pm

Definitely it's good to decide who'll be calling who with their given names as opposed to just surnames. That's characterization in itself.

Though here is a question for you guys: how did it work in couples or marriages? Would Musichetta call Joly by his surname or would she use his given name? I guess we can get a hint from Marius and Cosette, but did that apply to all pairs?

In my present fic project, it's easy for anyone to find out Enjolras' given name since it does get on some public documents. But there are not even *five* people in Paris who can call him that on a regular basis. :D
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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby CeridwenLynne » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:33 pm

In my current E/E fanfic they call each other by their first names or even a nickname from time to time. I can see Enjolras letting his best friends call him Gabe 8)

But when I am describing the character or writing something other than dialog I use the surname.
Last edited by CeridwenLynne on Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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Gervais
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Gervais » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:33 pm

Just for the Amis among themselves, the only one I remember being called by his first name in my own fic is Jehan. If I were to write a modern AU, they would probably call each other by their first names more, because unless you have multiple people with the same or similar first name last names aren't usually pulled into casual conversation.
(Though people do tend to call me by my last name, personally, but there are also a million Katie's in my classes. Thus the "multiple people" clause, and maybe at work or something like that. For the most part, though, I'd probably find first names for AUs.)

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:D

Though here is a question for you guys: how did it work in couples or marriages? Would Musichetta call Joly by his surname or would she use his given name? I guess we can get a hint from Marius and Cosette, but did that apply to all pairs?

I have a mini-head canon that whatever Joly's given name is, Musichetta still calls him by his surname because it sounds cuter. :wink: For everyone else, though, I'd say their lover would use their given name most of the time, at least at home.

So basically, I use/would use:
*First names mostly, for modern AUs
*Mostly first names with lovers
*Surnames everywhere else, including canon-era fic
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Barricade Butterfly
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Barricade Butterfly » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:31 am

First names always break up a story for me if they're used too much in succession. I would probably use them less in a canon and more in a modern, but if so...

Enjolras: Julien or Antoine
Courfeyrac: Felix (and on purpose, too, just as an ironic exploration)
Bahorel: Marc
Joly: Euodard (stole this off the first page I think, it just struck me)
Combeferre: I've always liked Etienne for him.
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Darkhorse » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:09 pm

Not sure if this fits, but I might have just twigged Javert's first name, apart from the symbolism of him not having one,

Valjean and Javert were both based to some degree on Vidocq. His first names were Eugène François

Eugène=Jean
François= Javert

Bit of a guess, but it seemed a good guess.

Still I only call Javert Javert, except for a planned modern-au where he has the rather embarrassing first name of Zacharie-Emile (don't ask why... I don't know) :lol: :?

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Vignetta
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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby Vignetta » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:02 pm

If anyone cares about accuracy, I found this website a while ago:
http://www.histoire-prenoms.com
It's in French, but it's pretty easy to navigate if you don't speak. If you type in a name it will display a graph of its popularity in France since 1600. I've found this incredibly helpful when headcanoning names and writing! (Also it doesn't work on mobile)

Personally, I like a Théodule Thénardier because alliteration :wink:

Also Barricade Butterfly I really like your name for Courfeyrac! I hope you don't mind me casually adopting your headcanon.

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Re: Meta: First Names

Postby RoseMarieIsSuzette » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:39 pm

Enjolras: Ange Jean-Baptiste. :lol:
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