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My character has the wrong name - please help

(73 Posts)
Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:08:23

I'm 100,000 words into my mainstream novel, and my hero is called Adrian. I've always been dubious about his name, but now, at the end of my first draft, I think it's wrong for him - too... wet,,, and it's affecting the story. Can you naming experts help please?

Is 'Adrian' a suitable name for a middle class, sporty doctor, aged 35, who is fundamentally nice but a bit misguided? He's masculine, but not excessively so. Is it suitable for a romantic hero, or do you sort of wrinkle your nose when you hear it?

If you don't like Adrian, why? And can you come up with any alternatives? A multi-syllabled name would be good, as the other main character's name is short (makes it easier on readers). Names beginning with A would be helpful (to avoid my head exploding with confusion), but I could live with a non-A name. Name cannot start with 'M'. That's taken.

Please help. Are my instincts right here?

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 06-Nov-15 11:10:41

I know a middle class sporty doctor called Anthony.

I think Adrian's fine though.


fairyfeatures Fri 06-Nov-15 11:14:14

You're instincts are right. Apologies to all Adrian's out there, but when I think of Adrian I think of short stumpy car mechanic with his ass crack hanging out of his jeans.

And well done to BloodyStumps - Alexander is the obvious choice! Perfect!

autumnmoon Fri 06-Nov-15 11:14:11


Don't call him Adrian (Mole)

MuddhaOfSuburbia Fri 06-Nov-15 11:14:22

Adrian is a bit wettish

No idea why though!


whatdoIget Fri 06-Nov-15 11:15:47

Adrian mole

Loula117 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:17:24

I'm sure once I got into the story and the characters Adrian would be fine, but I have to say my first thought is 'Adrian Mole'. I do feel Sue Townsend's creation has coloured the name somewhat. Also the shortening is often Aid or Aids, which is unfortunate. It doesn't say romantic hero to me I'm afraid!

I like Alexander. How about Nathaniel?

MrsMolesworth Fri 06-Nov-15 11:18:08

Adrian is a wimpy name for a man with dark purple acne that didn't disappear after puberty.

Alex? Aston? Aidan?

R0nJ0n Fri 06-Nov-15 11:24:51

If he's 35 have look at what baby names were popular in 1980. I'm a little older but when I was at school popular boys names were things like-



poocatcherchampion Fri 06-Nov-15 11:26:11


Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:27:50

Thanks! OK, definitely seems my instincts were correct. All the other (excellent) names you have mentioned are close family names, but I am leaning towards Andrew or Alex (Alexander to his mother), except I have a feeling the romance/sex scenes might be impossible to write and I'll never be able to look my bil in the face again.

Alistair is good but it's a Scottish book, and 'Adrian' is definitely not Scottish so that would confuse matters.

Loula117 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:29:01

Christopher was another popular multisyllabled name when I was at school.

Also congratulations on 100,000 words! I wish!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 06-Nov-15 11:29:35

Aidan sounds much better.

Or Adam, Alex or Ash (Ashley).

Or could you shorten Adrian to Ade?

I definitely don't think Adrian paints the picture you describe.

ThisFenceIsComfy Fri 06-Nov-15 11:30:29

What about Robert or Richard?

Not A names sorry but from that generation.

Umbrelladilemma Fri 06-Nov-15 11:33:21

I like Alasdair or Adam.

Not Andrew, that's as bad as Adrian!

Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:37:33

Hmmm, thanks all, and thanks Loula117 - just got to cut the story down a bit now and a lot of editing! That name also a close family name.

Aidan, hmm, maybe, and easier for my poor brain, but is it the kind of name a lower middle class mother with pretensions would call her son?

I have shortened Adrian to 'Ade' but his colleagues use his full name, so it doesn't help.

Ashley, Jonathan, Adam suffer the Adrian syndrome to me. Nice but not very forceful characters, and though he doesn't start forceful, he is by the end, and the name has to sort of match both.

Darren, Scott probably wouldn't be chosen by his mother's character - not aspirational enough (but I don't want to end up with a Tarquin Bucket either!).

Definitely need a new name now. Adrian has to die (sorry Adrian, I've known you for 11 months, but it never felt quite right).

MackerelOfFact Fri 06-Nov-15 11:38:04

I would imagine most Adrians to be a bit older than 35 to be honest. And it doesn't really scream 'sporty doctor' to me either.

Agree Alexander (or Xander) would be more appropriate, or Nathaniel.

Oliver? Rupert? Matthew? Gus?

Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:38:17

Already got a Rob and a Jamie as secondary characters who might have a sequel.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 06-Nov-15 11:39:36

I like Adam

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 06-Nov-15 11:39:55

Daniel, Dan to his mates?

Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:50:08

Ben? How about Ben? His mother would have to call him Benjamin. Still feels slightly too passive.
Andrew - had quite liked this but someone thinks it's a bit wet too
Edward, shortened to Ted or Ed?
Tom - ah, Tom. What about Tom, I'm liking it. Sounds more forceful, more dynamic, I know some Toms. Only problem is the other main character has a very short name too.

(Christopher, Nathaniel, Rupert, Alexander, Nicholas etc etc all close family.)

RainbowRoses Fri 06-Nov-15 11:51:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Albaalba Fri 06-Nov-15 11:55:15

Sorry, Adam fits the pattern but just doesn't feel right to me, perhaps because of personal experience.

Tom or Andrew, what are your feelings on these? Both seem to sit well with my character.

PinkSquash Fri 06-Nov-15 11:58:32

Tom or Oliver would fit well for me.

VocationalGoat Fri 06-Nov-15 11:58:34

I changed my character's name not long ago at all... three years into this fecking novel I changed a character's name... not the main one. I'll never finish because a)I rot on MN instead of writing and b) have three kids who don't allow me a moment to think. But that's another thread.

Given his age and profession:
Tom (I second this because I know a gorgeous young GP named Tom)
Adrian, while beautiful, is more common among guys in their 50s and up. Great name though.

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