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How to write a scene without knowing names

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:10 pm
by maddie17
In the first chapter of my book, my main character (1st person narrator) stops a fight between a group of fellow students, but ends up in an argument with them. My character does not know their names and they are all of one gender (male), how can I distinguish the characters? I understand that I will need to be creative about fitting names into the dialogue, but when she is just watching them fight I do not want to use "students" and "boys" all the time. How can I successfully write this scene?

Thank you!

Re: How to write a scene without knowing names

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:59 pm
by Terry T.A. Rodgers
Character traits and descriptions is how you do it. That's how you do it in real life when you talk to a stranger. You remember the way a person looks, smells, their bodily gestures, the sound of their voice. This is where sight, hearing, and smelling come into play. Maybe one of the kids smells like pot and another forgot to put on his deodorant. One has wild hair like One Direction and another short cropped hair. One may be black, one Hispanic, another a mixture that you think may be Asian and white but aren't sure. You can even name them. Smelly grinned at me again, and I noticed he was never taught the value of a toothbrush.

I hope that helps.

Re: How to write a scene without knowing names

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:19 pm
by DrG2
Blondie, Fatty, Stoner guy, etc. etc.

Re: How to write a scene without knowing names

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:25 am
by roda havet
I would agree with Terry and DrG both on this matter. Give them all kind of like a nickname based on there looks.

Re: How to write a scene without knowing names

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:35 pm
by James A. Ritchie
Why doesn't she know the names? She doesn't have to be friends with them to know their names. She can even hear bystanders using their names. Unless you have a strong reason for having her not know the names, tell her their names.