It is okay to refer to a character using more than one name?
In life, we’re often referred to by a nick name, a family name or a full name depending on who is talking to us.
I call my niece, MoMo. She calls me TiTi. She’s the only person who does that.
At work or formal situations, I go by Kristina.
My family and close friends call me Tina.
But no one calls me Kris. It’s not a short form of my name I like. If a person uses it, my brain doesn’t even register I’m being addressed.
But in a novel, is all this fair game?
I think it depends on the writing.
In the last case, a character could refer to another by a name they don’t like. This would tell you something about the character. Maybe he is socially inept. Maybe he is trying to be irritating.
Short forms make characters close to each other. There is an intimating between them that wouldn’t be there without the endearing name.
A character insisting that others use her full name could be giving a message. Maybe she doesn’t like the person she’s talking to so insists that person be formal and kept at a distance. Or maybe she is trying to appear professional.
My only caution is the nickname must be clear. The reader needs to know who is speaking or being spoken too. If too many forms are used too often, the reader may become confused or annoyed and stop reading.
And none of us want that.
Do you have any tips on using more than one name for a character and is it worth the risk?
Thanks for reading . . .