Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's in a Name?

Last week I visited Erin M. Kinch's site, Living the Fictional Dream, and read her post about the difficulty in naming characters. She talked about giving characters names that start with different letters to avoid confusing the reader. Also the character's name is their identity and say a lot about who they are. I commented, mentioning that I have a page full of names gotten from the pile of junk mail that arrives in my mail box each day. Here are some of my favourites:

Sheila Molina, King Cuthbert, Lance Jasper, Misty Willis, Clay Hewitt, Cyrus Sexton, Mattie Pagan...and the list goes on. The cool part for me was that a number of the random surnames matched common ones I see regularly on the island and would fit into a story set locally. So, next time you require a character name you need not go any further than your inbox.


Catherine J Gardner said...

I do that to. I always feel if I use a real name (however bizarre) that it makes that the character that touch more real.

Alan W. Davidson said...

My last night school teacher told us that it was important to "breath life" into your characters by indentifying them (although there are rare occasions when you can get away without naming them). I think it detracts from the story when you get a lot of "she said" or "said the large man" etc.