Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Naming Names

I have trouble with names. My daughter is the best example of this: Before she was born, we decided on a name, but once I'd met her, the chosen name didn't suit her. Nearly six weeks later, with the statutory deadline looming, her father and I were still arguing outside the registrar's office. She ended up with three names. And that probably explains why I sometimes still call her CatBaby - because, for nearly six weeks, that's all we called her.
I'm the same with my fictional characters - just can't decide. A name's so important and can tell you so much about a person - for a writer, names are a very handy shortcut to describing a character's age and social position. And, of course, there are so many characters waiting to be named - it's a never ending chore and I'm always looking for  for ideas.
There are some names I can't possibly use. Names of people who have upset me (there are many) unless for villains, of course. And unusual names of people I know - I wouldn't want them to think I'd stolen their identity for my story.
At my age, I know a lot of people, so it does somewhat limit the choice.


  1. Using the names of people who have annoyed me and making sure those characters come to a sticky end is always fun.


  2. He he, I love using the name of people who I don't like for "bad guys". There are some names that would never be any good for hero names like my dad's name or my kids' names. I can't even read books with the same name as my ex's. Just can't get past that name!!

    I think it was Kate Hardy recently who stalled on her ms because one of her characters didn't have the "right" name so you're in very good company :-)

  3. LOL I bet your daughter appreciates the time and effort you put into her name =)

  4. Great idea, Melissa. :0)

    I'm the same, Jo. Even worse when it's my own name.

    Aw thanks, Lacey.