Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's in a name?

Flint, Beacon, Sterling, Ace, Dragon then there are the women Buttercup, Reese (for a girl?) Floraleaf, Ever ughh for reals? Okay, I get it Robert is not all that romantic, Beverly ehh not so much. I also understand that you want your characters to be memorable your hero strong and these days Alpha to the teeth the women soft and sweet and still somehow independent and brave enough to take on the hero. Even I can be accused of using not common names-one of my character's her name was Avery BUT I have heard it used before and I liked it and it sounded pretty. Ria, also a name I've heard and actually knew someone with the name. I've even taken my guys into other cultures so I could use not common names, Rafael, Dmitri but at least they were common names in those cultures. It worked well but it also helped in that it added an extra dimension to not just the characters but the stories themselves. 

Feel free to steal that idea, make one of your characters Asian, Hispanic, Filipino, or any of the myriad wonderful cultures that make us such a unique great country or take your character out of the States to somewhere interesting. Anything other than naming your character Blade.

Because I look at the descriptions with those crazy ass names and I just can't take them seriously. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Sure there's a concern that if writers use oh I don't ordinary regular names that the heroes could, in the reader's mind become a mish mash and hard to decipher one hero from another. However that's where you the writer come in. You make the story more memorable, you make your characters one of a kind so it doesn't matter if your character's name is one of a thousand John's from other books the reader remembers yours over another. Giving the characters some strange, one-of-a-weird name isn't going to make your character better, it isn't going to make your story better-only you can do that.   

So how about getting out that big book of baby names, I know every writer has-or you should have and give it a whirl but without going so outlandish it just becomes weird. How about leaving the names of colors to just the description of objects instead of naming your guy Blue, or Gray and your girl Lavender or Velvet you pick a name people have heard before that doesn't sound like a stripper name. 

Just a thought. 

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