Monday, December 05, 2016
What's in a name?
Another thing about names, if a character has a name that is too modern or old fashioned for the time period, it bothers me. Although names from the turn of the last century are back in vogue to have a four-year old named Heather today would not seem right. Her name would more likely be Ella, Grace, Harriet, Marion. Although class and region also play a part.
When I first submitted SHOT IN DETROIT to an agent, he balked at the name Violet. He said it was too old-fashioned. Well, he was partially right. It was not the right name for a 40 year old woman but it would have be okay for her grandmother or daughter. At the time I had a section in the novel about how as a kid people called her Violent instead of Violet. I eventually took it out but the name had stuck by then.
Certain names have too great a connection with a famous person to use unless you are commenting on it.
What are some of your favorite character names? I am going with Merricat Blackwood (WE HAVDE ALWAYS LIVED IN A CASTLE and Bo Radley (TO KILL A MOCKINBIRD).Has a chartacter's name ever ruined a story for you?