Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are character names important?

Absolutely the names are important. Are the names to your children important? I named my female lead Kate. That’s sort of a popular name for leading ladies in movies and books and there’s a reason. Kate is a strong name, wholesome, all-American (and Irish, of course). Clean, has that long ‘a’ sound. Crisp, clear. Beautiful.

As opposed to, say, Bobbie. Bobbie happens to be one of my favorite names for a girl. I had an aunt named Bobbie and she was my favorite aunt when I was a kid. She was young and pretty and infinitely cool. But she also happened to be born in the country. I had no problem with that growing up, but I probably wouldn’t give my main character that name. Unless, of course, I wanted her to be a country girl. See?

My main antagonist, Cheslov – for that, I just needed a Russian name. I wanted to avoid the obvious names you see all the times – like Borlov or Boris or Vlad or Vasily. So I googled and googled and finally ran across Cheslov. As soon as I saw that name, I thought it was perfect.

For my protagonist – Mitch – I wanted a simple, single syllable, manly name.

Woody had to be sort of goofy. Molly had to be care free. Paxton had to be a little geekly. The Mayor is really just the Mayor. His name didn’t matter as much.

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