Apparently, a rose by any other name smells just as sweet.
Really? What if a rose was called something else, like skunk cabbage?
Skunk cabbages are a particular type of foul greenery that, “when leaves are bruised or crushed, the plant releases a strong odor which smells like rotten meat. This smell attracts insects.“
Nope, I want my roses to stay roses.
But isn’t that point? When we name our characters, we need to choose something that will stand out, be memorable in our readers minds. It’s really no different from naming your children. You want something unique, individualistic, but not too strange lest he (or she) get tormented mercilessly through middle school and high school.
Frankly, I think the name’s gotta fit the book. For example, for a romance, I’d choose something like Sir Percival Cabot Montmorency III for the swashbuckling hero and Lady Penelope Lucinda Cartwright (of the heaving bosom) for the plucky heroine.
Since I’m writing more of a plain spoken sort of mystery, my choices are a little more constrained. Unfortunately, this translates to my main character experiencing several identity crises over the past few weeks because I keep bouncing between two monikers. Hmm, X has more oomph but then again, Y sounds like it’s got roots.
Thankfully, I think I’ve finally settled on something that should wear well in the wash. It may not have the immediate grittiness of Jack Reacher, the polished tinge of Gabriel Allon or the superbabe punch of Charlie Fox, but it works.
How have you named your characters?