Saturday, April 16, 2016
N is for Names
I've lost count of the number of times I've seen authors struggling to come up with names for their characters. You'd think, "Well, we're the writers. We can just give them whatever name." And you'd be wrong. I can spend a hundred years telling a character he's named Dave, and he'll spend just as long denying it. It's like a mother trying to feed her stubborn baby, and not even the airplane or choo-choo game is gonna work. Because when it comes to making characters, they may not know what their names are, but they sure as heck will know what isn't right for them.
I could have tried to name my boogeyman something dark like Malthus, but no, he very much insisted he was Dave. I had a character quite clearly tell me her name was Heather when it had been years since I'd even known a Heather. I threatened another character with naming him Ashley if he didn't cooperate, and surprise, he actually liked that one. And I am not the only author that encounters this sort of situation. Sure, there are likely some people who decide for their characters, but more often than not, the person I'm writing tells me who they are.
Is this something you experience when writing, or do your characters accept the names you give them without a fight 100% of the time?