27 May 2013

Problems with Character Naming

Before I get stuck into my editing today, I'd like to share a brief story and a link to an awesome blog piece I stumbled across, written by Karen Charlton. I read this piece and found myself smiling right away. I could more than identify with the things she described. The naming of characters seems like an easy thing but it is most definitely not.

When I began to write The Mercenary I was very careful to choose first names for the main characters that did not occur within my circle of immediate family and close friends. I could never have imagined that between the start of writing my book series and getting to publication that a member of my family would name their newborn child the same name as one of the characters in my book.

I'd not told my family of what the story was about or who I had named what. I had the great agony of deciding whether to keep the name as it was one of the main characters. In the end I chose to keep it as now I could not imagine this character as anyone other than what I named them.

My husband and I had long talks about this and in the end he told me that you are going to see movies and read books all the time with names you have in your family. If you are looking for them, they're going to be out there somewhere. My book is a work of fiction and in no way suggesting our new young family member anything like my character. The fact I wrote it several years before this child was born was a huge plus in my favor.

I sympathize with any authors struggling with the name thing. Sometimes it can be impossible to keep every name in the book ambiguous and unrelated to people we know. I love how this blog entry takes a light-hearted perspective on it, it's well worth a read.

To read the blog entry by Karen Charlton

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