names are soooo hard…

Anybody else have trouble naming characters?

I mean, names like, John and Marsha (John, Marsha, John, Marsha…) start seeming blah, but when you start trying to get more interesting, things can detour into silly pretty quickly. If everyone in your book starts having names like Rafe and Ariana or Lance and Magdelene, the whole thing starts to read like bad romance. (Not dissing romance novels as a whole, just the baaaaad ones–even if you like to read/write romance novels you know the ones I’m talking about.)

Can’t you just feel it when the author has worked a little too hard to come up with names?

And now for a little more fun because fun is awesome: More Pearls Before Swine (love it) and one of my favorite videos (partly because the singer with the baseball cap on backwards–in the plaid shirt and khaki shorts–looks a lot like my oldest kid!)

1 thought on “names are soooo hard…

  1. I do still like thinking up names for my main characters, but I admit that it is difficult. I have an “off the beaten path” name (well, nick name really) for my protagonist, and sometimes I feel ashamed when I tell people it. “I’m sorry. I thought it was cool, but I also know that thinking something is cool is the same thing as it being lame.”

    I can’t help noticing “cool names” in books I read now. I always think, “Really? This is a bit much, don’t you think?” Especially when, like you say, *every* name is something unusual. Because of this, I admit that I’ve developed a huge fondness for regular names.

    One final point: I’ve written before about how many characters I’ve named in my (thus far) three book series. We’re up over 100 now. I’ve stopped caring very much about names, except to be aware of ethnic implications. It really makes no difference–as long as they’re normal names, of course.

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