Before I talk about the importance of a character’s name, I have heard from Jan Davies that her problems with CreateSpace and Amazon are sorted out and the book ‘Of Course I Believe in Father Christmas’ is now published on Amazon and CreateSpace. Here is the code to use on CreateSpace for a 10% discount 7KJDC67W. As I said last week all the stories contained in the book includes the title. The book will help to raise awareness and funds to support Maria Wilson’s Pink Lady, a cancer charity here in Costa Blanca, Spain.
Now I’ll talk about the importance of a character’s name. An article in the ‘Writing Magazine’ by Gary Dalkin mentions James Bond, one the most famous fictional name. An interesting fact is mentioned in the article. After much deliberation, Ian Fleming chose the name of his hero from the name of another writer. A keen bird watcher, Fleming owned a book ‘Birds of the West Indies’ by James Bond. He contacted the real James Bond and asked permission to use his name. The rest is history.
In an online writing course I am doing, it recommends not to use a single syllable surname if you have used a single syllable forename! You couldn’t get a more masculine, strong name than James Bond. Stephen King chose the name for his protagonist of his novel ‘The Dead Zone’ as John Smith. King said he chose this plain name for the very reason that few writers did not choose such an ordinary name. The course also mentions names can indicate social class. Jeremy, Toby and Clarissa may come from a very different background from Wayne or a Sharon. Fashion affects names too. There are few girls around now called Hilda and Gertrude.
In my book, to be published in 2016, ‘Where Lies My Heart’, I didn’t have a choice in the first name. I have entered the book in a competition ‘The Ian Govern Award’ and the protagonist had to be called Ian. So what about Ian’s surname? One of my favourite author’s is Bernard Cornwell, so I decided on Ian Cornwell as the name of my hero.
Gary Dalkin gives useful websites for characters names, and I pass them on to you if you are interested.
http://nameberry.com allows random name searches.
http://www.meaning-of-names.com explores the history and meaning of names.
Wikipedia has information about names. Go to http://writ.rs/wikinamelists