|A rose by any other name...|
Dovetailing off my Friday post about titles, I thought I’d take it a step further and look at character names. Personal Demons all started with a name: Lucifer Cain. Luc’s name popped into my head one day not quite two years ago, and I thought, What a fun name for a demon. I mean, honestly, can you think of a more cliché name for a demon? I can’t. So it just flowed from there that my angel should be Gabriel. No last name. Just Gabriel. Because, after all, what could be more cliché. (Are you seeing a pattern?) Frannie’s name, on the other hand, is anything but typical for a current day 17 year old. Her name also popped into my head and stuck there. Frannie certainly isn’t my favorite name. It’s nothing I’d ever name a daughter. She even tells Luc at one point in Personal Demons that she hates her name. When I wrote that line it struck me that my main character may be trying to tell me that wasn’t really her name. I toyed with changing it at that point and tried a few other names out, but none of them felt right. In the end, Frannie is Frannie and there’s nothing either she or I could do about it.
It started me thinking about some of my favorite fictional names. I tend to like literary names that are different and interesting, but roll off the tongue. Some of my favorites are Henry DeTamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Wesley Rush from Kody Keplenger’s The Duff, Renier Laroche from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, and Camden Saybrook from Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. (I know those are only guy's names, but I honestly couldn’t think of any girl’s names I really love off the top of my head.) Some of my least favorite fictional names (although I totally love the series) are Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne from The Hunger Games. I think it boils down to a lack of rhythm to the name.
So, how about you? What are some of your favorites or least favorites? If you write, how do you choose your fictional names?