14 November 2013

What's in a Name?

Some time ago I took the little people to the zoo. As you can probably guess there were lots of other little people there as well. One of the things I found fascinating (besides the animals of course) were some of the children's names - impossible not to hear when Mums and Dads are yelling to and at their offspring.

As a writer I’m always interested in names. They tend to be a good indicator of fashion and age, but that day I realised I might have to revise my ideas of the relationship between age and names. I heard shouts of Charles, William, Harry (obviously some royalist fans at the zoo that day), but there was also an Archie and a Henry.

When naming characters I choose a name that suits their personality, but I also try to give an indication of age, which in turn should enhance the authenticity.

Later at home I did a quick Google search for actors and pop stars over the age of 60 and I found the following names: Justin, Sean, Alan, Richard, Warren, Peter, Clint, Robert, Martin, Ryan and Jeff.

I don’t think I’ve ever used one of these names for an older character, or perhaps it's just my perception of age and names. 

What impressions have you gained of a character from their name?

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