30 March 2014

What's in a Name (again)

We’ve enjoyed glorious autumn weather this month, and that’s meant regular visits to the local beaches. I think I prefer spring and autumn weather as it’s still wonderfully warm, but without the humid element. One of my favourite beaches also has local stores one road back from the beach, which is very useful if you need to do the grocery shopping.

Last weekend, as I wandered along the street, a woman posed for a photo outside a clothes shop. It turned out that her name is Jean Jones, the same as the clothing store, hence the photo. Her husband added that his name is David Jones (the same name as a large department store in Australia). He joked that between them they had retail sewn up!

When starting a new piece of work, especially a novel, I find it important to get the right names for the characters. With some characters, the name comes very early in the process, and doesn't change. Other characters haven't been so fortunate, and go through several name changes before I find the right one for them.

I'm happy with the character's names in my current work in progress. However, I’ve been thinking about the next book, and toying with the idea of using a famous name. It’s made me wonder about the impact of having a well-known name, such as a character from a book. Imagine a shy female called Scarlett O’Hara, or a reticent male called James Bond. Using another slant, what would it be like having the name of a celebrity; perhaps a famous actor or a sports person? Would you be mistaken for them, get preferential treatment, or perhaps find yourself in trouble?

There are plenty of exciting possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment