Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Carlos Danger – hero or pervert? – picking character names

I don’t believe in rules, although writing is chock a block with them.

There should be rules in the naming of fictional characters.  There aren’t.

A good character name supports your story.  If you’re writing a farce, a farcical name – Doctor Strangelove.

 For a tale of action and adventure,  Jungle Jim (a ‘50’s TV character).

 I once named a major character in order to set up a dreadful pun 300 pages later.

For his spy novel, Ian Fleming wanted the most ordinary colorless name he could find.  He discovered a book on birds by a man named James Bond.  Mind you, Fleming was also looking for a good Anglo-Saxon name.  It is a British spy novel after all.

Choose a name that will support your work and make the task easier and more effective.  (My opinion)

There are character names that I think are crap, Kinsey Milhone for instance.  I have never met anyone named Kinsey.  I have dogs, so I always think of Milk Bone, a dog treat.  This is the lead character in a highly successful series, but I can’t read it, all I see is Milk Bone.  Say the name aloud.  Is it clumsy or hard to pronounce?
Another crap character name unless the work is a spoof: Carlos Danger.  Actually, Carlos Danger is a nom de pecker for an American politician.  He likes to take pictures of his genitals and e-mail them to women.  Apparently, he likes doing this more than he likes being a politician.  Anyway, don’t choose Carlos Danger as a character for your next novel.  Whom you choose to elect is your business.

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