marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

the game of names

Once read an article about naming characters in soap operas.  The point I particularly remember was the guy who said that if you want to introduce the town mayor, you can't name him Leftie.  However, once you have introduced Leftie to the soap opera, and established him as a character, there's certainly no reason why he can't run for mayor.

Which principle I'm trying to keep in mind at the moment.  The treacherous, deceptive (hollow!) characters they are meeting should have names that match their facade, not their reality.  The readers can't see them on the page, so the names should reinforce their appearance.

Especially since they probably chose the names for their impact on travelers.  Every little bit helps when you're building a facade.

But I know what stinkers they are.  Which means I have wrestle that impulse down and reach for mellifluous names that sound convincing in their era.  Ah, well, at least I don't have to name as many in the outline as I will in the full manuscript, no doubt.
Tags: names, writing audience
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