Friday, February 17, 2012

Follow Friday (2) - Names, good & bad

Q: BeefcakesandBabes Asks: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?

Funny that you should ask.  Unique names are actually a pet-peeve of mine.  I feel like sometimes writers try WAY too hard to be clever and create names that would never exist.  Part of the reason I can't stand the trend is because I used to work in a mega-church nursery. Do you know how many weird names I saw? How many different spellings of the same name?  Everyone thinks they are being clever but nope.  Nothing is wrong with a good, easy to spell, sensible name. Don't make your children get teased.

I tend to find creative names horrible.  Let's be honest. Peeta Mellark? The bakers son named after a Greek bread? Horrid. I love Hunger Games but GAH.  Okay I need to stop before this turns into a rant.

Instead I'll list some of my favorite names.  I'm sure there are other names that I really like, but these are the ones I remembered most easily. There's a value to that.  For me a name doesn't have to be the most original. It just needs to fit the character.

Names I like:
1. Alexia Tarabotti (Soulless) - It's a little bit weird, but accessible.  It tells you that her father's Italian and it's a fitting name for the character.
2. Atticus O'Sullivan (Hounded)- Fitting for a 2,100 year old druid posing as a 21 year old.  Irish and sexy.
3. Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter) - I'd always seen it spelled "Jenny" and really like it with a G. Yes I know it sounds a little different but I have no idea how else to explain this.
5. D.J. Schwenk (Dairy Queen) - So perfect for a farm girl.
6. Tom Mackee  (Saving Francesca & The Piper's Son) - Do not ask me why but I cannot imagine this character with a different name. He's just Tom Mackee.
3. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)- An exception to the weird name rules. Mainly because it's set in a country where I have no idea what the language sounds like.


JennRenee said...

I like the name Karou! I have not read this book yet but really really want to.
new follower.
my FF

veela-valoom said...

It's definitely a worthwhile read. And that's from someone who is normally iffy about paranormal.

Jess Gonzalez said...

I also liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou was a good name selection.

Thanks for stopping by Jessy's Bookends. You have a new follower.

you can stop by and follow back at


J. B. Kantt said...

Hey, I'm a new follower! :)

Those are some awesome names! I LOVE unique character names!

Have a FABULOUS Friday!!!! :D


Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower. I couldn't agree more about liking easy to pronounce/spell ordinary names.

Unknown said...

Oh, so we think alike! When I see weirdly spelled names all I can think of are those Mary Sues that flood bad fiction. :(

New follower here!

MY FF <3.<a

Bookingly Yours said...

I love it if it's unique but most unique character names I see in the books are way too weird so I agree with you. Happy Reading!

New follower!

veela-valoom said...

Glad some people agree with me! Actually I used to read fanfiction and Mary Sue's drove me NUTS so maybe that's where my reluctance to accept weird names comes from. Nice to meet you all!

Between The Bindings said...

I like Karou! I love unique names and tend to pefer them over boring plain jane names but every feels differently aout different things! Thank you for stopping by my blog...I'm now following you to!!

Mandroid said...

I completely agree (as you know)! There are so many names that are *actually* names that aren't overly common authors could use instead of making up words or naming people after objects. Peeta is one that still bothers me.

Thanks for visiting! New follower!

veela-valoom said...

Thanks for the follow! I agree there are enough names out there that are unique enough without making things up. One of the books I'm reading everyone has unusual names right now and it's irking me a little.