aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Choosing a name for your character

We went to see Stranger Than Fiction last night. It got me thinking about character names. The main character, played by Will Farrell, is named Crick - just like the man who discovered one of the secrets of life, the double helix of DNA. The writer who is created him has the last name of Eiffel, just like the man who designed the Eiffel Tower. She is assisted by a woman named Penny Escher. Escher was the graphic artist who was famous for intricate illustrations showing one thing transforming into something else. And the love interest is named Ana Pascal, who has dropped out of law school and pursued baking because it was her true passion. Pascal was a French philosopher.

I don't think any of this is a coincidence. In Shock Point, the main character is named Cassie Streng. Streng is German for strong. And in Homer's Illiad, Cassandra is cursed to never be believed. No one will believe my Cassandra when she tries to tell them that her step father is covering up bad side effects on a new drug, or later when she tries to tell her family that the boot camp they've sent her to is more like a prison. I I never even say that Cassie's full name is Cassandra, but _I_ know it. In my first book, Circles of Confusion, the bad guy is named Troy Nowell. As in No-well. And Troy because I was thinking about the Trojan horse.

You can go over the top with your character names, like Pussy Galore in one of the James Bond movies. I work with someone whose last name is Gladwell. It reminds me of Bond movies, like Miss Moneypenny.

And then there are titles and what authors should call themselves.

How do you name your characters? Or do you have any favorite character names?

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