Monday, April 4, 2011

Crappy Character Calling Cards

Since I didn’t join the April Blog A to Z Challenge until yesterday, I missed the A & B, but fret none as I will make them up on one of these here weekends. So give me a “C”.

Naming your character is just as important as the title in my opinion. A great title will make you pick up the book and flip it over to see if you want to buy it. But the wrong character name will have me snapping it shut before I get through Chapter 1.

The name speaks to the character’s attributes. For example, Igor…what do you see?

A bug eating freak, humpbacked, lice infested, and stained white lab coat, right? Or some such, but no Igor is actually a 15 year-old, 6’2’’, and solid wall of muscle linebacker. Sure. With a name like Igor he’s gonna need those rock hard abs. While the author may be seeing it as a cutesy statement, the reader is already lost in bug eating conjurings and completely turned off by the character.

Likewise is the overuse of popular names. Brandy for instance… Brunette, curvy, hazel eyes, ex-cheerleader type and go ahead, think it...slut.

While a secondary character may be fine named after the alcohol she was conceived on, do you really want that for your main character? If that’s her personality be bold, but not many readers are going to find it plausible for Brandy to save the world, unless it’s erotica.

Sexually ambiguous names can be just as annoying for your reader.
Okay, maybe not, but they annoy the “C”rap out of me.

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