Still brain dead, still not able to read. Makes for depressed kitten.
So, to perk things up, thought I’d do a little post on my favorite character names.
Names are hard — and so important. An author and a reader must live with them for a long, long time. Some authors try too hard and wind up with unwieldly or completely inauthentic-sounding names. This isn’t the greatest example, but I never did like the name Stingo in Sophie’s Choice. (And I don’t like the name Tom Wingo in Prince of Tides much either. Maybe I just don’t like “-ingo” names.)
The best names have a ring of authenticity, are memorable and descriptive, and somehow really embody the personality of the character…Dickens was a master at names, The King. David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, the list goes on. Heck, when you think about it, the writer Charles Dickens couldn’t have had a more tailor-made name than Charles Dickens.
Here are some of my favorite fictional monikers, no particular order:
1. Holden Caufield (different, quirky, yet real)
2. Scarlett O’Hara (to think, Margaret Mitchell first named her Pansy!)
3. Ichabod Crane (that whole story is full of great names)
4. Ebenezer Scrooge (is there a better name for a miserly villain?)
5. Emma Bovary (memorable yet romantic. Hard to pick a fave out of some great literature named after women: Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre)
6. Beezus Quimby (now that’s a great children’s-book character!)
7. Rose-of-Sharon and the Joad family (it’s as if the names blew at Steinbeck straight from Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl)
8. Raskolnikov (the very name feels like a moral tug of war)
9. Sherlock Holmes (would we be willing to follow detectives without their great names — Sam Spade, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan?)
10. Captain Queeg (closely followed by Captain Ahab. Somehow, though, Queeg really lives up to his name…)