Literature: The names of characters

Some of you may have read my two-part story, ‘Southern Belle’. This was inspired by some of the outlandish names that are turning up as the names of characters in book reviews lately. Indeed, some authors are choosing pen names that are equally ridiculous, and the gradual increase in such cartoonish names is fast becoming an avalanche. To be honest, a silly name for a character, especially the main protagonist, is guaranteed to put me off any book, and why they choose to do this is just beyond my comprehension.

As I have said recently, I have almost stopped reading novels, slowing down to little more than a crawl where books are concerned. The Internet has made countless millions of new books available, from crime thrillers, to cosy mysteries, and steamy romances. I agree that this is mostly a good thing, but some authors are taking the opportunity to get very lazy when it comes to naming their characters, believe me. Most of us only know people with ‘normal’ names. Names like William, Susan, James, or Catherine. I appreciate that trends in naming children have changed, so expect to see the occasional Kylie, Chantelle, Skye, or Brandon. Then there are the ‘fantasy’ names, like Flash Gordon, Xena-Warrior Princess, and so on. In the genres of Fantasy and Science Fiction, such names are of course acceptable. But novels set in contemporary Britain or America should not be using the kind of names that are cropping up, on a daily basis.

When I wrote the two-part story, Southern Belle, it was intended to be humorous, and featured many of the names I have come across, which I write down in a notebook. I am repeating some of them here, and adding a few new ones, so you can see how ludicrous they seem, at least to me. By all means let me know what you think, in the comments. They have all appeared in recently reviewed novels, I shit you not! πŸ™‚

Dalton Kipper
The Eighth Baron Of Wickshire
Blythe Sol
Lola Dodge
Dax Janner
Bastian Urso
Hatcher McGee
Matt Brio
Venus Black
Harlowe Brisbane
Talon Steel
Timothee De Fombelle
Robert Le Donjon
Andee Trakes
Nick Gorgeous
Rouen Rivroche
Misty Mount

And many more…
Read ’em, and weep. Come on, if those books were any good, the characters could have names like William Brown and Amanda Fitzgerald and still be worth reading.
Does anyone really believe in someone called Dax Janner?
Has anyone ever actually been named Nick Gorgeous?
This isn’t even Pulp Fiction, just bad fiction.

Rant over, notebook closed. (For today…)

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65 thoughts on “Literature: The names of characters

    1. I haven’t read any of the books either, Aditi. I just see the character names in book reviews, and find them hilarious. Most of the books they come from are American romance novels, or YA fiction.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Actually I talked to Misty because she was confused by our talk and she said she realized her name was a poem star name and people think her name is a pen name but it’s not! It’s her real name! LOL πŸ˜‚! But Nick Gorgeous?! I can’t get over that one!!!πŸ˜‚ Fraggle says Dalton Kipper is the love of her life and nobody else can take his place!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I agree these names are too much at times! They make me laugh! Think about the sex screens in them!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰πŸ˜΅

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    1. Misty Mount as a real name is a classic!
      Kipper is funny in England, because it is a smoked fish some people eat for breakfast. And it is also an expression, “Done up like a kipper” which means you have been well and truly fooled, conned, or otherwise bettered. Glad we had fun with these, Dani. πŸ™‚ x
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  2. With what some people are naming their children out in the world you KNOW there’s a Nick Gorgeous walking around out there!! Lol! I’m waiting for people in the real world to get so creative it’s out of hand.. Coll33n (who needs E anyways??) my man’s mother works in a maternity ward and had a woman name her child Shithead… Not even kidding. She pronounced it with the th together as in ‘thirst’ .. But look at how you’re spelling it sweety!! WAIT FOR THE DRUGS TO WEAR OFF BEFORE YOU NAME YOUR CHILD!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am now wondering if she kept that name, once she officially registered it with the authorities? My instinct tells me she probably did…The future is going to be a strange place in which to dwell.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bunch of foolish pretentious-sounding names, some of them seemingly made up by someone who doesn’t know how languages work. Oh well–I keeping wondering what Jonathan Ross would make of “Rouen Rivroche”–

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol…I have to agree Pete. It also makes me wonder at times how on Earth authors manage to come up with names like that. It’s still funny though..and without those we would not have had your fun story to read, so there is that 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wacky collection of nutballs – Talon Steel? I assume it’s a novel where a “young man / woman” falls under the spell of an older, incredibly powerful “man / woman” – lots of shenanigans ensure – sex, betrayal, travel to beautiful places – and Talon Steel will be behind most of it when “he / she?” turns the situation upside down with “his / her” incredible sexuality. Close?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Father Priestly used his Ouija board to come up with quite a few aliases in “Pope on the Dole” (I was trying to avoid a direct self-serving plug) because he felt that it strained credibility for a priest to be named (Sherman) Priestley.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. By the way, we sometimes have tumbleweeds in Las Vegas, though it is becoming less and less common as the city develops empty tracts of land. Out on desert highways, though, the tumbleweeds party like there’s no tomorrow.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know Pete, I once worked with a man called Randy Otter! My friends are all procreating like rabbits at the moment and have given their children names like Pheonix, Draven, Sayla and Jett. It seems to be a trend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you have such a distinguished name, Lucinda. I suppose when those children of your friends are all my age, it won’t sound strange to call a pensioner ‘Draven’. Just as well I won’t be here then. πŸ™‚
      It would be fun to have a Prime Minister called Phoenix Gorgeous though, I give you that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh dear! πŸ™‚
          I have heard of some children around here with surnames as first names. Bradley, Taylor, Robertson, and so on. I just hope that their actual surnames are not the same! Taylor Taylor. Imagine that!
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree entirely with your sentiments about the avalanche of strange, silly and bizarre names. And not just in modern literature! I am appalled by the new trend that unthinking parents follow in giving their children names that will haunt these poor kids for a life time.

    Liked by 2 people

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