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! 🙂
The Eighth Baron Of Wickshire
Timothee De Fombelle
Robert Le Donjon
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…)