We’re Ready to Roll, Axminster

I’ve always sort of favored interesting names for fictional characters.  Much as I don’t want characters in fiction I read to talk like real people (seriously, have you ever tried to read a word-for-word transcript of something someone says?  Painful), I think it is perfectly okay for character names to skew toward the unusual and mellifluous.  I think it is good to aim for  a sort of “tuned up reality” in both dialogue and names – highlight what is going on by brightening it up and so on.  This may be, of course, because I have a crummy memory for names, and get confused when there are a bunch of important characters running around with the same names as people I run into at work.

However, as a lad in the mid-80’s and fan of McGyver, I learned a valuable lesson about character names, one I’ve carried with me ever since.  Don’t fall in love with a character’s name, no matter how awesome it is.  Even if you secretly think it is just the most badass name ever, use a light touch.  This is all basically explained in a post and accompanying video at CGHM, so I’ll link there for an explanation.  Oh, it also taught me not to cast primary villains in a TV show with people who would need all their dialogue dubbed over, but I suspect that lesson will have less direct impact on my life.

~ by smwilliams on May 29, 2012.