The Guardian has a great article today about naming characters. It’s one of the things I find hardest about the writing process. A character name might seem like a minor detail but it’s only when the name is right that a character comes into focus for me.
I have now got a stack of phone books and baby name books to reference when writing otherwise I find that I run into problems; either my characters end up nameless for pages or they all have the same names as my friends and family. However sometimes I think that the baby name books will give guys the wrong idea so I’m always quick to explain their real purpose!
In my first novel the lead character didn’t have a name as I wanted her to be an “everywoman”. My current novel is set in modern day Dublin and so I have tried to pick names that reflect this; after all Mary and Paddy are no longer the most popular picks for newborns!
I was made redundant last week and so until I find a new job I’m taking this opportunity to write like a maniac. I’m heading to New York on 16th March for a few days and I’m aiming to have the first draft of my book finished by then so for the next three weeks I’m keeping my head down and writing up a storm. Wish me luck!