Apparently I have name issues. In one earlier post, I contemplated which names characters should use when referring to each other. In another, I wondered about homage/allusion names. Today, or really all along, I’m wondering about my letter rut.
As in most books, Julia has secondary and tertiary characters. And those characters need to be identified somehow…at least some of them do. “Hey, co-worker, how are you today?” doesn’t seem like a very Julia thing to say, so co-worker needs a name…as does her boss, her roommate, her sister, family friends, friends who left voicemail sympathy messages and so on.
Usually, these characters pop up in one or two scenes, so I don’t worry too much about their names. I won’t be living with them for that long, so it doesn’t matter if the name suites them or if I like it. What matters is that I’m consistent. In an earlier version of Julia, her sister’s name kept changing. Oops.
So, without restrictions of taste or compatibility, you’d think choosing names for minor characters would be easy. Sadly, not for me. Not because I care passionately about name in general, but because my mind gets stuck. My main character is Julia so, J got stuck in my head. The only names I could think of for her co-workers were all J names: Janice, Jan, Judy, Joyce…nothing else would come to mind. Nothing.
And then there are last names. I can only think of last names that start with M or B. M I get, sort of, because Julia’s last name begins with M. But B? Off the top of my head, I can only think of one friend with a last name that begins with B, so why, when I’m thinking of character names, can’t I recollect any of my friends’ last names?