Welcome to my weekly feature, wherein I discuss writing style of authors, elements of books that are particularly interesting to me, and at times my own writing escapades as I venture into the writing process of my fourth novel. And, as a researching and always-learning aspiring author, I want to hear your opinions on these bits and pieces that make up our beloved paperbacks.
Most of the time I find that in reviews we talk about the feels or the romance or the plot, but here I want to get to the nitty gritty of syntax and devices and whatnot. Mafi’s similes and metaphors? Sanderson’s world building? McGarry’s ability to write three books with the same romantic trope and yet all three books are freaking fantastic? All of that, and more!
So without further adieu, this inaugural topic will be… *drumroll*
Naming Characters: Male, Female, or Unisex?
I’ll give you a background on why this topic came up: I have this character from my third novel that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. I never finished that third book, yet I still want to give life to him and make sure he’s present somehow in my writing, because I just love him. Plus, I love his name. It suits him so well, and – guess what? It’s a name generally associated with girls: Blair. But my favorite baby naming website (we all know that those aren’t for parents – they’re for writers) says it actually was fairly popular as a boys’ name in the early 1900s, so there’s that.
So now I have a question for you: how do you feel about gender lines with names? Do you prefer boys to have decidedly masculine names like Thomas and Edward and Ryan and girls with clearly feminine names like Jessica and Elizabeth and Cassandra? Or do you like names like Blair and Charlie and Tyler, where they technically can go either way and be classified as Unisex?
For me it all depends on a character. I pick names based on personalities. Of course, names in real life hardly ever have a say in our characteristics, but in fiction names hold a lot of power in giving clues about a character’s traits. I really like Blair’s name because it fits his gentler personality – he’s not weak, just a bit softer around the edges.
Opinion time! Do you like boy names for boys and girl names for girls, or are you flexible? Do you care about names at all?