Why Must Characters Have Names?

Does anybody else do this?

I have a tendency to reuse names.              baby-name-surprised

In the last month I have written a story with a Maggie and a short short with a Mags. I once wrote two stories using the name Rufus. Seriously! You would think that with a name that unique I would remember but I didn’t. The two characters had almost the exact same last name too. Why do I do this?

I did this even as a kid. I have so many stories featuring a Gina, and for a girl character, I always think of Jeanne first, which is like Gina. In my latest book I finally gave up and created an Aunt Jeanne. There. No need for my brain to bring that name up again, right? Right?

I tend not to do this when I use my friends’ names, which I do occasionally as a nod to them. Do they notice? Probably not, but it’s like an inside joke, with myself anyway, so…

If you do die in my story, you can probably assume I have beef with you. Or, conversely, sometimes characters insist on dying despite my best efforts to the contrary. Go figure. In that case, sorry, character freewill and all. No offense intended. Consider it a compliment either way. You were memorable, and I pulled you out of the ichor masquerading as my brain to immortalize you. You’re welcome.

If I made you a whore, rest assured I hate your guts. Just saying…

The rest of the time I use a baby name generator (these characters are my babies, right?) off of the internet. You wouldn’t believe how many decades the same names are featured in the top 100. It’s maddening when you are looking for that ‘perfect’ name that escapes you and you offered the same. names. over. and. over.

When I find an interesting option, I write it down. Lately, I’ve written down Litza and Carsten, but they haven’t found their way into a story yet.

Now I just need some names for a new story I have brewing about three middle grade children who dream a wonderland together…


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