I've had occasion of late to ponder the naming of characters. In my case, an original story I'm working on got me to thinking how much work needs to go into picking the right name to convey the kind of person this is, to make a reader want to find out what happens to this character. Some names are very old sounding (to my ear): Vernon. Some are almost too common: John. Some carry historical or literary connotations: Benedict (Arnold, though the current pontiff might spring to mind for some people, too). Some are incredibly pretentious: Percy.
It's all subjective, of course, and cultural as well-- it's sure there are names which are odd sounding to Americans that seem perfectly normal to those across the water.
What's got me thinking about it again is, whatever else you may think of JK Rowling, she has an uncanny grasp of names-- their meanings, sounds, potential for characterization. Dudley Dursley. You know all you really need to about this kid as soon as his name's introduced. Severus Snape just fits
. I don't need to go on, I'm sure.
So why are the kids named so horribly? I posted something here
about this very issue earlier tonight. It's really giving me fits, trying to imagine this story I'm starting to catch in my head, only to keep tripping over the boy's name, not unlike Trelawny over her luggage. The girls aren't so bad, but I'm not writing about any of them just yet.
In other news, I do have an offering for Summer of Giles-- something I wrote a couple of months ago, before potterdammerung madness sucked out my brain. It has the virtue of being short, at least. If anybody'd like to take a quick look at it for me and suggest a title, I'd be forever grateful. I somehow doubt it will get any more added to it before Wednesday. My head's just not in that space just now.