That Name Is Taken

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I just skimmed by Dear Author and read the First Page submission they have up (authors can submit the first page of their manuscript for feedback from DA visitors).

The thing that struck with feedback on this one, was how many people felt that the protagonist's name was a red flag because it's the same name as the female lead in the Twilight books.

I sort of don't get this. I know you can have a strong emotional/visceral reaction or attachment to certain names, and I guess it's a compliment to an author that if they create character that resonates so strongly with their readership that *that* name forevermore while spring that character to mind first and foremost. Still, I think folks should still be open to other characters (& people) sharing the name in question.

For the record, Roark is *not* unquestionably reserved because of JD Robert's In Death books, and Belle, if I gave it a second thought, would be Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, and not Bella from Twilight. Sure Scarlet brings to mind Gone with the Wind, and Homer a buffoonish, cartoon ch

aracter, or classic Greek poet, but it's the authors' choice to make that association either work, giving added texture to the character/story, or making their character so real and their story so complex that I completely forget about the additional baggage.

And I'm willing to give them that chance.
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