By Any Other Name [socs]

pink roses lace

Hope is a common name for a romance novel heroine, as are Kate, Alexandra, Rebecca, and Sophie. I try never to use any of them because boring! I have used Rachel and Emma, which are borderline bland. Supposedly, your names should not drag attention away from the story, meaning if the reader is puzzling over how to pronounce Melisandre, she won’t be as invested in the action as when she can dive right into a plot about Melissa. Of course, this assumes a group of language-homogeneous readers. I had some issues with a book I just finished and enjoyed otherwise because of African names. I had to stop several times to recall which one was the evil cannibal dwarf and which was the soul-nomming demon from hell. The story was about a carnival, obviously. Emphasis on carne.

Men are a different story altogether (see wut I did there?). No one cares about their names as long as they are chiseled and witty. Steve, Mike, Matt, Jack, Brad, Chad, egad! Like whatever. A big amorphous mass of testosterone is all we need to propel the story along due to some Mysterious Past that causes our brooding hero to hide his soft squishy pain under a hard set of abs. Until, you know…

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.” ~ Shakespeare, from Romeo and Juliet, where she begs him to dump his name, since that’s the reason they can’t be together. He agrees to do it, but complications ensue, as they so often do…

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

11 responses to “By Any Other Name [socs]

  1. I like thinking about names. I don’t mind most, but sometimes I just can’t even enjoy a book if there are weird and hard to pronounce made up names to keep track of. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I remember when reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I was so frustrated because in the big, multigenerational family, everyone has the same names. I had no idea who was who.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting Paula. I never thought that names play such an important role in a romance

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think they ought to use Ethel and Gertrude in romance novels…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I agree about names. I hate when I am reading a book and all the names of the characters are hard to pronounce. It does take away from the enjoyment of the book!

    Liked by 2 people

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