Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Does a Name Make a Difference?

'Doreen Wilkinson is an unlikely name for a heroine!' I read this comment on one of the lovely reviews I received for Sometimes It Happens... So why did I choose this name?

Doreen's life had never been easy, her upbringing was nothing to write home about and by the time she was in her late teens, she was pregnant, married and living in a Council flat holding it all together as a cleaner when her hapless husband cleared off. With her strong Eastender accent, Doreen, soon became Dor, and despite her desperate existence, her sense of humour never deserted her.

As her daughter heads towards her eighteenth birthday, Doreen wins the lottery and is catapulted in to a world that makes no sense to her despite all her dreams of a better life for both of them.  For a start she giggles too much which masks her insecurities, her accent instead of softening is more pronounced as she tries to compete with the rich and posh, but as much as she is out of her depth she never loses her sense of humour or her roots.

So why did I give my heroine an unlikely name as Doreen, well to be honest, because I really believe it suits her and to me she will always be Doreen or Dor or even Doll! Oh yes, she is called that too, but you'll have read the book to find out why!

As for the future, I'm still in to different names, my work in progress as a Kitty and a Rupert!


jontybabe said...

I have read some books where the characters have been given unbelievable names that just mean I don't take the character seriously! I prefer good old fashioned names!

Paula Martin said...

Names mean different things to everyone. For example, I could never call my heroine Kay because that would remind me of a girl I didn't like when I was at school, and there are other names I dislike for a variety of reasons. But I think we have to go with our own instincts, while recognising that some readers may not like the names we've chosen.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Jontybabe, I know what you mean!

Hi Paula, funny how some names takes us back to a bad memory and others to good ones. Thanks for stopping by.

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

Shakespeare would tell you that a rose by any other name, smells just as sweetly. But that was in Romeo and Juliet and they die. So I guess the point is that can choose a name...but the wrong one will result in death.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I remember having a friend as a child named Doreen and it suited her. It sounds like it works for your story. I like seeing uncommon names in novels.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Names are so important - I can't write any kind of story until I ahve thr right names. But yours sounds exactly right for the character!

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Michael, thanks you made me laugh!

Hi Susan thanks so much for stopping by, I agree names and people do go together.

Hello Rosemary, I am the same, Doreen was the name that I started with, like she told me it was Doreen or Doreen!!

Melanie said...

Names are ever so important. It has to match with their personality. But if you have a flamboyant character then an unusual name fits. And if it's too unusual, then an explanation of how they came to be called that would work.