Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pet Peeve

Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm the only person in the world who obsesses over this. Maybe you're going to roll you eyes and never listen to a word I say again but one of my biggest pet peeves when reading or writing a story is the author's use of:


What do I mean by names you might ask? I mean: is the author conscious about matching ethnicity in names when a group of people are: from the same family; from the same clan; from the same country? Does the author consistently: make up his/her own names; use French names for one group and...say....Slavic for another?

Does it really matter?


Nothing irks me more than reading a book with a family who has names from 5 different nationalities. Like, right now, I'm in the process of reading Maria V. Snyder's new Glassmaker series. I enjoyed her first series (set in the same world) enough that I was interested in reading these but I forgot just how much the names BUG me! Of course the names don't detract from the story really, so don't let it deter you from reading if you're interested...but man...

The main character is Opal, she has an older sister named Mara (Ok, I can take those two together) but wait! Her brother's name is...Ahir? Really? And then her father's name is Jaymes and her mother's is....*drumroll* Vyncenza. Is there really any connection between these names at all? Especially considering all of them are from the same clan? Opal, Mara, Ahir, Jaymes, Vyncenza...

Seems really disconnected to me.

Again, I am a super stickler for names....I probably spend more time then most agonizing over finding the right name for a character in any story I write. For me, names give my characters power, they give them a life, a history...without the perfect name everything just sort of....crumbles.

Names are super important.

But, of course, feel free to disagree!