naming woes

Few writing blocks frustrate me more than a character I can’t name. I can’t do jack if I don’t know a character’s name. Without that, how do I know who he is? How can I guess what she’ll do? The name is everything, and sometimes it takes forever to find; I think Saoran eluded me for three years.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if this guy’s name really is going to be Sir Peregrine Thorne. If so, I’m going to have to work a damn good reason into his backstory; you can’t go parading around with a name like that and pretend it happened by accident.

Even if that is his name, it still only gives me half of what I need. I’m trying to explain to the female character that “Malkin,” while a genuine British diminutive (of Maud, actually), also has a variety of slang meanings ranging from “slattern” to “female genitalia.” Neither of which are meanings she wants to be carrying around with her.

I don’t want to admit how much of tonight I’ve spent on this task. But since I can’t go anywhere until I get over this hurdle, I’ll keep plugging away at it.

Edited to add: Christ. This is apparently trying to be a story full of People With Inexcusable Names, since now the female character is pondering options like Amaranth, Celandine, and Chrysanthe.

Edit #2: No, dear, you can’t be Britomart. I dislike authors who use names from other things but don’t know what they’re referencing, and I refuse to read The Faerie Queene for you.

Edit #3: Maybe Sylfaen? Or Ailis? She’s allowed to have a weird name; she isn’t human. Unlike Mr. Sir Peregrine Thorne up there, who is supposed to be quite human. I don’t know. At this point, I think I’ve been beating my head against it too long. Time to go to sleep, and see if any of my possibilities still look good in the morning.

0 Responses to “naming woes”

  1. Anonymous


    Is the disyllabic or a diphthong?

  2. Anonymous


    Is the ao disyllabic or a diphthong?

  3. claripup

    Sylfaen is nice, if a bit elfish, but I think Sir Peregrine Thorne is fabulous! I like names which so obviously must have a story attached to them 🙂

    BTW I am a random fan who has just recently friended you

    • Marie Brennan

      Welcome! And you’re right, there’s a certain fabulosity to “Sir Peregrine Thorne” . . . but I don’t think it belongs to this character.

  4. sivvyswraith

    The boyfriend told me the alternate uses of “malkin” the other day, which makes the MAC utterly hilarious to me.

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