Thursday, February 16, 2012

Follow Friday (14)


Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?


First, I want to go on record as saying that unique names can sometimes frustrate me. If I cannot easily pronounce the name (or easily determine how to pronounce the name) then it throws off my reading rhythm and slows me down. Rather quickly I translate the name in my mind to something that is easier for me to pronounce as I am reading. So rather than seeing Eglantina, I call the character E or Atlanta. The advantage is that my reading rhythm is not affected. The disadvantage is I have a hard time talking with people about the books because the character names (in my head) are not the ones in everyone elses. Or I spend a lot of time ensuring that my reviews include the correct spelling for the name--not my shortened or simplified version.

But I do like names that are not necessarily common but still very easy--such as Jace. When any of us say Jace, we typically know what character (and consequently what book) without a lot of explanation. Names like John or Mary are so common that we need to be very clear about which John or which Mary or which book that includes John and/or Mary we are talking about.  And I have found that people are really good at picking out these names (and identifying them) as I have been running my YA Couple Trivia Quiz.  

What character names do you find really identify the specific book in your mind without a lot of extra information?

Please stop by my 300 follower giveaway before you hop on through.  :)

55 comments:

  1. Haha! I have to agree with you! Sometimes I come across names that it was really hard to pronounce, and ridiculously long, so when they abbreviated it in the book, I ended up confused by who the character is. Great post!

    Old follower stopping by:)

    Natasha @ Dreamland Teenage Fantasy

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    1. Thanks. I hadn't thought of that--but I have gotten confused when books abbreviate the characters names too.

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  2. I agree with your comments about unique names. I mispronouce names in my head all the time and do not find out the correct pronounciation until the series ends.

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    1. I am so glad to hear I am not alone--I always feel so awkward when I realize that the way I have been pronouncing the name in my head is not correct.

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  3. It's really agitating when author comes up with a unique name, but you have NO idea how it is pronounced. I'm not the only one who finds that annoying right?
    My FF

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    1. Absolutely! I want to be able to talk about the characters when I talk about the books!

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  4. Don't even get me started on pronounciation of some book names... >.>

    I'm a follower. :)
    http://notjustnonsense.blogspot.com/2012/02/ff-feature-follow-11.html

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  5. Great post! There is a difference between unique names and "whoah - what is that" names. I prefer the uniqueness. One other thing I'm NOT into is the creative spelling, like Faythe. It just bothers me.

    Just followed you back :-)

    Jamie from addicted2heroines ~

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    1. I think you made the distinction even better--unique versus whoah! :)

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  6. Thanks for following me and I totally agree sometimes unique names can be frustrating...

    My FF Here

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    1. I just wish I could clearly define the line between unique good and unique frustrating. :)

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  7. Interesting thought on names - I think one of the reasons I find audio books so annoying is that I don't read aloud inside my head, and don't try to find a pronunciation for the stranger names (of which there are a lot in fantasy). For me, it's the look of the name, I guess, that stands out.

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    1. I don't know how you can do that (not read aloud in your head). I am very jealous of you! :)

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  8. I totally agree! Some names are so confusing that you just want to stop reading the book! I also like names like Jace because they're original, but they're so easy to remember and pronounce!

    I tagged you, by the way! Just visit the link below:

    http://eileenlisblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/tagged-again.html

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    1. Thank you for the tag. I will have to look at it once I get through FF. :)

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  9. I change the pronunciation in my mind also. And when I'm reading those names I see them and just kind of read right past it quickly with whatever I think it should sound like.

    Thanks for stopping by my FF. Happy reading!

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    1. I quickly get to that point--but the initial few really grab my attention. Maybe that isn't necessary a bad thing? :)

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  10. They can frustrate me too! I am sure I butcher most of the names.

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    1. I butcher names at work too...definitely not the person selected to be the reader at the awards ceremony. :)

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  11. New follower.

    I agree about names that are hard to pronounce. You can be unique and simple, doesn't have to be complex.

    Here's mine: http://bookprowl.blogspot.com/2012/02/follow-friday-2.html

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  12. I totally agree. I hate when you're not sure how to pronounce their names. I even e-mailed a author once to ask her how she thought it should be said because it was driving me crazy ;)

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    1. Now that is dedication to the author's creativity!

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  13. I'm like you, if I can't pronounce a name, I make up my own. Thanks for stopping by!
    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads

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    1. I also agree, just hopping by.

      http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/02/feature-follow_17.html

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    2. I just wish everyone else made the same made-up pronunciation as me. :)

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  14. Hello, dear! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I'm following you back :)
    I am the exact same way with names! If it's something that's difficult to pronounce, I just kind of skip over it and don't worry about saying it right in my head. I don't like to stop when I've got my reading groove on, haha.

    Lilly @ BookLungs

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    1. I am glad I am not the only one who has a reading groove!

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  15. Eglantina is such a fun name! I LOVE unique character names!

    Have a FABULOUS Friday!!!! :D

    J.B.
    http://jbkantt.blogspot.com/

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    1. I had to find it online--I was really struggling to find an example! :)

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  16. Oh I agree. Sometimes the names are so out there you just can't figure out how to say them at all.

    I like the simple ones like Jace too. A little different but they don't make you spend forever trying to figure them out!

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    1. The more I have seen Cassandra Clare's character names, the more I think she has a knack at naming her characters. They are memorable, distinct, but easy. It isn't an easy combo. :)

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  17. Jace is a good example. Thanks for stopping by my FF. Have a great weekend!

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  18. Awesome choices and great post!!

    Happy reading and thanks for stopping by..I am following you back :)

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  19. great post! yeah, I get ya. Some unique names are hard to pronounce. I like your blog, new follower.
    www.rachelrmrblog.blogspot.com

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  20. Pronounceable names are definitely a must. At the very least, if the author is going to be creative, they should create a reference in the back of the book so readers can use it for pronunciations (a la Karen Moning and her Fever series).
    I do the same thing you do when I see one I can't pronounce LOL
    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

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    1. That is an excellent idea to have an appendix with the pronunciations!

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  21. Hi Shannon :)

    Thank you for saying hello on my blog!;)
    I'm a New follower of yours via GFC!
    Happy FF

    Yes, I do enjoy the name Jace as well, but that name you spoke of above that starts with an "E" ughhh that is such an odd name to pronounce in a book!;) lol, I don't blame you for shortening it! I would do the same.:)

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    1. LOL I am glad to hear I am not the only one who shortens names when I am reading through it. :)

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  22. It's interesting to discover how other people pronounce difficult names and I also sometimes just pronounce it the way I want to, new follower, here's mine

    http://headstuckinabook.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/feature-and-follow-friday-16.html

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    1. It is interesting--it is just hard when it causes confusion.

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  23. Hi & Happy Friday!

    I completely agree, some of the more unique names can be a tad frustrating.

    Thank-you kindly for stopping by my blog.

    www.obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com

    Have a nice weekend..

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    1. Thank you and have a great weekend yourself. :)

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  24. Hi

    I wanna tell you that you have won an award :D

    I think your blog is beautiful so I award it with the Lovely blog award.

    Follow the link for more:
    http://me-andmybooks.blogspot.com/2012/02/won-lovely-blog-award.html

    Mariska

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  25. I’m following you now from Follow Friday, and to follow me back, check out <a href="http://blkosiner.blogspot.com/2012/02/follow-friday-21712.html”> My Follow Friday post</a>

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  26. I'm an old follower who joined again (GFC) using my Twitter ID. I also use my own pronunciation for unusual names. I think the author should supply the pronunciation early in the book before the reader can get their own sounds stuck in their head.

    Like "Mastoinna" from "Shangri-La Trailer Park". The author gives the correct pronunciation early (My Stweena)

    I'm at http://steepedinbooks.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh that is an excellent idea for the unique and hard to pronounce names!

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  27. Great answer! I love the name Jace... It's one of my favorites! :)

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    1. Thank you. I think it takes a lot of thinking to come up with an easy name that is still unique. I commend Cassandra Clare on her creativity in naming her characters. :)

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