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?
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