Sunday, August 5, 2007

Strange Names

Ever notice how private eyes of fiction often have unual names? I was over reading Kevin Burton Smith's list of 100 Eyes article over at Mystery Scene blog and noticing the rather odd names that come up-- Jinx Alameda, Elvis Cole, Dirk Gently, Aaron Gunner, Max Hamm, Precious Ramotswe, Easy Rawlins, Daryl Zero. And let's not forget Thomas Magnum and Remingston Steele. What IS it with author's trying so hard to come up with such unusual names?

One might think that I could offer some insight, given that I've named my female protagonist Bo. I can understand how recognition could be a factor-- every writer wants the name of their detective to stand out, especially in the ocean of crime, mystery, and suspense novels. Sometimes there is also the notion of fitting a name to a character. Bo, with her traditionally man's name, is a very shrewd, tough, and un-lady-like woman. She can use fists and sex with the male private eyes that populate her genre. But beyond that, I don't have any answers for the other authors.

On a similar note, there was a study done a while back that found that children with unusual names were more likely to end up in trouble, and incarcerated, than their traditionally named counterparts. And private eyes are known for sex and violence and debauchery and all that fun stuff.

I wish I could add a link to some recently-published story, but it seems like folks are taking the summer off! In cooler months, I get much faster replies to submissions. And new issues of zines appear quicker. I'm not complaining, just observing.

Writers and private eyes do well in their trades when they are careful observers.

  • Story in progress: Medium-Well
  • Excuse for not writing: housework

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