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Character names

Yesterday I gave a talk at the local library and the subject of character names came up as did the discussion of naming characters. If you are a reader, then the importance of names probably doesn’t affect you but it is critical to a writer. This is because the name becomes the character which drives the plot.  When I named my detective Robbie Gray….the Robbie was a tribute to DI Robbie Lewis of the Colin Dexter series of Morse ( of which I am a huge fan) and the Gray was a nod to Grays anatomy.  When I had finished the second draft, I was reading some famous writer who said that unless you had strong names for your lead characters.. then the story was doomed. I started to fret about the use of Gray,….how wishy washing was this name I thought…but by this time, Robbie had inhabited the name Gray and her name was perfect. She was a detective where there was no black and white, where contradictions and dilemmas reigned, where right and wrong often got blurred…and life is like that for most of us.

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