Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Naming Conundrum

Okay, so I've a question regarding character names. Let me 'splain.

My yet-to-be-penned 2009 NaNoWriMo novel is a sort-of sequel to two earlier novels (written in 2005 and 2007, respectively), and has a few characters who carry over. One of these is a rockin' female named Roen, and although she isn't the main character, she's quite important and is present throughout most of the novel. I'm also introducing a new female character (she's not the MC, either, but is also important) who wants to be named Wren. Question is this: Roen and Wren are really similar-sounding names. Are they too much alike? Should I call Wren something else even though the name seems to fit her? Or is it enough that the names look different on the page? What do you think?

And on a related note, I still can't figure out my ending. ARGH!!!

And on an unrelated note, the greater Phoenix area totally got gypped in terms of a monsoon season this year. No rain for me. Just sun. Forever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever...

9 comments:

Anna said...

Personally I don't have a problem with the similar-sounding names since they do look very different. Then again, I'm always having to change names in my manuscripts because they're too similar, so maybe I shouldn't be giving advice on this topic. :-)
I would say that if it's something that's going to bother you, then it might be work changing just so it's not nagging you as you continue to work on the story.

Good luck!

daniel the smith said...

They don't look alike, and they don't sound alike, if I'm pronouncing them. Roen having two syllables and all...

Diabolical Genius said...

If you want to add a Monty Python feel to the story, you could call her "the female character who wants to be named Wren".

Or just call them both Bruce.

Joanna said...

Anna, thanks for the advice, that's what I'm beginning to think. The names sounded way more similar in my head than they actually look on the page, and it would bother me more to change Wren's name at this point, I think. Just didn't want to confuse any potential readers! :-)

Dan, you are pronouncing them correctly and I know it's two syllables versus one, but both words start with "Rrr" and end with "nn" and they sound awfully alike to me!! :-)

DG, that's a fantastic idea! Nine words versus one, clearly perfect for pumping up the word count during Nano! :-) :-)

Heather Lane said...

I agree-- When I read, if names actually begin with the first letter, and are the same length, I do get confused easily. But these names do not look the same on the page. I think you are fine. Thanks for the info about Nano-- I misinterpreted the pasting your novel thing.

Joanna said...

Heather, glad you agree about the names... Guess I was making too big a thing out of it!! And you're quite welcome, I'm always happy to be of service in regards to Nano. :-)

nanmarino said...

I'm terrible with names. I'm constantly changing the names of my characters, and I never remember the names of new people I meet.
You're fine. These names are not confusing-- even for me...and that's saying a lot. :)

silent_librarian said...

I am agreeing with much of what everyone is saying. They are similar, but not the same. It is kind of like Saruman/Sauron. Similar sounds in them but they are clearly different. Besides, you know how demanding characters are, especially yours, hehe, so I think you should give Wren her name. :P

I hope you can think of an ending!

Also, I know what you mean about the monsoon. Ugh! So, so lame!

Joanna said...

nanmarino, that's good to hear (that my names are not confusing, that is ;-)).

Danielle, I know what I *want* to happen at the end in the vaguest of terms, but not what actually, physically, concretely happens. It's very annoying!!