A Warning on the Subject of Names

I’m really, really bad at naming things. Characters, places, things… I once owned a cat named “Cat.” The current cat has a name–officially–but mostly, I wind up calling him “Cat”, too. I have a manuscript where nobody has names. At all. Three hundred pages, and they’re still MC, MMC, boss, cop, crook, and so forth.

It seemed like a good idea, at the time. But now,¬† I have a legion of nameless characters staring at me…. waiting.

There was a little more thought put into names in the Lepterian novel. Most of the characters have some kind of role-related name. And then, suddenly, a massive amount of the focus was on names, and the significance of names, and I’m still really bad at names.

I’m not a fan of made-up names, made-up languages in Science Fiction and Fantasy. And, I’m not quite dense enough that filling a science fiction story with people like Vicky the Alien Empress and Steve the Zero Grav fighter pilot sounds like a good idea.

So, that leaves theft.

With all the words in all the languages on the planet, I have names.

With meaning. And sometimes, significance.

Sometimes, they’re names with humor, and very occasionally¬† dignity.

Mostly, though, they’re names with humor. Some of them aren’t too bad. (Hell, even a crazed Science Fiction writer with a sense of humor can have an off day.) Others aren’t fit for human beings, and one or two–more in my thrillers than in science fiction–are downright obscene.

I will have succeeded, when an angry new mother shows me her beautiful child, and then punches me in the face. I named her after one of your characters, and I just found out what that word means.



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