Today, I am in search of a name. What’s a good name for a wife and mother? The only other thing I know about her is that she’s dead. She had a name for a while, but then I realized that it rhymes with her husband’s name. So, now I’m changing hers. The other one is too good a fit.
Her husband is a distant memory of my narrator, and his wife is just a flicker on the edge of my narrator’s consciousness.
I have a bad habit of waiting to name my characters until I’m revising. I think it’s probably a strategy for procrastination.
So far, I’ve looked through the census record’s most popular names (by decade, as well as overall), scavenged a bunch of baby name lists, and done another run through basically every test of gender representation known to internet-connected man.
I’m not sure how many of those tests apply to extremely short fiction.
And wait… these characters have to have names? (Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.)
Do you think adults would buy short stories where they can have their own names printed into the roles?
Uhm… probably not if the character is dead from beginning to end.
I know. Do the work.