Wednesday, April 29, 2009

That Character Had a Name? (or I Swear It's Not Personal...)

Tip of the Day: Stuck for what to read next? Ask a YA or Children's Librarian for suggestions -- they will be so excited to point out their faves to you!

I am terrible with names. Unless we are friends, there is no way I will remember your name after the first time we meet. Maybe not after the second time either, unless we've had lots of face-to-face contact in between. I don't know why; it's just the way I am.

But don't feel bad! I do the same thing to novel characters! Unless the main character's name is in the title of the book a la Lisa Yee, I do not remember it.
Even when I blog abbout a novel I finished right after I put the book down, I still need to read the blurb again to remember the main character's name.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I think the reason this happens to me when I read is bc once I establish early on what the MC's name is, I skim over it through the rest of the book so I can get to the exciting plot. I read quickly, so this is not unusual for me.

What have I learned from this? Is it a) I better come up with fantabulous names for my MCs so others with my name memory problem can no way forget my MCs' names, or b) if my plot is so great that it makes a reader forget the MC's name, who cares? Right now I'm leaning towards (b), but maybe that's bc that's already how I read!

Or perhaps my memory just sucks.

How about all of you?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Adele said...

Rubbish with names. In real life and books, I have a similar problem. I don't do small talk and I read quickly, so i'm liable to forget names and other details. In my mind it makes re reading more enjoyable, because there are always things I missed and forgot first time round.

Summer said...

I like interesting names. I don't know if I remember them all the time.

Kate Fall said...

I don't know, I'm getting fatigued with novel characters with names like Blue and Maybe and Maudlin that smack me with the subtlety of a hammer with how they're OH SO UNIQUE.

But I do like a name that fits the story. Like Alice in Lisa's FAR FROM YOU being named for Alice in Wonderland. See, I didn't forget her name!

Megan said...

I forget character names too, even if I love the book!

Kristina Springer said...

Just do what I do when you don't remember someone's name. "Hey you!" :-)

DeenaML said...

Hagelrat & Megan -- I'm so glad I'm not alone in forgetting names!

Summer -- good point about making characters' names INTERESTING if you want them memorable. But Kate, good point about not making them TOO "unique."

Tina -- HA! I have carried on so many convos with ppl at the library making sure to do just that. :)

Rhonda Helms said...

I'm bad with names too. LOL. It's not just you...

Paradox said...

Haha, I'm the same way. I've even forgotten the names of people I've known for years. Temporarily, of course. But I often find myself forgetting the names of characters. On the other hand, for some reason I CAN remember the names of authors. ???

Christina Farley said...

I'm totally with you on this one. Somedays I can barely remember my own name.

I also think a book that's written in first person, the MC's name is less likely to be written over and over unlike a book in 3rd person. So seeing it not as often I think also affects me.