Who am I?

I am a writing and publishing guru. What I dont know about the market just isn't worth knowing. So what if I'm unpublished? I choose to give other writers the gift of my wisdom and experience* that the other 500,000 writing blogs out there fail to give.
* No actual experience

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Search for Perfection

On a cold evening there’s nothing I enjoy better than to curl up on the sofa with a warm cup of something soothing and read the telephone directory. Not just any directory – hey, I have standards here – but the paper version of the White Pages.
The drama! The intrigue! The humour! I laugh out loud, and diligently resist the temptation to skip to the end to see how it turns out.

My husband questions my mental health. It’s research, people, truly.

I want the perfect name for my characters. I’ll know it when I find it.

Scientifically Proven
Names are important!
One’s name has an impact on one’s self-perception and the path one chooses in life.
A study of names in medical and legal professions showed there was a slightly higher proportion of doctors with the name Doctor or with the letters "Doc" in their names and lawyers called Lawyer or with Law in their names, than predicted by chance.

The study is linked here  if you could be bothered.

Furthermore, doctors called Wee were more likely to practice Urology than other branches of medicine. I couldn't make THAT up.

I’ve noticed these trends myself. A dietician called Candy, a veterinary called Dr Catt. A lawyer called Conquest (although I seriously wonder whether the latter changed their name by deed poll to sound macho and go-hard. If I were choosing legal representation, I’d be more likely to select somebody with a winning name, rather than say, Slack or Dowdy. I just wouldn’t date somebody called Conquest. Or Slack or Dowdy.)

Writers have used this for years; suggesting personality traits in characters through their names. Rowling was a champion at including puns in her characters’ names. My favourite was Dolores Umbridge, from Order of the Phoenix. Dolores means pain and umbrage means both shade and to take offense.  Yes, she was an offensive pain who cast a shadow on life at Hogwart’s.

So back to my telephone directory ramblings.

I’ve come across names that give me a chuckle at the image of a character it inspires. 

I would only use the family name Sweet for an absolutely foul character. Block would  be a henchman.  But these are quite basic. My mind boggled at what a person called Ear would be like ( a spy, maybe?).

How would you picture people with the following names (all currently listed in the Melbourne White Pages)?
Stallion (ok, I got a giggle here)
Slockwitch (Dickensian)
 I eventually found the perfect name for my character: Perfect. Or so I thought, until I saw the next name –Perfetto. Perfectionist and pretentious.  Suited her. Perfectly.
Tell me – would these games be possible with the e-directory?

BTW - sorry if I've used your name here. No offense intended. But seriously, dude, consider changing it!


  1. Oooh, so would I. But I'd have a sneaking suspicion the name was changed from Smallman!

  2. JK Rowling is the MASTER at naming characters.

    I used to do this too, back when we had a phone book...

  3. @ karen
    So - they're no longer distributing phone directories in your neck of the woods? I think I'll hold onto my old phone book in case they go the way of the dinosaur over here.

  4. I've always loved Umbridge's name too :) So glad I found this blog, you're hilarious!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  5. Thanks for dropping by Sarah.
    The character's name was Dolores Jane Umbridge - in other words, Jane the Pain - brilliant!