Phalngewilly Grandypants: What’s in a name?

When I’m considering a new New Adult Contemporary Romance book to add to my collection, the first thing I do is read the blurb. My preference is dual POV, so I look out for that. I want a believable conflict, so I look out for that too. Sometimes, I fancy a gritty read, so I look out for that also. But before I look for those things, I check the names of the characters. What a weird thing to do, right? NO!

If there is one thing that I cannot stand, one thing that makes me growl, one thing that puts me off clicking Buy Now, it’s stupid character names. ARGHHHHH.

(Now remember, I’m talking New Adult Contemporary Romance here, if I’m after a fantasy or such like, names I’ve never heard before are totally okay.)

I want the characters to have believable names. Jason, Ella, Kate, Dylan, Jack, Maia – those are cool, but if the names are something like Phlangewilly Grandypants (okay, terrible example), I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that book. And here’s the why.

I love romance books, I’m a total junkie when it comes to them. They blur the line between fiction and real life, because it makes me feel like somewhere out there, this could happen, has happened, is happening. These people, whose lives have been uber crapola, have found each other and in doing so, have found not only happiness, but the strength to let it go, leave the past in the past.

Shameless Frozen Reference

Shameless Frozen Reference

I love a bit of grit in these stories, a haunting past that’s left scars, a chilling event that’s left the character broken. I want Jason to find his way. I want Ella to fight. I want Kate to exhibit personal development. I want Dylan to trust. I want Jack to move on and I want Maia to slay her demons. I do not want Phlangewilly Grandypants to make an appearance. AT ALL.

But seriously, I know I need to show you some rational reasoning behind this obvious contempt I hold for dodgier-than-a-Santa-stuck-in-a-chimney-in-July names.

I don’t want to be distracted by a butt-weird name. If an outrageous name appears in a book, I will find myself tripping over it every time it’s mentioned, rather than enjoying it as I should be.

And I swear to the stars above, if I ever find a book with a character called Hashtag, I WILL BURN IT WITH FIRE.

4 thoughts on “Phalngewilly Grandypants: What’s in a name?

  1. Eww, I hate weird names, too. And by weird, I don’t mean diverse. They don’t have to be all old fashioned or ultra popular, but like you, I don’t want to trip up every time I say them either. However, just read a book that had very odd first name, but the character went by a shortened variation that was very common. That I ca handle.

    • E.L.Wicker

      Yep, I can handle shortened too. I just think, why call them that weird name that no one can pronounce? 🙂

  2. I was only blogging today about blurbs and how much notice people take of them, and it seems that you do 🙂 And those dual pov’s are highly effective. If mine had more romance, I would follow suit as they are compelling. And as we tweeted once before ( you may not remember but I have a habit of fixating…), blurbs are the devil, so you’d hope they are worth the pain inflicted 🙂 I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a weird name, but then again I don’t read romance anymore :(. There was America in ‘The Selection’ and that stood out as strange. Not that I’m judging the country 😛 So the guy in my book is Gage. Too weird?

    • E.L.Wicker

      Gage is a perfectly normal name! Sexy too! I do remember about the blurbs – they are TORTURE! Lol. I absolutely do take notice of blurbs and if they don’t tell me POV for example, I go hunting through the reviews to find the information I’m after. I do love dual POV, the next book I write once I’ve finished this series will be dual pov and I can’t wait! I think America is an odd choice of name, but it is used on people, same as India – I’ve heard that one too. This whole thing is kind of funny, because I wanted to call my youngest daughter Prudence (then shorten to Pru) but darling husband stepped in and said no. 😀

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