Today’s SBD: the importance of names that don’t make readers roll their eyes and drop the book.
Authors, you have spent hours, weeks, months, maybe years crafting your magnum opus. You’ve crafted each sentence lovingly. You’ve written and rewritten, cut and chopped then added back in. But all of your efforts are for naught if the name of your character causes the reader to have a WTF moment.
Naming your protagonist Jayné and then telling that it is pronounced Zha-NAY? Monumental WTF moment. So large, if fact, that my face twitched, causing my companion to ask if I was okay, was my lunch suddenly disagreeing with me? Uh, no, just a knee-jerk reaction to Over-the-Top Syndrome.
I get that authors want their characters to be distinctive, and adding accents or other diacritical marks adds a bit of mystery or Foreign Other to the characters. Still.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the name Jayne. Or Jane. Or any variety of spelling of the name. But typing Jayné then explaining how to properly pronounce the name? Too. Much.
Failed the 50 page test. Failed the 20 page test.
Bitching that is unrelated to books:
- DNW the 20 temperature drop that occured between Saturday and today
- Neighbor — you keep feeding the stray cats, which is why they continue to dig up your (and my) plants and shit all over the place. If you stopped feeding them, their need for a litter pan while in our back yards would decrease concommitantly. Just sayin’.