What's in a name?

List of first name It’s time. Madame XYZ and Monsieur ABC need names. Real names. My main characters are named the moment they appear on the page – after all, their name says something specific about them, not least importantly what region of Switzerland (or the world) they are from. A name can hint at age, social or economic situation. A first name might be traditional or modern; ‘plain Jane’ or something to make half the population cringe. That’s not to say I haven’t changed a major character’s name at close of writing. I’m not alone in this, legend has it that Margaret Mitchell used Pansy O’Hara until it was time to publish ‘Gone With The Wind’. Would Pansy have made the splash that Scarlett did? In my case, Agnes Lüthi started life as Micheline. Is she better as Agnes? Yes, I think so. Still, it was a big change. But today is minor character naming day. The groundskeeper and tow-headed 10-year-old boy get to keep their parts and therefore they get a name. I am sure I will spend more time on this than it deserves, on the other hand, a name says it all…..

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