No name left unchanged

I don’t think there is now a single character in my novel-in-progress who still has his or her original name. I changed my protagonist’s name from Frere (and old family name) to Frye because Frere happens to be the name of a 19th Century painter, and painting is important to the story. (I didn’t want readers to try to figure out a thematic connection between my protagonist and that painter since there isn’t one.) I changed an important character from Eve to Irene. A secondary character became Ms. Stoper, but she was Ms. Chambers before.

About the only character whose name was intact from the start was the antagonist, Edmund Bower. Bower also happens to be an old family name that I slipped in here. After fine tuning everyone else’s name with deep and meaningful intent, I really thought that I couldn’t leave him untouched. And so the other day I began fooling around with some possible name ideas. Nothing much was working. I’d find some thematic word and then translate it into a half dozen different languages, but the results were a) identical, b) obvious, or c) cumbersome. Then I tried to come up with some word that means “indeterminate color” (trust me, it makes sense), but I had no luck. The name Bower is perfectly fine, but with everyone else going around with double and triple meanings to their names, I thought I wasn’t being fair to my antagonist.

Then the perfect name just came to me. At face value it’s just a name, not common but not unheard of either. Given a little more attention though . . .

Update: I’ve since changed his first name too. It’s no longer Edmund.

Update to the Update: And I’ve changed his first name again. The interim name was Laird. How obvious is that for an antagonist?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

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