It really is no secret that I like reading my fair share of fanfiction. I love it really. It makes me smile and truthfully, there’s some really good stuff out there. You just have to be willing to slog through the not-so-good stuff…of which there is a healthy dose…well, more than healthy dose.
I was reading one fic, I’m not going to tell you which fandom this unfortunate story happened to reside in but I will tell you that the setting is medieval-like and high fantasy. The unfortunate main character’s name? Becky.
Oh, um. Okay.
And then I started laughing. And I stopped reading. It was fine story up until the point where the main character’s name was uttered. Becky. I couldn’t contain myself. I quickly messaged a friend of mine and told her about it.
We quickly devolved into this:
She: Becky doesn’t even sound real in a REGULAR fic. Replace classic fiction heroines names with “Becky.” Becky Karenina.
Me: This needs to be a thread.
Notable names included:
- Beck Drew
- Becky Longstocking
- Becky Grainger
- Becky Belacqua
- Becky Everdeen
- Becky of the D’Urbevilles
The thread included movies and for some reason also involved Bucky Barnes, of Winter Soldier fame in the Marvel comic/cinema universe.
Anyway, I have a point, truly I do.
Names have power and meaning. They are evocative and can bring power characters that much more power. (I promised myself that I would never, ever name a daughter Ophelia. While it is a beautiful and lovely name, to me, it’s just doomed. I don’t want my preconceived notions lumped upon a child. But that’s just me.) In writing, the right name can further pull a reader into your story. The wrong name, in the wrong setting just pulls that reader right back out. Please don’t get me wrong. Becky is a fine name. But if your setting is in 14th century Europe and your heroine’s name is Becky…forget it. I’m moving on. Research those names. Don’t fall into an anachroistic trap.