I’ve written three novellas now, where the heroine did not have a name for most of the novel. I’m not saying I didn’t name her for most of the writing, I’m saying no one had never named her. She’d grown up alone, with no name.
Or if she’d ever been given one, it was when she was too young to remember.
Every time, about halfway through, I chicken out or decide it doesn’t work, and go through and change it so she does have a name.
It’s like this weird, quirky obsession my subconscious has.
I just can’t make a no-name character work, yet. Because to bring to light the fact that she has no name, would seem to say that I need to, as a "symbolic" sort of thing, give her a name at some "important" point.
And I don’t want her to have a name. I don’t know why.
It’s been done before, sort of, in The Blood of Flowers. Anita Amirrezvani writes in first person, and the heroine is never called by name, out of respect for the ancient Persian rug artists who never signed their name to their work.
She never brings attention to it, and I didn’t even notice it until the afterword, when she pointed it out. After all, how often do we really call our own selves by our name? And the heroine has a name, Amirrezvani just never shares it.
Whereas, I’m obsessed with people who literally have no name.
Now what the hell does that say about my subconscious, LOL?
Obviously, at some point, I’m going to be writing a book about a girl who grew up with no name. My subconscious is like a dog with a bone on this quirk.
Maybe it’s because I don’t think in names when I see people. Thinking of someone’s name is not something I do often. With some people, yes. Other people are mostly unnamed.
This quirk is bleeding into my hero, and some of my secondary characters. Some of my characters have names, very clear names. Others become "the man with the limp" or the "girl with the pouting mouth."
Probably it’s because, when writing in first person, part of ME comes through. And lately, the part of me coming through is the part that doesn’t think of people in terms of their name.
Maybe I’ll become a literary writer, and that can be my trademark: the author who doesn’t give half her character’s names. LOL.
Also, to name a person means to include all the "baggage" society and each individual reader has for a name, like people they’ve known, characters they’ve read, actors and movies they’ve seen.
Have you ever had a writing quirk that you know is a tad ridiculous, and you’ve suppressed it because of common sense? But it keeps cropping up in your writing over and over, more and more insistent?