Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Naming characters

Sometimes a character shows up fully formed,complete with backstory and well-named. Others are less defined, especially secondary characters. You know the ones I mean, the guys who walk on, deliver some important information then exit stage left. They can't all be called stranger number three. Some of them are good friends. Or doctors. Doctors imparting earth-shattering, life-altering news.

Instead of writing that scene, I've been thinking about the doctor. What kind of man he is, where he comes from, how well he knows Alex. He's not a throwaway character. He has to know Alex well enough to anticipate his reaction to the doctor's dictates and demands. Alex is not going to accept the prognosis or prescription easily.

Alex has gone into this scene with a smile on his face. He's walking better, stepping lighter than he has since the accident. His morale is up. He has a game plan. You know he's not going to take it well when it's the opposite of the doctor's.

Remember the old Muppets character, Dr. Bob? He always made me laugh. Always. Alex is conditioned to smile the same as I am whenever he hears, "Paging Dr. Bob." Don't ask me why I still giggle all these years later. I simply do. Dr. Bob is Alex's specialist. He has to be a man that Alex respects enough to get past that lighthearted response. How many Bobs do I know? How many do I respect?

How important is the character's name to my interpretation of him? Fairly important because what Dr. Bob tells Alex is the first link in the chain reaction that has Alex seriously contemplate joining forces with Nea to become a demon.

The doctor's name? I'm sure some of you figured it out. Dr Bob Mayer. You know he's going to be tough, pull no punches and be absolutely correct in his advice, no matter how painful it is to implement. But you're also going to smile when you hear,"Paging Dr. Bob."

It might be awhile before you get to read it though. Because I'm mean that way.


  1. hey, remember the deal.

    in which i must go do my part for...

    but now i'm ging to smile every time i hear Dr. Bob. :)

  2. For some reason I'm picturing Dr. Bob with a limp and a cane. Last night House referred to himself as "Dr. McCaney"

    xvipn - someone who used to be into VIPs

  3. "Paging Dr. Bob..." *snort, giggle*

    Dr. Bob Mayer, huh? That's a really good name. I'd like to know what source you use when naming your characters, because I think that's one of the best names I've ever heard. I mean, it just flows so very well together, you know? Like I've heard it, am familiar with it. Almost like I actually KNOW Dr. Bob Mayer, and would accept advice, or even bad news, from him.
    You're right. There's a lot that goes into picking a name.

    bbymwt - But Bob, you mustn't wear that (damn shirt again!)

  4. ahem. deal?

    names are so important.