Thursday, 24 July 2008

Character names

I still don't have a surname for Graham. He's Graham Grey on his various website profiles, but the Grey is just a placeholder. It will have to do until I hit on a decent Brent or Partridge or Barley equivalent.

Another naming problem arises with Graham's online friend Grant. That "G-R-A" beginning is troublesome. I didn't notice until I started writing a conversation between them, and found that the predictive text in the screenwriting software can't tell who I mean. But I now find that using the same initial letter for multiple names is to be avoided anyway, according to the excellent Jane Espenson. It's probably something they tell you in the first class at scriptwriting school, but since I've never been to scriptwriting school I'm having to learn the basics via the blogs.

It's harder than it looks, the half hour sitcom script. Who'da thunk it?


Luke said...

Does graham need to have a surname?

Mike said...

Yeah, I think he does. You run into lots of problems when you don't give your characters full names, because there's usually some moment when it needs to be used.

Plus, from a publicity point of view a single name doesn't work (unless it's a silly name like Madonna or Bono or Cher). Imagine if Eric Cartman was just called "Eric"; you'd google him and never get anywhere.