Friday, 25 April 2008

What's in a Name?

One of the thing's I've been doing is writing a database of the names I've used in my fiction. You just get to that point after a while. I'll be thinking "Right, this character is Victorian, posh and British - she looks like a Cassandra to me. Urm .... have I used Cassandra in a previous story?"

So I've been going through my back-catalogue, and recording which names have been used for actual characters and which have been mentioned only in passing (e.g. "This took place during the reign of King Edwin the Lascivious"). Some interesting results have cropped up:

Not counting Divine Torment and Burning Bright (where the names are all fantasy inventions), I have used 95 male names and 68 female names in my erotic fiction, suggesting the women are indulging in multiple sexual partners ...

But, if you are a named female in my fiction, you will almost certainly be involved in sex. Rather more men than women are named as background characters (e.g. soldiers, landowners, relatives) and don't get any nookie. Damn, the ratio is falling (Although Annnette and Kitten both strive nobly to skew the figures back...).

I've never written from an anonymous male point-of-view. I have written nameless female POV. On the other hand I've written sex with more un-named men ("the prince," "the sorcerer") from a female POV than un-named women ("the dryad") from a male POV.

Two names ("Alex" and "Emma"/"Emmer") appear in both male and female lists.

Three women (The Malia Shai/Myrna, Surya/Raihn and Kitten/Zoe) have multiple aliases.

I've written 2 priests, 2 saints, rather a lot of Lords and shedloads of soldiers.

My favourite male name so far is Arailt (Gaelic for Harold). My favourite female name is Allisandra (yes, she is posh!). I've got more 'A' names than any other single letter of the alphabet.

I still haven't used some names I like very much: Astrid, Gavin, Padraig, Killian ... so look out for them in future stories!

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