Booking Through Thursday – Bookish meme & a mini rant about names

It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status.

Well, the book closest to me is the one I’m currently reading, The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston. I’m only on page 36 (I am in the process of moving and I am super busy), so turning to page 57 is going to be as much a surprise for me as it will be for you. 

–>  The next few hours passed in a whirl of activity. 

I don’t even know what’s going on in this part yet but we’re in the middle of a flashback from the main character. Since the character is immortal and over 400 years old, that is quite a flashback. 

I have a tick that completely irritates me in stories. That is using more than one name for a character. I understand that characters have nicknames and pet names and so on, but those names should be used within dialogue only. Using multiple names for a character in the text is confusing and annoying. Having the name Elizabeth, Bess, Beth, or Eliza sprinkled around a page is annoying because it is both confusing and shows the writer was not able to create enough descriptors for their character. In other words, it is the writer’s poor attempt to not start every sentence with He/She or the character’s name. 

Paula Brackston is doing something a little different in her story. Because the main character is immortal, Brackston is using two different names to separate time zones. As a young girl the character goes by Bess and as an older woman the character uses the name Elizabeth. Bess the younger and Elizabeth the older. The other name does not appear when we are reading about one time zone. This is a neat little trick that I approve of to get readers to think of the two names as different characters, even if they are the same person.

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About Patricia @ Lady with Books

I'm a 34 year old female. Brown hair. Blue eyes. I spend a great deal of my time surfing the internet and blogging. I enjoy cooking. I make a mean sautéed vegetable dish. I write. I read.

Posted on August 11, 2011, in book meme, historical fiction, reading now and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Interesting name trick. Thanks for the ‘rant’. 🙂

    Aine
    House Millar – BTT

  2. Interesting sentence. And an echo of a line from Little Women.

  3. The article you wrote is really interesting.

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