|Stephen Bly (1944-2011)|
However, had he a real bona fide character name, what should he be called? I was pondering that as I read this week the 10 MOST POPULAR NAMES FOR 2008: 1) Aidan, 2) Jayden, 3) Jacob, 4) Michael, 5) Ethan, 6) Caden, 7) James, 8) Caleb, 9) Andrew, and 10) Matthew.
But "Little Brother" in this story is 10 years old in 1954. That puts him in the 5th grade, born in 1944. So, the question is ... what were the 10 MOST COMMON BOYS NAMES IN 1944?
Here's the list:
Here's the list:
|1954 5th grade class|
One of the boys in this 1954 5th grade class could be the narrator for this story.
Character name calling is one of the most delightful parts of being a writer. I love finding different sounding names. Whether it's Tapadera ... or Lixie ... or Jolie. Or Devy. Or Miss Oliole Fontenot. I don't limit myself to the Top 10 of the Year. But that's a good place to begin.
Along with character name creating, there's the fun of discovering the environment of the character's times.
For today's consumer, it's a shopping mall world. But
for someone like Little Brother, it's hard to imagine the incredible thrill to
him of a product-packed Five and Dime store. I'm not sure kids today can
experience anything near that excitement.
|1950s F.W. Woolworth store|
Here's a "Little Brother" narration excerpt from Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon:
When WalMart was beyond anyone's imagination, we had Five & Dime stores like Newberry's and Woolworth's ... Mama worked at Woolworth's right out of high school. Even in 1954 most of the merchandise was inexpensive. And they had everything. What a marvelous world for a boy from the country who thought the Fuller Brush man had so much merchandise in his Chevrolet CarryAll that is must surely be sinful.
To the casual observer, we must have looked like an invasion of old men in narrow brimmed Stetsons, cowboy boots, white shirts buttoned at the collar and a little boy with plastic cap guns holstered to his side. But to my 10-year-old imagination, we were a posse surveyin' a crowd, on the trail of some bad hombres.
Stephen Bly - Copyright 2008~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Whether it's picking a character name in writing a fiction story or choosing a name for a newborn child, what's your guidelines for making that awesome choice?
What's your clearest memory of when you were 10-years-old?
If you're looking for a character name or what to name a baby, check out this Baby Names site: http://www.babynames.com/character-names.php
|Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon|