The point I mentioned last night about my novel still rings true almost 17,000 words in, so now I get to bring it up.
None of my characters have proper names.
My story is told in first person, so that eliminated the need to figure out the main character’s name for awhile. He’s a pretty solitary ghost on the whole, and I don’t think any of the characters know his name. Come to think of it, I don’t think any of the characters know each other’s names. Actually, that’s a lie. There were two girls at a show the ghost narrator sneaked into in the beginning who probably knew each other’s names, though the names were unmentioned. And of course, the ghost’s love interest and the love interest’s apparent human interest probably know each other’s names, but those names haven’t come up in the story yet. The former’s name will likely come up eventually, assuming I ever get around to naming any of these characters. As for the other characters, who knows? My cast of characters is small so far, and I could probably count all the characters on two hands. Distinguishing the characters by calling them “the ghost” (another ghost who is not the narrator) or “the girl” or “the guy” hasn’t gotten me into trouble yet. This method will get me into trouble eventually, so maybe I should start introducing names into the story.
Is the lack of proper names in the story a bad thing? One could argue that “the girl” or “the guy” or “the ghost” are names. Names are what we make of them, and they can be whatever we please. On the other hand, proper names are easier to deal with and are much less awkward when you’re reading an entire book. Are there any books that brave the world of improper names for a whole book? I’m curious now. Enlighten me.