100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Why Haven’t You Named A Character After Me?

This is a question I have been asked multiple times. Yep, I write books. Yep, I know you. Nope, I have never and will never name a character after you.

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  • Your name might suck. I don’t just name my characters the first name that pops into my head. The name has to suit their personality, their history, the era etc. Need I go on?Β 
  • Why do you think I should? Do you reckon you’re deserving of being immortalised on the page? Asking me makes you sound egotistical- just saying.
  • My characters need to be their own people. If I give them your name, then I’ve got you in my head when I’m writing.Β 
  • What if they make bad choices, or become psychotic? Like I say, characters are their own people, and if their natural progression is to ‘go over to the dark side’, don’t pretend you won’t be offended. YOU TOTALLY WILL.
  • On a related note- If I gave a character your name and a huge wart on the end of their nose, you’d have something to say to me.
  • Perhaps, just perhaps, I don’t like you that much. I’m just joking… Or am I?

However, take comfort in this- most of my characters have facets of me, my friends, and my family in them. I draw on experience from my own life and surroundings. So, I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind whether you are the muse for my baddie…Mwahaha

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All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

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16 thoughts on “Why Haven’t You Named A Character After Me?”

  1. I totally agree…I hate when someone say this to me. What’s worse is when they ask ‘am I in it?’ – of course you’re not in it. I pick names that suit the characters and some times those names are also linked to RL people…but the characters aren’t based on the person. But I don’t have the person in my head when writing the character, they’re their own person. I just wish people would understand that. So, yep, totally agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phew. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I would like to keep my friendships intact haha- people don’t seem to understand that it would cause more trouble than good.

      Another peeve is when people ask if a character is based on them. It is usually always a lovable, favourite. Come on, think much of yourself, do you?? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All through sixth form I had friends asking me to name characters after then. I quickly learnt that saying no was the easiest way to keep my book from being over run with random people who weren’t really needed.
    Another time I had to spend weeks defending myself against a friend who insisted I write in unicorns when unicorns really didn’t fit with what I was writing.
    In the end I just decided that if they can’t get past not being in the story then they’re clearly not very good friends to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! The struggle is real πŸ˜‰

      I avoid names or obvious descriptions of people I know. For the sake of argument, you can tell them they’re reading too much into it.

      Sometimes, I do use dialogue snippets etc. It makes it more special when my close friends and loved ones read the book, and come to me and say, ‘I remember having that conversation with you’ or ‘That’s something I say when I’m annoyed.’ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Luckily, I don’t have friends, so I’ve never had anyone ask me to name a character after them. However, there are a couple of people I see on occasion who I named characters after and I felt like I had to ask for their permission to keep the names. One of them asked if the character named after her was a good person. I didn’t have the heart to give her the details, but since the character is mostly a good person, I felt like the details on the parts not fitting into the “mostly a good person” category could be withheld. Plus, I’ve only written that character’s actions in the second book. What she ends up doing in the third book is anyone’s guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m your friend! Will you name one after me? Only, I want to proof read and VET everything, oh and royalties! By the way, just in case you didn’t know, my name is Kayleigh- see how inspiring?! haha πŸ˜‰

      The only person I could write a character for would be my dad. He wants to be an evil villain apparently πŸ˜‰ The only prob is, I couldn’t kill him off, and I would start to sympathise. I mean, he’s my Dad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha!

        Actually, I can fit your name into my third novel. I have an important alien character named Kay’len. Maybe she has a sister named Kay’leigh? Hmmm…

        As for royalties, I’m not expecting my books to actually sell any copies, so how does “nothing of nothing” sound? πŸ˜‰

        By the way, if you want to name a character after me, feel free. In fact, if you want to throw in a character to abuse and/or kill quickly (like a classic Star Trek extra who goes down to the planet with the regular crew), you’re welcome to do that.

        Or, you can name a unicorn after me…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I laughed out loud at the thought of being an alien! It’s weird you say Kay’Leigh because my South African friends say my name as if it’s two separate names. I think it could work.

        Now, being a unicorn… that’s something to tell the grandkids about!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually changed the names of two of my characters in No More Champagne because when I took my promotion at work one had the same name as my new boss, and the other had the same name as the unborn daughter of one of my new employees. Neither character were good people, and everyone wanted to read it. Besides, the more I worked on the book, as you said, I had their faces in my head and it no longer worked.

    Non-writer people have NO IDEA how much thought goes into our characters names. It’s insane, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really don’t, do they? I tend to say, ‘that really isn’t a good idea’, and then change the subject. My post was more of a rant of everything I want to say, but can’t because I could never be rude to someone haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t been asked that question yet and I hope I never will, but if anyone does ask why I haven’t immortalised them I’ll gladly throw your list of reasons at them. The only people I’ll “immortalise” (who do they think I am?? J.K. Rowling?) are people I don’t like, and they’ll find rather painful deaths in my books and I won’t be using their real names then.

    Liked by 1 person

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