"What's in a name? that which we call a rose | by any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
But there a few names that I've always sort of connotatively thought of as vetoed - forbidden. The first one, of course, being the [writer]'s own name. From the writing perspective, I've never really been able to bring myself to use my own name for any of my characters. On some level, it just feels a little strange to me, because I think I would find that uncomfortable. And I've always marveled at novels with characters which take the names of their creators.
Recently, I noticed that there's a Lauren in Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver. Another classic example would be Jane Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Now, I found this one to be particularly striking. Jane Bennet is characterized as the most beautiful, the kindest, etc. Jane and Jane - is that representative on some level?
When it comes to reading, how does it feel to encounter a character with the same name as you? (I happen to have a fairly uncommon name, so it doesn't really happen to me.) What about people you know, is it strange reading about characters with the same name as them? Recently read Kristin Walker's A Match Made in High School, and one of the characters not only had the same name, but a few similar character traits, and a similar hobby as someone I happen to know. It was definitely interesting, and a little hard to distinctly differentiate the two.
I've also been hearing from some people about how they feel uncomfortable naming characters with the same name as people they know (provided that the two aren't meant to be linked/named after). I'm personally like that too. How about you?
I guess now I'll open the topic up to discussion. So, some leading questions to get it started:
How do you feel (from a reader's or writer's perspective) about characters with the same name as the author? With your name? With the names of people you know?