Recently I read on a literary magazine that the editors prefer stories with characters who have names, because only then do they feel that these characters come alive and have identities. I couldn’t agree with that. There are plenty of wonderful stories with nameless faces. I don’t think the name is important at all; what is in a name anyway? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. As long as the character is described well, I don’t think it matters if she is called Janet or Catherine, or if he is Benjamin or Travis. Who really cares?
Of course, there are times when names are very defining. They can carry certain je ne sais pas with them, yes. But the air I wish to create in my stories often do not call for names, and I use them sparingly. Sometimes I don’t even want to make the gender known. Some experiences, I feel, can be shared between both men and women.
Maybe I’m just being difficult, but I can’t find it in myself to name them if they did not come to me with names already.