My great-nephew turned eleven or twelve this summer, and while at his bowling party, I realized he was using his middle name on score screen. “Uh, why is he bowling under the dog’s name?” I asked, and my sister reminded me that he had the name before the dog did. 🙂
Turns out, he’s got friends who share his pseudo-trendy name, so at school, everyone calls him by his middle name. I can understand that. My best friend from 4th to 12th grade was named Marilyn. Our teacher insisted that one of us MUST use our middle name and, not liking my middle name one bit (and being none too fond of my first name), I crawled under the desk and wouldn’t come out till the other Marilyn said she would. (Marilyn Faye, if you happen to read this, thanks!)
I’ve had no problem changing from GN’s first name to middle. I figure if there’s one thing in the world each and every one of is entitled to, it’s choosing which name we want to answer to. Besides, I do it all the time.
A lot of writers will tell you that choosing their characters’ names is one of the most important aspects of starting a new book. Not for me. I can write an entire book with a heroine named one thing, then change it to another at the end. I sometimes just close my eyes and grab the first name that pops into my head that hasn’t been used in the series before. I go for the simple — John, Tom, Jack — and the trendy — Justin, Trent, Tyler — and the head-scratchers — Buck, Deke, Bryce and Easy.
Some of the names do match the characters. John and Tom and Easy just wouldn’t be the same guys if they’d had different names. But Buck would be just as much a cowboy cop if he were named Hank, Justin or Robbie.
Hold your ground, GN. If you want to be called Max, auntie M will do it.