I really want a new occupation. I mean, the day job. Or even the writing. I want a job like House, or Scully and Mulder, or Booth. I want a last-name job. I’ve concluded that if you don’t have a last-name job, you aren’t happening.
It’s a formula in writing, certainly. The butcher is Frank, but the private eye is known by his last name. Vampires use first names, but they have the power, so they can get away with it. Romance writers don’t seem to do well using female last names for characters.
I’ve been speed reading ebooks recently, and I’ve noted a terrible tendency for the characters to name drop. “That’s okay, Cullen. I understand what you mean, Cullen. Cullen, can you pass me that test tube?” This when there are two characters in the room. Gets pretty annoying. Note to self: revise current WIP.
Here’s a test, and I did it last night. Turn your contraption, perhaps it’s an iPhone, onto record. Have a conversation with someone, and count how many times you actually call one another by any name at all. My husband said my name once in five minutes. Unfortunately, not my last name. Because I’m just not cool like that.