Never run a quick Google search of your central character’s name. You may get more than you bargained for.
I only have myself, and my own curiosity to blame, of course, but the results were both frightening and amusing. One result I don’t even want to think about. The rest have simply caused some excessive reevaluation of whether or not I should actually keep the name.
Naturally, I’m going to indulge in a little story. I was looking through my blog’s stats for the day, redirects, search terms and the like, and one in particular caught my eye; someone appeared to have searched for the name ‘Jannah Reid’ and had been directed to my blog. This seemed all fine and good; it could be someone I know who either knows about said character or Where Jackals Lie. Fine. I’ve had stranger hits (someone searching for ‘Patrick Bateman Lifestyle’ for example. My blog is on the third page of Google’s search results which is a little unnerving) although at the same time, this caused the initial question of whether or not the name was too unoriginal. Being a curious creature, I typed the name into Google for myself.
Aside from some social networking profiles belonging to a woman who is actually called Jannah Reid, and a few posts of my own on the NaNoWriMo forums, the rest were, predominantly, adult websites … or so I can only assume from the link descriptions. I didn’t think it wise to go much further than this. I don’t want to see up-skirt photographs of someone named ‘Jannah Reid’ who I don’t even know. I also don’t like the odds of AVG blocking out so many viruses, thank you very much.
And so, here we have a kind of identity crisis. Not for me, but for Jannah; do I risk keeping the name, thus damning her to be likened to a porn star without my consent? Admittedly, she was intended to be the femme fatale. I don’t believe these are entirely one in the same, however. On the other hand, there was never meant to be a clear-cut connection to begin with; the name was, simply, one I liked the sound of. Shallow and such, but ultimately, this was what it came down to. There is also the prospect that, through establishing her as a character, that no connections will be made … or at least, very few of them. And of course, here we come back to the self-indulgence, the idea that she will even become an established character, which is doubtful.
It is quite amusing to consider, though. Embarrassing search results, spam, redirects … as long as the legal and, to an extent, ethical implications remain out of the way, and as long as my computer doesn’t somehow degrade from the inside because of them, I guess laughing is the best way in which to handle it.