The Protagonist Name Conundrum

My novel, which is currently in the second round of beta reading, is titled WRINKLE. That’s right–when you refer to your own novel, it’s standard to use all caps. It’s like I’m shouting the title at you every time.

A conundrum I always face when writing fiction is what to name my protagonist. I don’t like character names that are overwrought with symbolism or meaning (see Professor Sprout and Professor Lupin in Harry Potter. It’s a mighty big coincidence that the herbology professor and secret werewolf have surnames to match, no?)

I’m currently trying to figure out the name of the protagonist in WRINKLE. He has a name, but I’m not set on anything other than his surname, Gold. I’d love your feedback. Here’s a paragraph that describes him in the first chapter of the book to help you (the photo is a Welsh actor named Aneurin Barnard who I just discovered that fits the description almost perfectly).

 Also, before you vote, enter your email here to learn the meaning of the title and be notified when the novel is released. See if you can find the Easter egg in the photo on the signup page.

Although the guards knew him by face and name due to the time he had spent at the Portal with his parents, hefollowed procedures and flashed his identification at security. It was a good thing they knew him, because the ID photo was a few years old and no longer looked much like him at all. His odd mix of Welsh, Greek, and Korean heritage had resulted in some awkward school photos in middle school, but puberty had blended his features well. Greta’s grooming tips had also helped. A mass of wavy, dark brown hair fell in front of his pale eyes, which were a curious shade of green that changed to purple in the right light. He had a large nose and a soft jaw sprinkled with dark stubble. Thanks to a combination of braces worn when he was 10 and a lost retainer when he was 11, his teeth were mostly straight. Mostly.

13 thoughts on “The Protagonist Name Conundrum”

  1. The alliteration of “Gareth Gold” is a little too much. It sounds made up. And “Dylan” is too yuppy. I actually thought you were going for a biblical thing with Daniel which I thought worked really well.

    • I’m looking to the horizon right now to see if I can spot the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Surely this must be a sign of the end of the world! 🙂

  2. My first recommendation Gargamel Gold (three syllables and triple alliterative). But if you’re dead set against it, I like Daniel too. Friends can call him Dan, and authority figures can boom his full name more menacingly


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading