Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Name Your Price

Genre fiction—such as fantasy, mystery, romance, and thriller—is written for mass consumption. I think we can all agree on this point. The decisions made in character, setting, and plot must adhere to certain conventions dictated by the genre and market. A recent trend popping up in genre fiction is to auction a character's name to raise funds for a charity. For example, the going rate for naming a murder victim, villain, or other character in one of mystery writer Thomas Perry's books is $275.15. If you're looking for an unusual holiday gift, then this might fit the bill. The auction ends on December 20th on Ebay. All proceeds resulting from the auction go to the non-profit law firm First Amendment Project. Another author participating in the auction is Andrew Sean Greer. He provides descriptions of the characters in his stories that need names. Two examples are "a soldier who has lost his hands and sight in WWI" and a woman who will be "a drunken bohemian at a party in 1918 Greenwich Village." The going rate is $305 per character. (See for more information.)

Question—How much would a character name in Fiction International cost the winning bidder?


Anonymous said...

That actual people want to buy their name into a genre story makes sense to me in this age of so-called "reality television." What's next? TV shows? Movies? Advertisements?

Anonymous said...

What about the reverse? What about fiction writers appropriating the names of actual people—politicians or celebrities, for example—and weaving them into stories at no cost to either party?