Inspired by a few things, I’ve been given some more, serious thought to the idea of keeping the hero in my novel for April entirely nameless. From one standpoint, it makes it a lot easier for me, struggling as I am to find a name that I feel suits her, and, from another, more literary one, it makes her position as Hero her name, her title, the crux of everything she is. She is not much of an individual in her own right…she might have been, at one point, but her position has lead her to become something bigger than herself, a symbol. This erasure of identity to pursue saving the world is an incredibly intriguing concept for me, and it could be really interesting to implant that into the story as well.
And, if that doesn’t work, well, then, I can always change it.
One concern I had about using this convention would be if it would get tedious for the reader if the main character was never named. But, in a way, most of the book will be written from a limited third person perspective, following her around and seeing the world mostly from her own eyes. I am also reading a book right now where the main character is never referred to by his name, though it is given in the very first line of the book. It can be distracting, technical minded as I tend to be, but I understand the reason behind it is that the boy could also be a stand-in for anyone, essentially, and leaving him unnamed keeps him open to interpretation, in a way. I would the Hero to be like that as well, since the prologue sets her up as this figure of legend that could appear at any time, in any form; it opens with a legend on how it could be anyone. It just happens to be the bold little girl listening to the story.
It also brings to mind many old RPGs where you name the hero yourself, and so, since you can pick anything, they’re typically referred to as just the Hero in instruction booklets and things like that. And now I desperately want to see if I really do still have Secret of Mana hiding away somewhere now that my SNES is hooked up and working….