I don't mind Timothy's name being unpopular, because he was born to missionary parents and raised in Uganda, and him not fitting in with the cool kids in England is kind of the point. However, if it's going to make all my young readers in the UK gag and put the book down hastily the moment they see it (as I'd be tempted to do if the hero's name was, say, "Leslie") then I suppose I would be foolish not to take that into account.
So I'm doing a poll. The first question is specifically for UK readers, but for the second I'd be glad to hear from anybody.
I'm from the UK, and the name "Timothy" for a teenaged boy strikes me as:
Hopelessly wimpy and wet; I cringe for the poor kid
A bit old-fashioned, but not the end of the world
Change it to "Tim" and I'm okay with it; otherwise not so much
I don't mind it one way or the other
I like it!
It's complicated, so I'll explain what I think in comments
Timothy is a character who struggles with doubt. If I have to change his name, what do you think of "Thomas"?
Oh, sure, drop ANOTHER anvil on my head. How lame is that?
I don't think it's any better than Timothy
Only if you call him "Tom" instead of Thomas
It's an improvement
If you're not on LiveJournal, you can still participate by leaving a comment as "Anonymous". Thanks for helping me out on this.