copyHave you ever read a book in which the characters’ names don’t seem to fit them? Or the names don’t stay in your mind, and you have to keep looking back to find out who it was who just appeared in a scene? When I write, characters’ names are as important as their physical descriptions and their personality quirks.

Almost everyone I know who has read the great Russian novels complains that she can’t keep track of the characters because the names keep changing. You’re not likely to refer to Levin as Constantin Dmitrich in the middle of your story, but don’t start calling John Smith Johnny or Smitty if you don’t want to lose your reader.

Charles Dickens came up with some truly appropriate names for his secondary characters, names so fitting that they are identified with their characteristics: Uriah Heep for the unctuous clerk in DAVID COPPERFIELD and…

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2 thoughts on “WHAT’S IN A NAME?

  1. I save graduation programs, then combine a first name with a totally different last name–ones that seem to fit my characters. Sometimes a name comes to me out of the blue. Good post.


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