Elmore Leonard once told a story about the difficulty he was having with one of his characters. He just couldn’t get the character right and it frustrated him. Then he realized what the problem was. The character had the wrong name. He thought hard about it and renamed the character and then the character came alive for him.
Character names matter and writers should consider carefully the names they give to their characters. A character’s name evokes an image in the mind of the reader. A character named Bruiser gives the reader a different picture than one named Bartholomew. A character’s name must be consistent with her background and the time period in which the story takes place.
Here are some tips in coming up with strong character names:
- Make it easy to pronounce. A character named Zbsyskrksi will stop the reader dead every time.
- Avoid generic names. A character…
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