What’s in a Name?

Choosing the names of your characters, especially your main characters, can be a challenging task. Yet, it is one of the most important aspects of writing your story. 

A name can convey so much.  Take for instance the male names of Harvey and Greg.  What images do these names create in your mind?  What kinds of men do you see possessing these names?  

You may discover as you think about names that there are stereotypes associated with certain names. What if you used a hero’s name that sounds macho and gave it to a timid man?  What kind of plot could you build around that? 

A name can be the starting point of your story.  It can also generate a plot idea.  So, choose your characters’ names carefully.  They could affect the success or failure of your story.  They could also take your story in a direction you never dreamed of.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Names are tough. It’s just as important to name your characters as it is to name your children. HA!

    In fantasy, I can get away with all sorts of strange names, but they still have to fit the character. It’s easier when you really, really know your characters. Especially since most of us don’t have a photograph to help us.

    I pick names and then let them sit for a while to see how I like them before I get too attached.

    • Great points, Pam! As for photos, I usually find pictures of what I imagine my characters to look like and keep those pictures in front of me.

      As always, thanks for your post. 🙂

      November 9, 2010 at 1:09 PM