Naming characters can cause a lot of issues, and is an important part of your book. The right name can really bring a character to life, but the wrong names can bring down your entire story.
These are my top 5 tips for things to avoid when naming your characters:
- Names that rhyme or start with the same letter. If you characters are called Kim and Tim, or Richard, Robert and Rebecca, it’s time to change them.
- Avoid androgynous names, or at least only use one in your story. If all your characters have non gender specific names it can leave your reader very confused.
- If you’re making up fantasy names, avoid making them too long or difficult to pronounce. It can really slow down your story if your readers have to navigate the name ‘Pqrefranveonia’ every few minutes.
- Giving all your characters names of the same length or rhythm. Mix it up with shorter and longer names.
- Be careful when using shortened versions of names or nicknames. If your main character is Sebastian your readers will understand his friends calling him ‘Seb’, but if it’s shortened to ‘Ian’ your readers will be left wondering who you’re talking about.