Saturday, November 03, 2007

Keys to Writing Success Part 11. Naming Characters

Sherlock Holmes.

One of the most famous and enduring names in fiction.

It has a special quality. Different, intriguing and also possibly a little remote.

It is a name we remember.

And names in fiction are supremely important.

As Emile Zola wrote, 'I always judge a young author by the names which he bestows on his characters. If the names seem to be weak or unsuitable on the people who bear them, I put the author down as a man of little talent, and am no further interested in the book.'

You can choose names from books containing name lists - for instance Baby Names, online or by looking through the phone book. One name I conjured up for one of my characters in my one and only novel was Ma Demuth, with the Demuth coming from the phone book. Although the novel is unpublished those who have read it, remember Ma Demuth well.

It really is worth spending the time to create good and appropriate character names, particularly as it can help make your characters remain in the minds of readers.

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