The Name of this Character is Secret

Deborah Grant-Dudley

The many pitfalls of naming book characters.

Image of a woman looking confused.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Readers rarely pay much attention to the names of most book characters. Names tend to fall into the category of necessary detail. But authors have to put a lot of work into making sure those details don’t spoil the whole book.

Naming characters can be great fun. There are just a few little things to watch out for…

Characters with similar names

It’s easy to mix up characters with similar names. Having characters named Judy and Julie in the same book is a recipe for confusion.

Abbreviated names

Sometimes shortened names are absolutely fine. But sometimes it isn’t. This one needs thinking through for two reasons.

If the full name and abbreviated name are not similar enough, readers may think they are two separate characters. 

If the abbreviated name is too similar to another character’s name, readers…

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