WHAT’S IN A NAME?

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Lynnette Jalufka

 

Finding the right name for a character can be a challenge. I’ve spent hours searching for the perfect one through books and online. I look at meanings, spellings, how the name sounds, and if it fits the time period and setting of the story. This varies, depending on the importance of the character.

A name can show personality. A woman called Cassandra gives an impression of elegance and formality. If she goes by the nickname Cassie, she’s playful and care-free. Your characters can also act contrary to what their names imply. Or don’t name them at all. That alone is significant.

Keep in mind how your readers might pronounce your characters’ names. I have a friend who can’t discuss the science-fiction novels she reads with her husband because they say the names so differently. Consider putting a pronunciation guide in either your book or online if the names are unique, especially if you write science fiction, fantasy, or even historical periods like Anglo-Saxon England. You want your readers to fall in love with your characters, not stumble over what to call them.

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