Character Names, Part 1

So it’s official: I’ve started to write a novel based on my first published short story “Europa Spring”. Making it official and actually telling people I’m writing a novel means I have to finish it, right? That’s the logic anyway. After all, if it never gets finished I’ll look like a right wally.

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Definitely what you’d call a character

One issue that’s cropped up early is that of character names. The original story of “Europa Spring,” was written quite a few years ago when I knew less about writing than I do now. At that time I didn’t give much thought to character names. I just named my protagonists the first thing that popped into my head. No doubt I would’ve thought about it more if I’d imagined for a minute that the story would become the basis for an entire book but at the time it was just one short story which I didn’t even know would end up as my first sale. So now I’m thinking of changing the character names. Do you think anyone will notice? Shhh. Don’t tell everyone!

Anyway the hunt for new names is on. Gator has gone undercover with bait but I think I’ll use more conventional methods, Google and such. Even so, not an easy task!

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4 comments on “Character Names, Part 1
  1. Kath says:

    You don’t have to make up your mind about changing the names just yet. Microsoft word has a handy “Replace” and “replace all” button that’s simple to use. Write it with the existing characters and if later you want to change it, you can. When I read it, the names seemed fine. Sometimes our first instincts are the best when it comes to naming people. (or fish)

    • That’s true, for the most part. Unless I’m determined to change the number of syllables, in which case it’s liable to upset the rhythm in places. So yes there’s no huge urgency. Actually, I have several “placeholder” names for things and people who don’t have proper names at all yet. But it would be nice to figure out what everyone is called sooner rather than later! 😀

      • Kath says:

        oh most definitely. what I did with mine was make a list of the names at the beginning of the story with what they look like etc, who they are related to and sorted into groups so I know where they are from. When I need to reference it , I scroll to the beginning and copy/ paste the name so that the spelling is correct. As new characters are introduced, the names are added. at the end of the story I plan to shift that information to the back of it all so that the readers know who is who. The thing that always has me head banging in a book is when the spelling of two or more characters all sound the same, that they may have 2 or three letters different. so you really don’t know who is who until someone makes a movie and you see one has dark hair and the other has light hair and then you go OHHHHHH..

      • Yup, similar sounding names is definitely not a smart move.

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