Book Hippo

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What's In A Name? Your Character Traits

When writing fiction, it is important to choose names well. All writers are taught not to make two names alike, (unless it's part of the story). The name must fit the character and sound well when read out loud. A character named, John Smith, say, would have to at some point in the story, explain why that is his name. This is so the reader doesn't get frustrated with the cliche moniker. It would have to be a plot point. I fully believe that a character's name has to be part of the story, not just tacked on because you don't want to think of anything better.
Now, in Beggar Charlie, I chose an everyday English name, Charlie. Not Charles, which, to me, denotes a grown man. Hickory Dick was another name. Dick, plain English again to ground them in their English character, two boys lost in China, where not even their names belong. Tang, of course, was the Chinese boy who helps them. But any story or novel a writer begins must start with him/her naming his/her characters. Think of your story and you will get the name.

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