How Important Are Your Characters Names?
Published on July 1, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 1079

Choosing names for your characters is not always easy.  The sound of a name adds tone and dimension to your characters, thus making it important enough for you to do your research. 

Origin - Check websites and search for the origin of the name.  You do not want to place a McDuff sir name (Scottish origin) in England, unless he’s supposed to be there.

Social Class – Make sure the name matches the social class of your character.  You don’t name your English duke, Jack since it’s a working class name.

Era Appropriate – Check the year your name became popular so you don’t have the female name Brook in Regency England.

Popular Linked Names – You don’t want to name your hero Jack and your heroine Jill, unless you are doing so intentionally.

Same Letter – Try not to make too many characters names begin with the same letter.  This can become confusing for the reader.

Pronunciation – Try not to make the names too difficult to pronounce.  No one will wish to discuss your book if they can’t pronounce the characters names.

You want your characters names to match their personalities and actions, as well as making the names ring true for your readers.

Of course, I don’t always practice the above rules.  In the novel I’m currently working on, The Wallflower’s Godmother, I have a list of unsuitable marriage candidates, and I named them: The Marquis of Stranded, the Marquis of Byle, the Earl of Waitilater, the Earl of Ifton, and the Count of Nevermore.  These characters never play a role in the story, so I decided to have some fun with their names.  If you find yourself stuck and can’t think of a name, I would recommend a baby name book as a starting point.

If you write Regency, I suggest the fun link below for ideas.