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7 responses to “Guest blog: ‘Character names’ by Morgen Bailey

  1. Ian Miller

    January 14, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Morgen, I agree with what you say, but would add you also want to avoid really strange names because there is a danger of irritating the reader. A name starting with X might fit that. Yes, I know there was the famous Xerxes, and Aztec names might readily start with X, but you have to be careful.

     
    • morgenbailey

      January 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

      That’s very true, Ian. I’ve come across names that I’ve struggled to pronounce and therefore remember and the story was spoiled for me because of it. Maybe something like Xanthe would be a compromise but there would be a reason why a writer would choose something unusual. As you say, they should be careful.

       
      • Ian Miller

        January 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

        Just after writing the first comment, it occurred to me you might have started a huge number of novelists with Xavier as a major protagonist. Your article also got me looking back at my previous novels. In “Troubles” I had 22 important protagonists, and six of them had Christian names starting with J. As it happened, they seldom met each other.

         
  2. Pagadan

    January 14, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Good plan. I have had to change a name or two when I saw similarities. and you have to keep a record. And please don’t use the names recycled from classic stories, such as Pyewacket, Merlin, et al–or Warlock as a name!

     
  3. Pagadan

    January 16, 2014 at 5:02 am

    I got at least two favorite names from James H. Schmitz’ stories: Danestarr and Pagadan.

    Japheth is a name that didn’t work well ’cause it ended up in an audiobook (Sugar Time).

    Ferenc and Anfissa (from Hidebound) are two of my own characters’ names that are favorites, but I have lots. (I keep a name notebook full of great names and words that I’ve collected.)

     

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