Writing Misconceptions – Character Names

1. Common names are boring.

A lot of writers refrain from using any common sounding names as they want to make the story seem more exciting. Baring in mind the setting of your story, I think that common sounding names are okay to use. If you think about all the people you know and their names, there are probably people with the same name. Don’t be afraid to use common names because really, it adds some a realness to your story. If you’re writing for a different time era, you can research the names which people had at that time; if it’s a story with a different world and you want completely different names then feel free to go wild.

2. Abstract names are unrealistic.

This is kind of a counter to my last point, but I had to talk about both ends of the spectrum. If a name you want to call one of your characters seems strange in comparison to the others, just ask yourself could it happen in real life? Again, if you think about the people you know, there must be some with unique names. Really, a group of people generally seem to have a wide variety of names, so I think as long as you keep some variation, then it’s still realistic.

3. Character names are incredibly important to your story

This point should be taken with a pinch of salt, I’m not going to lie and say character names don’t matter at all because they do, but the point I’m trying to make here is not to obsess over them. I always spend too much time thinking about what I want to name my characters and it just wastes valuable writing time really. Remember, you can always change their name later if you don’t like it anymore, but names are usually just a miniscule part of the story; so don’t let it stop you from starting to write and just write.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Stella says:

    I think my main point would be: no one really cares what your character name MEANS. Our name meanings don’t match up with our personalities.

  2. Sarah says:

    I’ve quite often looked at the meanings of my characters’ names online well after I’ve settld on them(I get bored easily) and it’s funny to see how different the name’s symbolic meaning is compared to a character’s personality, or really that of a real life person.
    I think maybe what can potentially say a lot more about a character is whether they go by a full name or a nickname. Their actual name itself? Not so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *