Saturday, September 7, 2013

But my character told me his name was X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz

Dear Editor,
I know you said character names should be chosen that the reader can relate to, but my hero woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me his name was X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz.

Dear Author,
I’m sorry, but X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz is going to make your reader give up, or question my sanity in not getting you to change his name. Or possibly both. Please ask him to tell you a nice short, easily pronounced nickname he’d like to be called in the story.

Dear Editor,
X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz hates nicknames and X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz isn’t all that hard to pronounce. My readers are intelligent people who’ll cope just fine with his name. By the way, I’ve decided to change the heroine’s name from Cherry Blossom, to PalePinkBudsofSummerCherryBlossom. Isn’t that a pretty name?

Dear Author,
Perhaps I haven’t explained myself clearly enough as yet. Readers want to dive into your story and read it. They want to share the adventures of the characters, fully immersed in their lives, lost in the fantasy and romance of your book. Really, dear author, you don’t want them stopping every few sentences to think, “What’s his name again? Why didn’t she just call him X?” or even worse, “What was the author drinking when she named these characters?” Your main aim is to draw the reader into your world and keep them there fully engrossed in the story until they hit the final line of your book.
How about we introduce your characters as X’qwertyuiopl’hgfdsazxz and PalePinkBudsofSummerCherryBlossom and just call them X and Cherry after that?

Helen Woodall
Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.


anny cook said...

*Snicker* Been down that road...

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Ah, but some of your character names are truly unique.