100% Wrong Ways to Choose Fictional Character Names

Today’s tip was taken from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes. Learn how to make your fiction book or novel stand out from the others. Since the world of publishing is so competitive these days, it’s important to do what you can to make your writing stand out from the crowd. Creating awesome character names can make a story fun to read and, if you choose the right fictional character names, not only will a reader be engaged, but they will also remember your plot and keep reading.

Ways to Avoid Picking the Wrong Character Names

One common writing mistake is choosing character names that don’t fit their personality or traits. Make sure each name you choose fits the character, i.e., a seductress should have a name that draws a reader in. Here are more “do not” tips when choosing your characters’ names:

  • Confusing character names. Readers have to remember your characters’ names and be able to tell characters apart from each other.
  • Fictional character names that are hard to pronounce. For example, if you’re writing science fiction, don’t have an alien antagonist with a name consisting of fourteen consonants that could never be pronounced. You’ll lose the readers attention.
  • Too many characters to remember. Keep it simple! Give names only to characters who are important to the story.
  • Names that sound the same. Avoid giving different characters names that start with the same letter unless you have a specific reason for doing so. One way to prevent this from happening is by listing out the letters of the alphabet, and then putting the names of your characters in place, with only one per letter.

A Look at Some of the Best Character Names

Don’t make a rookie mistake by having all of your fictional character names sound alike. In fact, naming your characters should be one of the “fun” parts of the writing process. This is your chance to stretch your creativity and think of a name that represents and embodies your characters’ personalities. Perhaps it would be helpful to take a look at some of the best character names from movies and books. Take for example, Lion King character names which are all fun to say–Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, Scar, Nala, Mufasa, ZaZu, and Rafiki. Fantasy fiction writers could look to Harry Potter’s character names for inspiration–it’s not everyday you meet a character named Moaning Myrtle or Dumbledore. Science fiction writers, take a look at Star Wars character names, such as Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, and Jabba the Hutt. What to all of these examples have in common? They all have interesting names that are memorable.

What are some of the worst character names you have seen or have come up with?

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