The Name Game

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Writer's Little Instruction Book: Craft & Technique by Paul Raymond Martin

Some writers insist they cannot proceed until they have named their lead characters. One option is to borrow the names of people who remind you of your fictional characters, just to get on with the writing.

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At some point, appropriate names may spring from the writing or from serendipity. If you get stuck, you might pair one part of a real-life name with part of another real-life name. Or choose a relevant synonym or antonym. Or pick a name the way you might pick a computer password, by choosing some object from your writing environment. Remember that if a name is difficult to read aloud, it's difficult to read silently.

What's in a name? Certainly not enough to keep you from writing.