Occasional thoughts about writing
October 5, 2010
Character names shouldn't be a burden to the writer or the reader. Some names -- Chastity, Faith, and Christian come to mind -- carry a great deal of baggage with them. It's hard not to be overly ironic or completely lacking in subtlety when you use them. I avoid them. I also try to help the reader as much as I can with my names. Short story writers need to pay special attention to names because they have so little time to distinguish one character from another. For that reason, I also avoid names that sound similar. I rarely use names with the same first letter in a story. A short story with both a Bruce and a Brian isn't helpful in creating characters that stand apart.