What’s in a name

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What's in a Name? - How to name your books, places and characters, and why it's important.

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What’s in a name

  1. 1. What’s in a Name? by Lorna & Larry CollinsNaming placesNaming your charactersNaming your book
  2. 2. Why do names matter?• Place names can tell you something about their location and the nature of their surroundings• Character names can give a clue to their backgrounds and personalities• Book names should intrigue and inform your readers
  3. 3. Naming Places• Place names must match the era• Place names must match the location• Place names should tell the reader something about that place in relation to the world/setting in which it resides
  4. 4. Place Name Ideas• Literal or Ironic• Real or fictitious• Ancient or modern• Consistent with the language of the place• Be creative – only if consistent with the world or location
  5. 5. Populations of Places• Consistent with time periods• Consistent with location• Consistent within themselves• Creatures must meet readers’ expectations• Populations must react in a realistic manner with their environment
  6. 6. Characters• McGuffins• Creatures, location, inanimate objects considered as characters if they influence the story• Names must be consistent with their time, location, nature, ethnic and religious background
  7. 7. Where do you get ideas?• High school yearbook• Friends• Family• Phone book• Overhearing other names• Combine them differently• Don’t use similar names in the same story• Mythology
  8. 8. Book Titles• Pique interest• No more than four words• One is preferred• Alliteration• Ironic• Pose a question
  9. 9. Ideas• Literary or biblical references• Multi-meaning words/phrases• Name of a character or object• Key phrase in the book• Familiar lines - poem
  10. 10. What’s in a Name?• Choose well, they’ll be around for a long time• Pick names you can pronounce• You will be identified with them, so make sure you like them• Once the names are chosen, get on with the writing!

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