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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.

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

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  • 1. What’s in a Name? by Lorna & Larry CollinsNaming placesNaming your charactersNaming your book
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Book Titles• Pique interest• No more than four words• One is preferred• Alliteration• Ironic• Pose a question
  • 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. 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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