characters, writing

What’s in a (character’s) name?

Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most famous characters of all time – but would she have had the same impact on the world of fiction (and film) if she didn’t have her fabulous name? Author Margaret Mitchell almost called her heroine Pansy – and let’s face it, Pansy O’Hara just does NOT have the same ring to it. So why are character names so important?


I have always been big on the importance of good names. I love discussing and dissecting them, and nothing makes me happier than hearing of a beautiful baby name. (Likewise, nothing makes me more annoyed than hearing a name I don’t like).

The same goes for character names. I cannot start a story until I have the perfect name for each of my characters. Names should be memorable and true to the time period that the story is set in. I instantly can tell whether or not the author has researched name popularity by what she names her characters – it’s pretty obvious that hasn’t been done when a contemporary romance has popular names from the 1960s in it.

So what about the books you read?

Image via Wikipedia