Choosing the best name for your character

Choosing the best name for your character

writers 1Ardain Isma

Many writers overlook the importance of choosing names that must be easy for their readers to remember. They sometimes choose names that do not correspond with the milieu they describe. For instance, if you create a world suitable for a Spanish society, your characters’ names must reflect that. In one of my stories, I name a Haitian girl Régine (with e-acute accent) as opposed to Regine (without an accent.) Why? Because most Haitians bear French names, and Régine fits right in. This choice plays two strategic roles: It holds the character’s name as a Francophone girl, and it makes it easier for my readers to get familiar with. Regine is also Anglophone. In doing so, the story flows much better. So, think of it next time you sit down to choose your characters’ names.

Note: Ardain Isma is a novelist and editing manager at CSMS Magazine . He heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies. He also teaches Introduction to Research Studies at Embry Riddle University. To see his books, click here.

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