Posted in Writing Tips

Your Fancy Names Are Not Welcome Here

name-300x225One of the first things that turn me off from a book are names. I hate when I have to stop, pause, and try and sound out a name in my head. And it doesn’t get easier. I spend the entire novel pausing every time that name comes up, trying to figure out how the heck to pronounce it.

God forbid it be your main character and you’re writing in third person. That would be enough for me to set the book down all together.

Word to the wise: Don’t give your characters outrageous names no one can pronounce. You might think it makes that character edgy or unique or whatever, but please give them a nose piercing or green hair if you must make them original. Just give me a name I don’t have to spend twenty seconds stumbling over twice every paragraph.

Do difficult names bother you in novels?



Hello! My name is Katie and I like to write. If I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, running, playing with my dogs, or eating peanut butter ;)

One thought on “Your Fancy Names Are Not Welcome Here

  1. I think it depends on the the world the book is set in. If you’re in a completely fictional world, it’s cheating to have Christian names like Luke, John, Michael, Mary, etc because the linguistic development of the world wouldn’t be the same if there was no Christianity/Romans/Greeks/Mesopotamians to begin with. That’s why I’m fine with names I can’t pronounce with in series like A Song of Ice and Fire because, hey, there’s a legitimate excuse for it.
    Now, there’s nothing to excuse this name I used in a modern vampire roleplay: Onexobofosite.
    Yeah, that was bad.


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