Column D: The Name Game – Why Are Character Names Important?

character-namesI dig this article because too few writer’s appreciate the power a character’s name can hold.

Beyond identification, the name can work to assist the reader/viewer in both connecting and understanding the character subconsciously before really knowing the character.   Great character names program thoughts in your head about them before ever knowing them.  Hannibal Lecter.  Captain Jack Sparrow.  Darth Vader.  Notice with each how their names kindle thoughts of words defining them based on either similar sounding words like Cannibal to Hannibal and Dark to Darth.  Or mixing messages about the personality: Captain showing strength leading into Jack which comes across as common ending with Sparrow which evokes more “flighty and aloof” thoughts.

Read this article for it’s own insight on this often overlooked part of writing.

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