The Ninety Day Novel ® The Classic Join Tutor Retreats Reviews Book A Chat Blog Contact Login

How To Write A Novel

You will find advice here to help you on your writing journey. Use the search bar or browse through the categories to get a taste of the kind of insights and shortcuts we use to fast track our writers. 
Novel Writing Tips The Hero Three Wise Drafts

The Game of the Name

May 19, 2017

I'd like you to have a think about your characters' names.

We name them for verisimilitude; to buy the confidence of the reader. But we sometimes sacrifice that very same thing. Once upon a time I began to read a novel with the main characters 'Alison' and 'Phil'. I just couldn't get it up for them in a manner of speaking. 

I think it's worth considering them with as much care as a mother and father might. Our names are the repository or our parent's aspirations in some ways. Naming my children was like shopping for the life I thought they might have. I named my daughter with a play on words, using French, to suggest that she would be able to give herself all she needed in life. I was thinking in the manner of the painter Duchamp's pseudonym Rose Sélavy, perhaps. (Eros c'est la vie.) Not that that's what I called her.

One of my favourite tales from childhood is the Grimms' tale 'Rumplestiltskin.' The miller's daughter must sacrifice her first born child if she cannot...

Read on...

Get on the list

Get your Sunday paper delivered to your door! The weekly blog will be emailed to you on a Sunday.