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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2017 > Fantastic realms: What’s in a name?

Fantastic realms: What’s in a name?

Finding plausible names for your characters and settings can be tricky for fantasy and science fiction authors, but Alex Davis helps you get it on track

There’s no doubt that getting your names right is important for any kind of story – literary, western, romance, comedy – we’ve all been there, settling for any old thing at first before getting just the right moniker later on. The characters in any story can be defined by their names, especially in the mind of the author, and there is some sort of intangible quality that reassures us those names are right for the people inhabiting the story. On top of that, a great character name can help to make something truly iconic – literary history is riddled with names that are immediately recognisable. Would Harry Potter, Bridget Jones, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein or Tarzan have enjoyed the same success with a different name? It’s hard to know, but sometimes that honorific can just help things stick.

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About Writing Magazine

• STAR INTERVIEW WITH LEE CHILD, the multi-million selling creator of the Jack Reacher novels • Writing wisdom from the great Greek thinkers – rules that have stood the test of time • How to make your historical fiction stand out, and top tips on the genre from author Nicola Cornick • Study the short story masters to learn the art of the unreliable narrator • The magazine sleuth - how every magazine tells you exactly what its editor needs

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