Similarly named characters...

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  • wcmartell
    replied
    Re: Similarly named characters...

    Confusing.

    I never have two character's names begin with the same letter, and never have two that sound similar (Tommy and Bobby) because they add to confusion. Unless there is some story purpose for similar names which makes it impossible to change them, do what is best.

    Bill

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  • CthulhuRises
    replied
    Re: Similarly named characters...

    That's what I figured, thanks!

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  • nmstevens
    replied
    Re: Similarly named characters...

    Originally posted by CthulhuRises View Post
    Wanted to get people's 2 pennies on this. I'm currently writing a spec where a main character is named Leah and another is named Lena. Do you think this is confusing? I've had producers request name changes (sometimes arbitrarily), but since this is a spec, I'm strictly asking from a logistical standpoint. The characters only have 2-3 scenes together. I like the names for specific reasons, so I'd rather not change one unless I have to.
    Short answer -- yes.

    Unless the reason you're doing this is so that people will get confused about their names -- don't do it. Because they will.

    Tim and Tom, Barry and Harry, Leah and Lena -- it isn't even a question of confusion during scenes when they appear together. It's the confusion that might arise in scenes when they don't appear together (now wait a second, which character is this? Is this Lena -- the one who had the abortion, or Leah, the short one who came from Trieste? Wait a second, now I've got to check back...)

    That's what you never want - to have a reader have to page back to figure out who's who. Much better to give characters distinctively different names so that that particular confusion, at least, can be avoided.

    NMS

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  • CthulhuRises
    started a topic Similarly named characters...

    Similarly named characters...

    Wanted to get people's 2 pennies on this. I'm currently writing a spec where a main character is named Leah and another is named Lena. Do you think this is confusing? I've had producers request name changes (sometimes arbitrarily), but since this is a spec, I'm strictly asking from a logistical standpoint. The characters only have 2-3 scenes together. I like the names for specific reasons, so I'd rather not change one unless I have to.
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