The Wayfarer (mnfaure) wrote,
The Wayfarer

Allow me to pet a peeve in public

OK, this isn’t really a pet peeve, but I like that title. :P

Rather than voicing a complaint, I’m pleading with writers to be a little more kind to their readers. When naming characters, concepts, and places in your world, take into consideration that the reader will never know your fictional dreamscape as well as you do, and they haven’t had the luxury of months or years to get to know your characters. While you may never confuse Ernan and Erwan,* your readers just might. 

I’m finishing up the third book in a trilogy, and the author’s naming tic has got me rolling my eyes every 20 pages or so. Why? Because 98% of the walk-ons have names beginning with the letter A. The MC’s name also begins with an A, as do the names of several important secondary characters.  Here’s a sampling: Aeditus; Aengus;** Ageric; Ailin; Aléa aka Kailiana (not to be confused with Kaidan, Kaitlin, or Kiaran, which also appear); Alembert; Almar; Alvaro; Amine aka Aislinn; Anali; Ashkin; Asley; Avendal, and The Arpenteur (surveyor) ; not to mention last names (Abbac, Al’Daman, Al’Roeg) and the things and places whose names begin with A (Ahriman [a type of dark force]; Alragan [a battle cry]; a town I can’t recall the name of, and a horse). And these are just examples I gleaned casually flipping through the third book of the trilogy. I know there were many other A-something-or-other instances in the first two books.

So pretty, pretty please--with a cherry on top, even--keep an index of your names and spread the wealth between all 26 glorious letters of the alphabet (assuming that’s the number of letters in your world’s alphabet).

*Two names taken from the A-syndrome trilogy. While I would never confuse the characters themselves, the one-letter change in the names is enough to make me pause every time the narrative switches setting/situation and I have to remind myself which is the warrior and which the druid.

**Italics denote that the name/character appeared only once or twice
Tags: books, ranting

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