Character names

by Sierra Hetzel
(Harrison, Ohio)

Question: I used a name of a character in my book, that happens to be one of my main characters. I searched on the web and found that someone used the same name before, and in a book I never want to be affiliated with! Also I found that someone used the same title for their book as me, and again I don't want to be affiliated with them. The weird thing is that both of us have similar names! Help!­čśë­čś»


Answer: I'm pretty sure you can guess the solution to this problem. Choose different names. You don't want to spread confusion in the marketplace by releasing a book that will be mistaken for another.

It's easy to rename a character, even if you feel you've grown attached to a current name. Treat finding a new name as an opportunity to take the character to a new level.

As for titles, publishers often have the last word on a title anyway, so you just need a working title for now.

As for your name, if it is the same as a bestselling author who writes in the same genre, your publisher might suggest you use a pseudonym. After all, you want readers to buy your book for it's own merits, not because they thought it was written by someone else.

Best of luck.

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