How to name character and place, so that reader feel connected.

by Archie

Question: I am an Indian, and Indian names and places appear sometimes alien to people in other countries. I want to write horror fiction inspired by witchcraft, occult practiced in India (as heard by me). I really don't understand how I should name my characters and places so that readers get interested. I also want to use pen name for myself- is it a stupid decision?

Answer: It sounds like you want to write these stories for non-Indians, in which case the exotic setting may be advantageous. One of the reasons people read books is to feel like they have experienced some place they have never actually been to.

It's true that Indian names can seem challenging to some readers (some having a lot more syllables and hs than Westerners are used to). But I wouldn't change the names of major cities, since that's where the authenticity comes in. To make the characters' names easier for the reader, you may...

1. Choose names that start with different letters of the alphabet, have different lengths, or that otherwise appear quite different from each other. Names that appear similar can be confusing.

2. Shorter names are easier for Westerners. Could some characters have nicknames?

3. If these are horror stories, consider having a Westerner as a main character -- someone totally unfamiliar with India and its traditions and to whom the environment and village culture may seem strange and threatening. The reader can learn about India and its magical traditions as the main character learns about them, making exposition easier.

There's nothing wrong with using a penname. Many writers do.

Comments for How to name character and place, so that reader feel connected.

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 28, 2015
thank you
by: Archie

Thanks Glen for your support and precious time,you helped me a lot . Your advice gave me clarity about my story.thanks! i don't have enough words to thank you ..

Dec 24, 2015
can i write as much as i want
by: christine

I sometimes write a lot. Is it palatable to write as many [much?] as you please to make the audience or readers appreciate it or do we have limits on certain chapters to write please?

Dec 27, 2015
To Christine
by: Glen

Write what is needed for the reader to fully appreciate the story. Cut everything that is not needed. That is the golden rule.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero