Today’s Writing Tip

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If your book is loaded with characters, do your readers a favor by providing a dramatis personae, a fancy Latin term for a list of who and what the players are which you provide in the beginning of the story; a cast of characters, if you will.

Not all readers have a steel-trap memory that can keep track of too many people. This is another thing that can throw a reader out of a story, wondering or trying to remember who someone is. For ebooks, make sure this list is included in your table of contents so readers can get back to it easily for reference.

4 thoughts on “Today’s Writing Tip

  1. May I be so bold as to also suggest that names of characters and places should be easy to differentiate? I, for one, read fast, but if a story is about TImmy, Tommy and Tammy going to Tummy Town, I have to slow down a lot…. I have limited time to indulge in reading, so any fiction that requires going slow will likely be pushes aside.

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      • When I began writing fiction, I made a point not to even have characters’ names begin with the same letter…. my husband loves Tolkein, and I love the moves, but have difficulty with the books. A large part of my problem is the fact that so many place names and character names a close…. Alas, I can’t rattle off an example, though I suspect my husband or any true Tolkein enthusiast could.

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      • I try to do the same thing and have changed a character’s name when I inadvertently gave them one too similar to others in the story. For example, Colonel Jenkins’s wife in “A Dark of Endless Days” was originally named Cora but that was a little close to Creena, so I changed it to Edith. It’s something that I point out in reviews as confusing, too.

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