Unusual names… again

Camp NaNo, the place for writers wanting an April challenge, is up and running. I went on the forum to see if there was anything of any interest and there was a comment about unusual names for characters.

I love unusual and different names, but sadly many of my readers don’t! I have been quite heavily (but kindly) criticised for using unusual or different names in my novels, but I work really hard at naming my characters. I think really carefully about their age, their background, their social class, their origins, and what I want their names to indicate about them. For example, in Radwinter, although most of the Radwinter family had conventional names, Paul, John, Marcus, their children and grandchildren were a little less traditional, and characters whose family came from the Caribbean had names popular on the island they came from.

The forum comments from Camp Nano included some weird names – but some people are writing fantasy novels, or sci-fi, or steam punk, and have chosen names which would be right for that genre. I do have to say though, many of them seemed in imitations of Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, etc; however, Camp nano is the place to play around with things like that and let the imagination run in whichever way suits the individual. So good luck to them – I just hope their readers aren’t irritated as mine have been!

Radwinter is available on Amazon as an e-book:


To find out more about Camp NaNo:



One Comment

  1. david lewis

    When I was a boy I thought it would have been cool to be called Wolfgang and I would have gone by the nick-name Wolf. I think it was after watching the movie[ I was a teenage werewolf ] Good thing I wasn’t though now I think of it because the name would have scared off the girls and provoked some schoolyard fights. I like Dave better.


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