Thinking of the reader: a post for writers generally

I had an email from someone who enjoyed Heart of the Mirage this week. [Thanks A.B.] However, he pointed something out that I had not realised before.

He is dyslexic and had problems because quite a few of my proper nouns started with the letter ‘S’, which gave him a problem (Solad, Shiver Barrens, Stalwarts etc.). I am usually pretty careful about naming people with names that can be muddled up, e.g. it’s not a good idea to use both Eric and Elric, or both Selena and Serena in the same story, but I had not realised that just having the same beginning letter for many unfamiliar names can cause a problem. in fact, I had not realised that in this trilogy at least I seem to have developed a passion for the letter ‘S’!

I am going to be much more careful about this in the future.


Thinking of the reader: a post for writers generally — 4 Comments

  1. Doesn’t bother *me* (and I seem to be in the same boat, anyway, with the Worldweavers books with Thea, Terry, Tess, and now Tina… [grin])

    But what I really wanted to say is, The Books Are Here (with all their S’s!) and I look forward to reading them immensely! Thank you!

  2. Someone pointed out to me that in my ongoing five-year-old WIP I had far too many names starting with “M”. Indeed, I did. What’s more, when I investigated more closely, I recognised that I had a real resistance to inventing names that started with vowels. How weird’s that? So now I keep an alphabetical list of names beside me and if I need to invent a new one I check for an appropriate underused initial letter and use that. A bit abitrary, but at least I have fewer M names.

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