On another intriguing installment of the Scripnotes Podcast, John and Craig analyze listener scenes and answer their questions while trying to provide advice. One listener question that caught my attention was: How do we introduce character names without being too obvious? A very good question, as it’s one that I’ve never even considered, but is absolutely noticebale if done the wrong way. Craig states that one of the worst ways you can introduce character names is by having the characters refer to one another by name within dialogue when talking to each other. It’s unrealistic, as most people don’t often say things like, “Oh, hey John, how’s your day going?”. However, things as simple as “Hi, my name is George.” or “What’s your name?” can work and even be effective, if the context of the plot allows it and it would make sense for the situation. Craig also goes on to say that one of the most natural ways to learn of a character’s name is through characters that are not the character in question; “What’s with Virginia today?” is the example Craig provided. Lastly, Craig says that he feels that any approach almost always feels artificial, so he often times even chooses not to write or ever introduce a character’s name, simply to avoid the awkward introduction. Essentially, introducing character names is very tricky to make realistic and not feel forced. It’s something that I’m going to have to watch myself on to make sure I make it seem as natural as possible.

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