Rule #10 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever


I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #10

10: Don’t be cute. In [your psycho-killer novel], your [psycho-killer] should not be named Si Coe.

Now, let’s be real.  This is not an all-encompassing rule.  Simon Bar Sinister is a ROCKIN’ name, don’t you think?  And Dudley Do Right?  Classic!


But you need to be careful with your genre. Bend the rules where it works only.  If you are writing a serious horror, you don’t want people giggling about the name.  Keep the comedy where the comedy belongs.

Click to Tweet: Bend the rules very carefully on this one: Rule #10 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever via @jennifermeaton



10 responses to “Rule #10 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever

  1. I kind of liked Si Coe, especially if he changed his name to that or if that’s his ‘calling card’. The name could definitely be played in the right way, even in a serious thriller.

    but you’re right for the most part. Sometimes I read names and they fit the characters so darn well, like Gray Mathews in CRUX or the famous Harry Potter. They just fit. Others, not so much.

  2. On names, it also bothers me when fantasy writers give their characters long, mellifluous names, but then call them by a shorter, modern nick-name all the way through. For example, when George Martin calls Danaerys, Dani. Ugh. It doesn’t make your characters any more accessible, and it totally breaks the mood!

    • Really? Cause I like this. Long names are hard for me to remember – but it does not make sense for other worlds to have the same names we do. Shortening them leaves the feel of the fantasy name without it bro g so confusing to simpletons like me. 🙂

  3. I have not read each of these as you offer them, but I think i may circle back to see what you have. I am editing my YA mystery right now and made some name changes because my critique partner/wife rightly pointed out the main characters name was too old to elicit the readers interest.

  4. This looks like a fun and helpful series.

    But in the case of rule number 10, I think it’s more of a personal preference. Naming a killer Si Coe might appeal to someone with the right sense of humor.

    By the way, thanks for following. Looking forward to checking out more of your posts.