Lessons learnt today…


…about the writing of sequels.

When naming a minor character in a book, don’t give him a long and complicated name on the assumption we’ll never see him again anyway.

Because, you know, he might turn out to be a major player in the sequel and thefore need his name mentioned on a regular basis…

From now on, the only people getting long and complicated names are those earmarked for death.

(yes, I know. It’s occurred to me the dead can come back unexpectedly, but we’ll cross that bridge when it presents itself)


  1. “From now on, the only people getting long and complicated names are those earmarked for death.”, said Aliette de Bodard de la Jacopière. 🙂

  2. Oh my.

    I think I’ve commented on this before, but Scott Card likely didn’t think all those years ago when he first wrote Ender’s Game that Peter down on earth, and Petra up at the battle school would ever meet years later in story time and have a conversation, much less spend many scenes speaking one on one throughout a novel (among other spoilers). Peter Petra Peter Petra Peter Petra. Sigh!

  3. Hi Aliette 🙂
    That was a fun post!
    Will the long-named characters earmarked for death also wear a red shirt?
    All the best,

  4. Patrice: obviously, as the author I get to be excluded from that part…
    Guerry: yeah, those parts of the book were a headache to read….
    RKCharron: Yeah, red shirts will make it really easy 😉

  5. Now every time I read something of yours, I’ll be expecting everyone with a name longer than 2 syllables to drop dead before the end of the book. 😉

  6. Hum, the trouble is that this would include most of my cast 😉

  7. Don’t give long, complicated names EVER. And especially don’t give unpronounceable names (those are generally the ones with no vowels) 😉

  8. Ha, I wish–that would unfortunately eliminate most of the Aztec names I have to deal with, since none of them are 100% pronounceable…

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