Are the names of my characters too similar? Is it bad that some have the same initials and others rhyme?

Do the names detract from the story?

Some people, who like my writing generally, have said they think my main characters should have less similar names. Billy and Bethan both begin with B, whilst Bethan rhymes with Megan.  Some say they find this confusing, others just find it irritating. I am surprised at this criticism. Billy and Bethan are brother and sister. Megan is their cousin. Many people give their children the same initials: James and John, Jack and Jill, Bill and Ben, Ronnie and Reggie. Rhymes are also quite popular: Diane and Suzanne, Amy and Jamie, Jenny and Penny.

What do people like about these names?

At least some people like the names I have chosen. They are authentically Welsh. I know Billy is the English form, but in the book he says he was Gwilym before he went away. A few people have commented that they were glad I avoided choosing anything that non-Welsh-speaking  people would find hard to pronounce.

I can’t change the names now!

You may wonder why I am asking now. Surely, it’s too late. I have published the book. For details, go to  this link. The same main characters will be in the sequels, won’t they? Yes. I am publishing the first sequel, The King’s Justice, on Createspace and Kindle soon. Most of the characters are the same as in Book I. But I might choose more carefully for the other characters in the third book in the trilogy. A lot of new characters will appear in that as well as several from the first and second books. And then, I intend to write more books. I will have to think what to call my new characters. Therefore, I will value your opinions. It would be a shame to spoil a good story by choosing the wrong names for the characters.

The front and back covers of Highwaypersons, Debts and Duties.
The front and back covers of Highwaypersons, Debts and Duties.

 

 

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