Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Emotional Connections: Character Names and Psychologically Empowered Backstory - a Two Week Intensive

Kendrick Lamar said, "If I'm gonna tell a real story, I'm gonna start with a name."  Twenty-first century audiences demand deep, emotional connections with characters. Authors have learned how to use writing techniques to  foster these emotional connections, but authors who randomly name their characters are missing a prime opportunity to create more emotion, more impact, and more resonance in their stories.  

In this two-week course, an English professor will share with you how careful selection of your character names will help you to connect with your characters in a more intimate way. You'll develop a process of using character traits, backstory, and attributes to carefully select character names for your next project so that you don't have to resort to posting calls on Facebook to ask readers to name your characters.  

You’ll develop a character for a potential project, name the character, and develop the backstory of the character. We’ll also talk about the recent phenomenon of #MyNameIs and explore how people who have explained their names in these posts can help add layers of meaning to your character. Finally, we’ll talk about last names and how to create pleasant and/or meaningful combinations of first, middle and last names for your character.  

What You'll Learn:  

  • How names shape character psychology 
  • How names impact character backstory 
  • How diverse naming practices form character. 
  • How name combinations create a pleasing cadence and/or an annoying cadence and when to use what in your stories.  

Who should take this course:  

  • Anyone who wants to learn more about the language of names 
  • Writers of any level who are looking to deepen the language in their stories by thinking more carefully about names.  
  • Expectant parents/relatives 

Teacher

Piper Huguley

Piper G Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a three-book series of historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Book #1 in the series, A Virtuous Ruby, has won Best Historical in the Swirl Awards. Book #3 in the series, A Treasure of Gold, was named by Romance Novels in Color as a Best Book, received 4 ½ stars from RT Magazine, and won an Emma Award for best historical romance.

Huguley is also the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son. Her biographical historical novel about Ann Lowe, the Black fashion designer who created Jacki Kennedy’s wedding gown, will be released from William Morrow in Winter 2022.

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