Name Theory: Middle Names

In honor of Middle Name Pride Day I thought I should write a quick post about character’s middle names.

Do you give your characters middle names? I don’t.

I know many writers like to “know everything” about their characters. I admit knowing a lot about your characters can help you know their motivation and how they will act in various situations, but I don’t believe you need to “know everything”.

Give your character some flex room to move and grow, let him or her be a bit of a mystery to you so you can discover details along the way.

Middle names are certainly one of those details that can be discovered through the writing. Let your character tell you if their middle name is important to their story.

So far only one of my characters has had a middle name. It was never mentioned in the story because the character was teased about it and she never liked mentioning it. It is part of the reason why she went by a nickname instead of her full name, but it was a detail that wasn’t necessary for the story.

On Middle Name Pride Day, however, she may have been pressed by her bestie to reveal that her first and middle names are Calliope Jane but that you should never call her Calamity Jane (not that her friend would have understood the reference).


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