Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 87: ‘Episode IV’

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 87: ‘Episode IV’ June 24, 2016

Originally posted July 28, 2006.

Read this entire series, for free, via the convenient Left Behind Index. This post is also part of the ebook collection The Anti-Christ Handbook: Volume 1, available on Amazon for just $2.99. Volume 2 of The Anti-Christ Handbook, completing all the posts on the first Left Behind book, is also now available.


Left Behind, pg. 221

People seemed reluctant to leave, even after Bruce closed in prayer. Many stayed to get acquainted, and it became obvious that a new congregation had begun. The name of the church was more appropriate than ever. New Hope.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

A Cautionary Note to Young Writers

As you select names for your characters, for the businesses where they work, and for the town or city in which your story is set, you may decide that these names should be not only apt, but Meaningful.

Good for you. Meaningful Names can reinforce character and theme. They can be useful, beautiful things.

But, unless your name is John Bunyan, some subtlety is required. Trust your readers.

Once you’ve carefully chosen a Meaningful Name, you may begin to worry that readers will miss it. Such worry can lead you to think you need to underscore and italicize your Meaningful Name to make sure that readers recognize and appreciate it. No good can come of this. Give in to such worries and soon you’ll be writing things like:

Shepherd thought of her name, Grace, and it seemed more appropriate than ever. She had come into his life unbidden and undeserved …

Or like this:

Jackson stood by the river that bore his family name and listened to the distant roaring of the waterfall. Jackson Falls, he thought, bitterly. And this name, the name of the falls and of the town and, yes, dear reader, of this short story and this collection of short stories, seemed to him more appropriate than ever …

Or like this:

People seemed reluctant to leave, even after Bruce closed in prayer. Many stayed to get acquainted, and it became obvious that a new congregation had begun. The name of the church was more appropriate than ever. New Hope.

Don’t do this. Trust yourself, trust your readers, and don’t beat them over the head with your Meaningful Names.

RayfordWars

Feel free, in comments below, to offer more examples — real or imaginary — of reader abuse through the unsubtle use of Meaningful Names.

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