Repetitive Names Part 2: Twinning It

We’ve all seen the stories of teens who were separated at birth or an extremely young age and meet up later in life. How can us 90s kids ever forget “The Parent Trap” or “Sister Sister”?  

Some young authors have taken the meeting up of twins to a new extreme. Not only do they look alike, but they have the same names too! Now, I can understand if it’s two girls with the name Emily or Ashley. Or even two guys named Chris, Mat, Mike, etc. But these authors are having twins with insane names Ambrosio, Serafina, Pheonix, ect meet up. 

One author had two sets of twins. Two boys named Antonio and two girls named Roma. Antonio…eh, it’s getting more common. But Roma? According to polls it’s very uncommon in the US. 

I mean, how much of a concidence is it that not only will two twins be separated at birth AND not only have the same name, but both have an extremely common name? 

Not to mention that it’s just plain old confusing! Two twins with the same name? The only way I could imagine narrating this story is with one twin having first person POV and then using a different name for the other one. 

So, here’s how to win with long lost twins. Just use similar names (I have an identical Maya and Maxi in one of my stories). It’s already interesting enough that they met up. It doesn’t pay to confuse the reader. 

Repetitive Names in Writing Part 1

My mind has been blank for the past few weeks trying to think of new posts. So, here’s one. 

Repeating names: I’ve seen them all the time. You know, when an author has a main character named Joey but there is also another Joey somewhere in the book. One of the kids I’m editing for now is doing this in her book, with many characters having the same name, such as the main character’s little brother, and her other love interest. 

So, how do we make it so when you mention Joey making a kissy face, you know the difference between a lover and little brother? Simple: do it tastefully. 

There are easy ways to tell characters apart. Ex. Blue-eyed Joey stomped is feet. Green-eyed Joey just stood there. Including a feature of appearance is one way. John Green in his novel An Abundance of Katherines had two Collins in his book, the main character and a side character who was referred to as TOC or “The Other Collin”. 

Of course, in my opinion, the best way to avoid using repeated names is to basically, have characters with different names. But what fun is a story without a little confusion mixed into it?