"Perfect Strangers"
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1 item from 2014

How to name a character – raid your inbox!

7 January 2014 1:33 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

How do writers come up with character names? Some raid their emails, some plunder their school days – and some take inspiration from Psycho. Stephen Poliakoff, Abi Morgan and more talk to David Jays about the hunt for the perfect moniker

"I've never had a character called Jonathan," muses Stephen Poliakoff. "I don't like the name. But I've used Richard twice." The writer of nearly 50 plays and screenplays, including last year's Dancing on the Edge for the BBC, has come up with countless fictional names in the course of a career that has spanned almost five decades – from the disaffected waifs of his early plays to figures rubbing shoulders with 20th-century history in recent work. So how does he do it? "The name comes out of the character," he says. "I often see them, but just don't know what to call them. And if I give them the wrong name, I »

- David Jays

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2002

1 item from 2014

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