Writing

Naming Your Characters

Nancy Friedman
5 min readOct 25, 2023

Don’t overlook the story potential in your characters’ names.

Domhnall Gleeson, left, as Caleb Smith and Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman in “Ex Machina.” Source: IMDb

When Ex Machina, a feature film about artificial intelligence written and directed by Alex Garland, was released in 2015, reviewers called it a “futuristic shocker” and a “dazzling sci-fi thriller,” praising its sleek design — the film won the Academy Award for visual effects — and sly philosophical underpinnings. Another…

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Nancy Friedman

Writer, name developer, brand consultant, idea-ist, ex-journalist. @fritinancy on Mastodon, Instagram, Bluesky, Threads, and elsewhere.