Editing: The Importance of Names

I admit to resisting changing names of characters late into the piece, but when two beta readers confuse a character's gender because the male character's name resembles a female name, I thought I'd better do something about it.

Apparently English speakers may read 'Polk' as 'Polly'. The ones that did then totally glossed all the masculine pronouns meaning that they discovered the gender swap pages later.

So, I spent the morning reading my favourite name book. I decided I need to get a Scandinavian dictionary because I came to no inspiring conclusions. Changed 'Polk' to 'Poul' in the end, the Swedish version of 'Paul'. But I don't like it. It looks to me like an abbreviation of 'poultry'.

I try to have different initials for every name to cut down on confusion. All the other Scandinavian names the book came up with had initials already in use. And dammit, I'm only going to change that one name!

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