Writing peeves

You know what peeves me? Dialogue between two characters where they address each other by name.  Especially if it happens more than once.  I mean things like this:

“But Betty, you can’t be serious about that!”

“I am, Charles.  Very serious.”

I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m alone in a room with someone, I know perfectly well who I’m talking to and I don’t need to tell the reader their name.  Even if I’m in a room with multiple people, I don’t need to use someone’s name unless (maybe) I’m trying to get their attention.  If we’re already in conversation, we know each other’s names.

Extra peeve points to writers who do this solely to tell the reader what the first-person narrator’s name is. While it can work (as above, if someone’s trying to get their attention), often it’s done clumsily.

Overusing names is most common among therapists, salesmen, and politicians, and should be stamped out in fiction unless a character belongs to one of those professions.

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