A friend has asked me to read through a chapter of his story and give my opinion.
Lets say he has two main characters Mr John de Havilland and Mrs Sally de Havilland.
I've noticed that the author sometimes uses the full name, Mr John de Havilland; Other times he uses the short form, John and other times uses a descriptive word instead of the name, i.e the plumber.
Whilst reading the story, I often found it difficult to work out 'who said what' (especially when I was having to distinguish between Mr de Havilland / Mrs de Havilland).
I am going to suggest that he pick one name for each of the characters and stick to it. To keep using various pronouns/roles to refer to the character, but decide on the one word to use for their name. So, if the name is to be used in the narrative, nearly always to choose "John" instead of varying between "John", "Mr de Havilland" and "Mr John de Havilland".
I'm interested to hear if that is a sensible criticism.
How much consistency/ variation should there be in specifiying character names?
Is it typical to add variation to the words used for a character's name to keep it spicy or is consistency often considered the prioritised goal?