Proper nouns. What are they and why are they important in novels?

I do love a good proper noun. They can really anchor you in a particular time and place. 🎯

I don’t mean a ‘right good’ noun.

I mean the kind of noun, identified by an initial capital, denoting a particular person, place or thing.

📅The novel I’m currently editing makes good use of proper nouns. It’s set in England in the 80s and you get a real feel for the time and culture by proper nouns such as:


David Frost

Sony Walkman

Mills and Boon


🛣️And the geography of central England comes into focus with:

Pool Meadow, Cheylesmore and Broadgate in Coventry

Bede Park, Narborough Road and De Montfort Hall in Leicester

The A46, M1 and M69; Leicester Forest East and Toddington Services.

I have to be on the lookout for proper nouns like these throughout the edit. As we’re dealing with real companies, people and places, I have to ensure they’ve been styled, spelt and written consistently throughout the text.

🔎Alongside being eagle-eyed, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to ensure this is the case. Edibuddies will be thinking of a certain Mr Beverley, and they’d be right. #Macros

❓Why don’t you share a flavour of the book you’re reading by listing some of its proper nouns?

Published by clairecherryedits Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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