View Full Version : Names vs. titles

02-14-2008, 04:01 AM
Hi All,

One of the characters in my book is a Rev. and a friend of my MC. When I first reference him, I use his title Rev. Thomas Simpson. Do I have to continue calling him Rev. Simpson throughout the novel or when can I start calling him Tom?

Thx for the help!

02-14-2008, 04:09 AM
What name to use in the narration depends on the POV of the narrator. How does the POV character refer to this character? Use that name.

Also, you might want to consider spelling out "Reverend" rather than using the abbreviation.

This topic has come up in the Writing Novels forum. Here a couple of threads I started a while back about similar questions (there might be others):



Hope this helps!

Soccer Mom
02-14-2008, 05:17 AM
I agree. It's all about the POV. For example, in my children's writing, all adults are "Mr. Sneed" "Mrs. Hubble" or just plain old "Stacey's mom." That's how kids see the world. even when one adult addresses another, they never call each other "Jill" and "Bob." Kids don't see adults that way.

True story. My husband used to be a soccer coach and all the kids just called him "Coach." On his birthday, they gave him a cake : HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COACH. What did they call me? Mrs. Coach. What else? :D

02-14-2008, 05:34 AM
If you really want to be correct about it, the title is actually the Reverend Thomas Simpson ("reverend" being an adjective and all).

However, most people in the US at least use "Reverend" as an honorific similar to "Mr." or "Ms." or "Father" or "Sister".

So, yeah, "Reverend Thomas Simpson" would be fine, as would "Reverend Simpson" or "Simpson" or "Thomas" or "Tom" or "Mr. Simpson" or "the Reverend" or "Pastor Simpson" or "Preacher Simpson".

If your publisher has a house rule against "Reverend" without the definite article, the copyeditors will change it.