Example: Tom and Ted. Mary and Marion.
Don’t confuse your readers. Make it easy for your readers to tell your characters apart.
Can you describe your characters? If someone asked you today to shop for your character, buy them clothing, something for the house, and their favorite dinner, could you?
How well do you know your characters?
What would they never do, and what would they always do?
If you gave your character a million dollars how would they spend the money?
If you took away everything they had, what would be their reaction?
If you put your character in flip-flops in a formal setting, how would they react?
Fill out charts that describe your characters in-depth. How they look, where they were raised, their likes and dislikes. Describe them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Know your characters goals, motivations, and conflicts. What drives them? What makes them act the way they do? What secrets lurk in their brains?
Pull up a chair and talk with them. Get to know them as if they were real.
I’ve gone shopping and caught myself looking at clothing thinking how cute one of my characters would look in an outfit. The more real your characters are to you, the more real they become to your reader.