What’s in a Name?

Published September 24, 2011 by Iniysa

Naming the characters in my Senkrad novels has been one of the toughest things so far in writing. How do I find that perfect name? It has to not only fit, but describe the people I am creating. (Because you don’t describe your characters, they describe themselves, as they take on lives of their own; they have no problem telling you the name you chose is wrong.)

I started my naming adventure with a baby book. Simple, to the point, here is thousands of names, where the name is from and what it means in that culture. Great, helpful unless you’re my characters.  As my story grows, personality’s change; what was once the perfect name is now completely wrong. Do I keep them to the end, then change them risking calling them the wrong name later, because it’s the name I’ve been writing for years and years? Do I randomly choose a name off my Facebook page and forget it? Or do I keep the names I have because that’s the names I will remember. (And I am horrible at remembering names, ask my best friend!)

Names are very important, they are what everyone will remember, even if they never read your book. If I say Edward Cullen to you or Harry Potter (to name two extremely popular characters.) even if you have never touched Twilight or The Sorcerer’s Stone, you know.

So how do you choose your names? Do you keep them or change them?

3 comments on “What’s in a Name?

  • Oh I have the worst time with names. My editor just asked me “Is it Razvy or Ravzy?” then my BFF was like, “what’s up with changing back and forth between sheep-person and person-sheep?” Even the sub-names get messed up Ga’Ma’Tria is Ma’Tria when she’s not a grandma. etc…. what a frickin mess names are.. No lie, I got really tired of naming characters. In chapter 4 I named them Vampire King A. and then Vampire King B. & C. Tho I have to admit I left them like that A. B. and C. because it was funny.. Oh my goodness how I really, sincerely HATE naming characters. *sigh* sometimes it just has to happen in spite of us.

    Onwards to the story 😀

  • I find naming characters very hard as well. I tend to look for the meaning of names before i use them, more often then not, i just whack a random name cause it sounds nice. But honestly, i have to agree, it is really tough.

  • I started creating a naming list. I not only have trouble creating a name I really like for my characters, but what about places like pubs, cities or regions? My spread sheets grows almost everyday when I hear something I really like.

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