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Friday, May 6, 2016

The Name Game, Part 3

Next up in this series - the meaning of characters' names.

Right off the bat, I'll start by saying that though I'm a bit of a name nerd, I don't make myself nuts when it comes to the origin and meaning of names. I didn't even really care about that when it came to naming my own children. Some people do, and that's fine. In fact, for one of my daughter's names, I was even told "Oh, I love that name, but I could never get past the meaning!" (No, it's not Cecilia or Claudia, which, for someone who doesn't pay much attention to meanings, I always remember as originally meaning "blind" and "lame", respectively.) I'm sure there are plenty of writers out there who give symbolic names to their characters based on their meaning, but it's just not my thing.

However, that doesn't mean that I'll go around slapping names on characters all willy-nilly. A lot of times, my characters names do have some significance, even if it's only for me. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but a large number of my friends wound up in the Disintegration series in some way, shape, or form. Some were straightforward: Vlad is, well, named after my friend Vlad. Dr. Zedek, however, is named after another friend's role-playing alter-ego. While the two Vlads share some similarities, the two Zedeks are nothing alike. But hey, I needed a name!

I'll use this opportunity to admit that there have been times where I've TOTALLY named antagonistic characters after people I don't like. Don't get on my bad side.

Sometimes if I'm not directly naming after someone, I'll go for a similar name, or use the same initials as an existing person/character. Like I said, the chosen name may only be meaningful to me and a couple other people, but I like knowing the symbolism is there, however minor. The main character of my new WIP is named Veronica Campbell. Some astute readers might eventually pick up on some allusions with her name (once the book is complete), but for now, I'm not telling. ;)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think much of meanings either. I did that with two characters back in my vampire writing days - one intentionally and the other unintentionally. I wanted one of my vampires to have a sanskrit name that meant sun or daylight because I thought it was funny. Get it? LOL! It's a also a beautiful name. His full name meant daylight sun. ^_^ It's still one of my favorite names.

    In my current story, I don't know what any of the names mean. I just picked things that the characters clung them as I read over my list of names. Now, one of my side character's last name is Wolfangel. That is a complete joke, but it also makes so much sense in the context of the story!!