Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's In A Name?

Names, names, names. I don't think I can stress enough the importance of names. Whether I'm writing or reading, names are such a big deal. First and last names. The character's name alone tells a story of its own.

When I make up a new character, I don't know how long I spend looking for the perfect name for that character. It could be ten minutes (how I wish those lucky days could occur more often) or weeks. The name has to fit the character, it has to sound good, the meaning has to fit the character, and the spelling has to both appeal to me and fit the character.

What I sometimes find tricky is having the name be both original while at the same time fitting the character. And sometimes, I have to be careful for it not to be too original. For Bad Apple, I was told that the names were really original, but then for Joon's cousin, two people pointed out that it was too much. So I changed his name from Bryce to Ryan and in the end, I realized that Ryan fit his character better.

Why am I posting about names today? Because I've met so many people on campus with names that I just loved over the last few days. For example my roommate's name is Jeana (Jean- na) and I just love that name. I don't hear it a lot, it's simple, but it stands out. I also met a girl named Mira and I just fell in love with that name. Funny thing is that my first thought when she told me her name was, 'I have got to use that name for one of my characters.' When I told my sister that, she rolled her eyes and told me that I think too much like a writer.
The other reason I'm posting about names is also because I love name-hunting on Google. I can do that for hours, looking up names and then searching for all the different meanings of that name. (Before you ask, yes, I've looked up my mine. It means gracious ^_^ Whether that describes me is yet to be debated.)

Out of all the names from my stories, I would have to say that my favorites are Jaeger (Jeh-ger) Williams from Destined (although not many people have read much of this), Joon Elizabeth Scarlet (from Bad Apple) and I like the way Aeryn's name is spelled.

And a question for you lovely followers because I love hearing your opinion: do names really matter to you when you read and/or write? For the writers, do you waste endless hours Google searching names or do you use the ones you've heard around you?


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