How much thought do you give to naming your characters (From Frightening Journeys – First posted 7-7-09
Out of most of the Shakespearian phrases stuffed in my head through high school, that one always comes to mind first. (Strange, because I hated Romeo and Juliet, I loved MacBeth. ) Of course, Juliet was trying to make a point, but then when it comes to characters, I think a name can make or break your case.
Have you ever read a book with a rambo type guy named Harold or Bob? I haven’t. Now they are just fine for regular folks, but macho, gun-toting, jungle survivalists? Sounds silly doesn’t it? So where do you get the names for your characters, and more importantly, why do you name them what you do?
By now ya’ll know I’m a little nutty so I don’t mind saying I don’t always choose their names, but are given them by …(I have know idea where they come from initially. They just are.) When I must choose, I think of what I have planned for them throughout the story. What time and setting will it have? Then I research. Scotland 1800? English? Or maybe just what sort of person will they be and then I’ll dig through online baby name databases and find something that I like.
The meaning of a name is important too, not just the sound or look of it. For instance my pen name Brynna (Sword -Scottish or Strong- Gaelic) Curry (dagger) I love swords and Curry is a family name and then there is Brianna (Strong sword) Roarke (Famous ruler or Ancient ruler adopted as clan name Gaelic). Kail is one I heard somewhere. The closest thing to it is (Fire- Gaelic) Moral to the er…name is choose well and do your homework. Unless you want to have a heroine lady ceo named Bambie fall for Harold the jungle guy.