3 Comments

Alphabet Blogging: N is for…

Names.1097822_11827297

(Did you think I was gonna say ‘new year’?) 😉

Names and titles in fiction are important to me. I almost never start a story or book without at least some idea of a title. Even if I end up changing it later, the title helps me shape the story.

Same with names. I’ve been known to fiddle with character’s names, tweaking and poking until everything fits together. The name has to be perfect in sound and rhythm, and it has to fit the character perfectly. Bonus points if the name’s meaning somehow fits the character as well.

Recently, a friend and I were brainstorming a story together, and while we were coming up with the MC’s name, I suggested Persephone for her middle name. Not only did it flow really well with the rest of the name, it fit her perfectly, and the meaning and mythology behind the name adds a double meaning to this character that I think we’ll be able to play with a lot.

What about you? Are names as important for your characters?

 

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About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

3 comments on “Alphabet Blogging: N is for…

  1. Yes! Names are important to me, at least for my main (and/or favorite) characters, places and things in the story.

    The fun thing for me over the past few years has been giving someone a name, and then finding out later that it was even MORE perfect than I’d realized at first. I credit God with those bonuses.

    For example, I had a human trafficking network that I called the Sargassus network, thinking about the tangled Sargassum seaweed in the Galapagos reefs. The leader of the network I’ve been calling Sargassus, even though I thought he probably needed a “real name”, too. This leader is an ancient vampire who has been around since shortly after the Flood (nearly 4,000 years old). I was doing world history with my kids when I read about Sargon — considered one of the first great empire-founders, back in ancient Sumeria … around the time shortly after the Flood. Perfect!

    Even the circumstances of his death were perfect: he disappears off the world scene right before a big attack on a neighboring kingdom due to what is speculated to be a stroke or heart attack. His son takes over from there. So he “died” right at the prime of his world-dominating experiences. In my story, he was turned into a vampire (or hemavore, as I call them) and the death was a cover story.

    The fact that his name was Sargon and matched Sargassus just tickled me.

    I have at least two other similar stories where my main character’s name was basically made up in my head based on free association of sounds that seemed to fit and later I find they actually match a real word or name that means something related to that character’s personality or story. Thrills me every time.

  2. Yes names are important to me also. In fact I must also find images of those emotional feelings I get with a character. And to have the image reinforces what she or he is about. And then I find the name. It is more that I feel the name.And the name has to resonate the characteristics emotionally and from a feeling level to perfectly match the images. I usually realize later that it is more than coincidence that the name resonates what I didn’t always realize I needed for reasons that were unknown at the time.
    Good luck with your writing!
    Yisraela

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