Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's in a name?

Sometimes I just call my characters any old thing...but it's rare. Usually I take time, put a lot of effort into figuring out their names. Something that suits them, by the sound of it, or the meaning, or some association (even if only in my head).

There's a downside to writing loads - I've had a lot of characters over the years. Therefore, a lot of names.

Add this to all the names of characters in
1. Books I've read,
2. Films I've watched
3. TV shows I've seen

etc...

...Not to mention all those real life people I've met...

...and there are suddenly very few names in the books that don't have some sort of association. Considering I like dark stories, they aren't necessarily positive associations either. or even if they aren't exactly negative...well, they might not be exactly what I want for a child.

I don't mean any offence to any people who have the following names, by the way - they're just examples, and the associations associated (?!) are all just in my head...everyone sees these things differently, which is probably why we all have different names to start with.

Say, Beth, for a girl. I like the name - but it's technically short for Elizabeth, and I don't like that much. Plus, there's Beth in Little Women. Poor, brave, tragic Beth, in Little Women. So that's out.

And that's just one example.

Plus - a character only has to live with a name for the duration of a story. A child though - he or she will have to live with the name for their entire life.

Choosing names....so difficult!

5 comments:

Em said...

Easy. Randy for a boy, Candy for a girl. ;)

Alternatively, you can borrow my babies names. Alexander and Isabella. :P

Joleen said...

Candy and Randy are stripper names...I think Alexander and Isabella fall into the 'too many associations' category :P Unfortunately so does Melissa which would have been on my list a few years ago.

Em said...

Yeah, Alexander was on my list. Gone off it now!

() said...

You could go waay classical, like Pericles or Agamemnon, give the kid a complex in kindergarten trying to spell his own name!

Joleen said...

That would be way too cruel!