Whenever I start to write something new, I get really excited about choosing names for my characters. The only problem is, I’m VERY picky and it can take me days – literally days – to find a name that fits my characters perfectly.
Usually, when I start writing, my female main character is called Lucy. I have no reason for this, it’s just the name that pops into my head first. I don’t dislike the name, it just always reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia and I want my characters to stand out for their own reasons.
I’m not one to think a name is cool and then just use it in my book. I like names to have special meanings for my characters, so I put a lot of time and effort into it. Here’s a few from my book ‘Reality is in a Dream‘ and the names that they were called originally!
Liliana used to be called Lucy. Liliana means: Lily, a symbol of beauty and purity.
Samson used to be called Emanuel. Samson means: Bright as the sun. Also, Samson’s power is super strength. I didn’t purposely name him after Samson in The Old Testament!
Justin used to be called Greg. Justin means: Just or true.
Asher means: Blessed or happy.
Duana means: Little dark one.
Howard (Liliana’s father) means: Guardian of the home.
Mina (Liliana’s mother) means: Love or protector.
Carey and Melanie were based on people that I went to school with, so I won’t mention their original names! I once had a reviewer tell me that the characters both felt very unreal and they didn’t understand why Liliana didn’t just ditch them. The simple answer – I didn’t. I stuck with them for the pure reason that I’m very shy when meeting new people. It was easier to stick with them than feel uncomfortable around new people.
Carey’s Irish meaning: Of the dark ones.
Melanie means: Blackness or dark.
Even if no-one else does the research when reading my book, at least I know that there are certain meanings to my character’s names. In book two ‘Mourning Memories’ I have continued to research my names so that they match their character traits for example, Geoffrey – Peaceful ruler.
How many of you research the meanings of your character’s names before you write? Or do you just simply choose a name that you like? It would be interesting to know!