Stacy...Sensibly Insane

I have my own little world, but it's okay - they know me here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What's in a Name?

Cliche, I know but it was the best title I could think of for this entry.

Character's names are obviously important and a very personal thing. Names mean very different things to different people. For instance, I could never name a Hero, Travis. There was this little brat in elementary school that tormented me endlessly and, you guessed it, his name was Travis. Never forgot him. I liked the name Lori until it was discovered that my husband's unrequetted love is named Lori. There is also a Kelly in his past that was Strawberry Queen, need I say more...I would never win Oreo Queen let alone a tooti-fruiti beauty pageant title (yeah, no jealously there on my part eh?)

Other reasons I have trouble picking names is a large family. In general I prefer traditional names (not that you would know it from my current ms LOL) but so many of my family have those names that I would hate to get the "Oh, you named him after me, I knew you were my favorite neice!" from one and "Why did he get to be hero when you told me I was your favorite uncle?"from the other. Or worse, name the hero the same name as an aunt has (I have an Aunt Chris and an Uncle Shirley, seriously) about a can of worms. See, everything is related to everything else which is cause for caution when picking even the most obscure character's name, the bus driver, the waitress, or even the annoying child who pesters the heroine in the check-out line. You definately don't want to get a known child's name in there, you'd get the cold shoulder from that mother for the rest of your life (of course depending on the mother, that could also work in your favor).

So, needless to say, I find characters names always a chore. My father has a 3 volume set of red dictionaries. The first two are traditional A-L and M-Z. The third is a term dictionary, medical terms, mythological terms, etc. But it also has a section on Given names, surnames, and nicknames, their meanings and origins. I've used this since as far back as I can remember. I have them on my bookshelf now, not that my father actually gave them to me, more like they happened to make it into my boxes when my parents moved out on me (no, that isn't a typo, they moved out on me--ah, but that's another tale for another time.)

Do you have favorite names? Ones you will use, ones you won't? How do you come up with them or where do you find the right name for the right character?
Posted by Stacy Dawn :: 4:30 PM :: 6 comments

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