Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Has a Name

And it's KT.

No, in all seriousness, I'm going to be talking about naming characters. Which I think has been done before, but I am ME and I name my characters my own way, right? Right. Hopefully.

Well, I happen to really enjoy naming characters. And hate it at the same time. Some names literally just come to me, and others I debate over for hours, days, years (not really). Most of the time, a main character's name comes the easiest for me. And it's a mix between the name fitting their personality and then sometimes shaping their personality to their name.

And a lot of the time, that personality thing happens to come from the meaning behind their name. In which case, is the best invention ever. Let's take my characters Devin and Ember, for instance. Devin's name means "descendant of the dark-haired one." Um, well, Devin has dark hair, so that fits. But his name was a case of it just fitting his personality. Ember's name meaning is a little obvious--it has to do with fire/a spark. And I can sometimes see her being kind of sparky like that. And astrologically, she's a fire sign. However, her name came to me first more so than her personality. So, in that one book, my naming came from both sides of the spectrum.

...And then there's the fact I have an epic fantasy and I did that sometimes annoying thing that fantasy writers do. And I made names up. For instance, my MC's name is Lanani (which, if you want to pronounce it, it's "Luh-nah-nee"). I don't quite remember HOW I came up with that, but I was just writing and *poof* Lanani's name appeared, and I ran with it. To me it doesn't seem that weird anymore, but I know that if more people read it someday, I'm probably going to get some weird (figurative) looks...
not to mention the male lead's name is Ranu. Weird. I know. My apologies.

And that's pretty much the way I name my characters. I look for meaning, how it fits the character... and sometimes I just make things up. And, actually, unlike some other people, it's not hard for me to name a character after somebody I know, or a name similar to mine (I have a character named Kate, too).

How do you guys name your characters? Any things you avoid in particular? (I do try avoid names I absolutely hate, unless it's a character I want people to dislike. Mean author is mean.)