Every author uses a different technique when it comes to naming their characters. I wish I could tell you that I had some elaborate way of doing things, but I don’t. I typically allow the main characters to name themselves in the early stages of development. Occasionally, I’ll ask a friend to submit a great name, normally for the leading man. There are two things I have noticed about my naming techniques, both in the works you’ve read and the works yet to come.
1: Once I start dialoguing with a character, I can’t change their name. Their names become so attached to their person that, for better or for worse, it’s final.
2: I tend to go for the simple, everyday names. Many authors are known for choosing the exotic names for their main characters, but I prefer to find beauty in the common. Here’s a sample from the current and future story lines: Frank, Sally, Eddie, George, Melissa, Julia, Beth, Anna, Clifford, and Louise.
Fun fact: I had every intention of renaming Frank, Eddie, George, Sally, Allie, and James from the Ancient Words Series. When I typed up the notes for the series, the plot was so large that I was forced to hastily assign names to characters just to be able to tell them apart. I had every intention on changing their name during the writing process but within 24 hours those names were sealed and my friends could no longer part with their given name. And now, I couldn’t imagine calling them by any other name.
Since I had not considered the meaning behind their names as I passed them out, I thought it would be interesting to look up their meanings now to see if they lived up to their names. I think you’ll be surprised; I know I was. 🙂
Claire – Bright If you’ve spent as many as five pages with Claire, I think you’d have to agree: she lives up to her name.
Frank – Free I loved this. His drive throughout the book is to be free from Northern oppression, so it’s another fit.
Eddie – Wealth Protector While, I don’t see the connection in “Wealth,” Eddie certainly plays the role of a protector throughout the book.
George – Earth Worker Lol Okay, I do not see the connection here.
Sally – Princess 🙂 We can call that a fit.
Olen – Holy This was interesting given the start of his journey.
Eliza and Lillian – My God is my vow I found it very interesting that mother and daughter carried the same meaning.
Ralph – Wolf council 🙂 This was my personal favorite and a total surprise! For those that have read the book, they are not likely to forget how Ralph was often referred to as a wolf.