Sometimes, the hardest thing about writing a story is deciding what names the main characters are going to have. There are so many factors involved with creating characters. You want to pick a name that’s not too hard to pronounce, and suits the genre. But most of all – you want pick a name that the readers will believe.
People will be thrown off by an alien king named Jim. Just like they will have a hard time believing the sweet grandmother who was born in the 50’s is actually named Bananalee Zoraif.
Yesterday, I spent two hours on babynames.com looking up different names and what they mean.
I try not to use names of people I know. My friends are suspicious enough when I tell them I’m writing. If I used the name Sara or Andrea or Frances… my friends would probably have an issue with that.
I did find a few names I liked.
Greer – means Guardian. I love the way it sounds, prints and I can already imagine what Greer looks like. I decided this name was a keeper.
Camilla – means Perfect. Wow…talk about having large shoes to fill. What kind of character could live up to that name?
Ethan – means Firm, Strong. I would love to give this to a physically weak character whose spirit was strong.
Linda – means Pretty One. Now, I do know a Linda. However perhaps I could change the spelling a bit and call the character Lynda. Do you think that would work?
What do you guys look for in a character name? (Or even when naming your own children) Does the meaning matter? Do you sometimes change the vowels to make it different?