Friday, 24 August 2012

Importance of Names

When I had my son I (we) couldn't decide between two names we liked, so I decided to wait for my daughter and ask her what she thought. My 3yr old turned up and I asked her which of the two names she liked.One of the options was Sean but she said no.Later she told me this was because she was worried that if we named him Sean he would turn into Shaun the Sheep (obviously been watching too much Wallace and Gromit) I did point out it was a different spelling but that didn't matter.

Whilst I was working in school, I overheard a teacher talking about names for her baby and she said they were struggling because they needed a new name - that was one that had never been given to a child she had taught in all her years of teaching. I could see her point.

In my writing I find that a lot of my research time is spent on finding the right name. I often find names I like but they don't fit my vision for my character. For the short story I have just completed I found a name I liked but it didn't fit my kick butt female warrior - I used it for a healer instead! I like to find names that have the meaning for what the person is eg a healer, even if I don't tell the readers the meaning, I know they're there.

All this got me thinking about the importance of names. Have you ever had a preconcieved idea of what someone is like purely based on their name? or thought that someone's name didn't suit them?

Now you know why I spend so long reasearching names for my characters.


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