Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nouns for names, and making a name fit, discovering your character's characteristics

If you are using a noun for a name, that is great, because you are connecting the person to the thing/object that you have chosen, but you have to be careful.

Make sure you make it clear why they are called that.
Even if you don't write in in your book, you need to know why, so you can get an idea.

Say you have a main character named ... Ocean.
Why is she called Ocean?
Does she have deep, dark blue eyes with specks of green, which seem to be moving?

Remember, naming characters is different to naming babies, in many ways.
You can name them after their hobby or  the things they like.

Does she love to swim?
 Does she spend all of her time at the sea side?

Or you can give her an even deeper name, with a deeper name.

Maybe she is called Ocean because she washed up on shore in a basket made of river weeds, and so the person who found her called her Ocean.
That way is more story-like.

Or you can twist the name, or noun.
Say she was found in a storm, and you wanted her to be  called Rain.
The name Rain is a bit sweet, but if that is what your character is like, don't change it.
But say she is sassy, then you could still use Rain, as long as YOU think it suits her.
If you do, and are confident with the name, then everyone who reads it will be too.
But say you too think ot is a bit sweet, maybe twist it.

Say she was found in the pouring rain,  but her blanket had golden tread running through it, then you could call her Reign.

Or say she was a bit boisterous, that would be great as well.
But say you don't like the spelling, what should you do?

Change it!

It is your Story, your Character so who cares about what anyone else thinks?
Again, write what YOU like.
What is it that disturbs you about the spelling?
Is it  that their is to many high letters? Too many low?
The amazing thing about the English language is that we have so many combinations which have the same sound!

 You could spell it :
Or many other ways.

Maybe you find you want to change a little, into t a real name.

Rayna might be a good one, you could nickname her Ray.

But now, finding her as a baby in a storm may not work, or it might, if her full name WAS Rayna, but then again, it is all up to YOU.
It could, because the person who found her could have been dying of hypothermia, and the babies face was like a ray of sunshine, telling the person  that there was still hope.

Or maybe the person who named her was a bit weird.
Maybe because the person was dieing of Hypothermia, she called the child that, and the child calls herself Mia, as she is embarrassed by her name.
Or maybe she isn't, but other people tease her.
Maybe they call her Freeze, Snow, Ice or Cold(very UN-origanal bullies)
If they call her cold, what other horrible names could that spur?
They cold pretend to sneeze when they said her name, or call her 'Sick' or 'Ill', or anything like that.

How does the girl feel about that?
How does the person feel about it?

Maybe this person is female, and calls herself Mia's mum, or maybe she is never around, and hires a nanny to look after Mia, or maybe she leaves her by herself.

Do people mistake Mia's full first name?

When she meets old lady's, or anyone who doesn't know her very well, and says that her name is Mia, then do they call her Amelia, or Emelia?
Or maybe they think her name is one of those, and makes up knew nick-names, such as Ame, or Eme.
What does Mia say about that?  What does she think?
Is she polite, and doesn't tell them, to avoid immediate embarrassment?
Is she the type of girl who will never tell anyone they are wrong, but thinks about it all the time?
Or does she tell them softly that her name isn't Amelia, and that she prefers to be called Mia?
Or is she very full of herself, and is annoyed with them, and says out right that her name is MIA!?

Or was her mother sensible, and called her child Amelia, realizing the connection between the names?
Again, it is your choice,
Because when you write, YOU are in charge. 

Well done!

 You have changed the name Rain to Amelia, and in the process have learnt a lot more about your character!

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