Sunday, November 23, 2008

Name that Character!

This post was inspired by a post on the Second Wind Word Press page, by Pat Bertram. In it, she talks about how a character name shows a lot about the character. I started this as a comment to her, but it got too long, so I moved it here. Dellani


I believe a name tells a lot about a character. One can be as obvious as “Young Goodman Brown” or as subtle as Duncan Chandler. The reason I cite the latter as an example is because he is one of my characters whose name represents two distinct facets of his personality. Duncan means “Dark Warrior”. He is the son of the protagonist, himself a dark warrior (both in aspect and action). Duncan is looked upon as a warrior, the next generation. Chandler means “Light Bringer”. The reason I chose this name is because he is also looked upon as the new hope, the one to fight the darkness and evil that threaten.

That got me interested in a few other names that I’ve used in the same series:


Matilda (Duncan’s mother) “Fierce in Battle”

Wilhelm (his father) “Determined Protector”


Marcus (his paternal uncle) “Of Mars - Warlike”

Rebbecca (Marc’s wife) “Enchantingly Beautiful”


Benjamin (his older brother) “Of the Right Hand”

Emmelia (Ben’s wife and Chairman of the Board of the Mining Guild) “Work”


Except for Duncan’s name, which I looked up and chose carefully, all these names were given by chance. But looking at their personalities, the names fit them incredibly well. Matilda, his mother, is a warrior and as fierce as her husband in a battle. Wil protects his family, friends, and those who fight with him. Marc is also a true warrior and his wife, Rebbecca, is beautiful. Ben is his father’s right hand, his wife Emmelia is one of the hardest working women in the galaxy.
My readers will probably never know the meanings behind the names, nor why I find them significant, but I found it an interesting way of fleshing them out.

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