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Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's in a Name?

As authors we get to choose our characters names so the names fit the character. Naming your character assists in connecting the reader to the story. If I am writing a story for young children I will use names with which they are familiar. Let's say the story is geared to 8-10 year olds. I will go to the U.S. census and find what the most popular babies names were for that year. One of the most popular names was Ashley. This gives some context to the reader as they will probably know someone who has that name. They will begin to put a face to that character from what they know. This draws the reader more into the story.

I also did this when I was writing a folktale. I wanted my characters names to describe who they are. So I went online to find a name that meant beautiful. I found several choices but the one I chose was Milana. It's fun to look through the meaning for names and where they originated.

You may not always find a name for the word description you list. I tried to find a name that meant one who is slow and one who is lazy. I guess that's a good thing. Could you imagine how you might feel if you discovered that was the meaning of your birth name? Can you say petition the court for a name change?

Here's a great link if you want to look up names for fun or for writing...

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