The purpose of a name can express a belonging too or show an existence or a social standing. A name is a very powerful thing. It grows with us as we age as we are often given nicknames which indicates close relationship with our peers and family.
Most of us shorten our names or go by nicknames we feel suits our characters and the person we want to be more than the names we were born with.
All names have a pre-conceived meaning in a person’s mind, some may feel to own the name Galalee you would need to be born with blond hair and an angelic face. Whilst another may feel a Galalee would sport no hair at all, but a distinguishing birthmark.
In most cases a name of any sort, has a meaning. So it is the same with characters when you are writing. Not everyone has a super-specific meaning – one may be called Jim – just because it was the favoured name picked out, or because of a connexion to a relative, friend or person they admire.
But I find for the names of my main characters I have to have to add something a little special to their names.
Lilly. Nothing abnormal about that right? A Lilly is a beautiful sweet-smelling flower that is common enough in the UK where the story is set. (Your right. That’s what I want you to think!)
Add in her middle name – Honey, which just accentuates her sweetness, maybe adding a little rarity too it, maybe she’s a little clingy in her nature even. (Exactly what I want you thinking.)
But when I add in her surname – Star – things become much more interesting! For what is a star? A five-pointed shape coloured in yellow? Something full of magic and wonder? A thing to wish upon? Or a scientific burning ball of gas billions of miles away? – This tells us that a star is not all it first appears to be for behind the cartoonish impression the word ‘star’ invokes is the scientific reality of a burning ball of gas that could explode at any minute. From here we can go further into depth by focusing on the burning ball of fire billions of miles away and wondering if that reflects Lilly’s character, who may have an explosive temper or that maybe she is just different from what is considered the ‘norm.’
Some names you may not be able to decipher until later on in the book or in the series, whilst sometimes it’s simply just a wonderful name.
I spend many hours pondering the perfect name for the character I have in mind – and even then sometimes I find myself shortening it or using a nickname to grow along with the character as they progress through the book.
I hope this helps to explain how to break down a name. If you have any questions leave me a message.