Friday, August 29, 2008

The Power of Names

TGIF! I don’t believe I have thought that with such heartfelt emotion in many, many years. Today, I cannot begin to express how excited I am that it is Friday! Woohoo! Yowza! Hubba Hubba! Did that give you an indication how excited I am that it’s Friday? ;-) And for us in the States it is a long weekend, celebrating Labor Day on Monday.

What’s in a name? If you ask me a lot, namely power, identification and it can even define who we are to others. It can give us freedom or it can hinder flight.

Saddam Hussein. Those four syllables strike terror in the hearts of many. To me the name brings to mind pain, death, and ruined lives for one man’s bid at domination. And then I think of the broken man that was found hiding from military forces.

Mother Teresa. Those five syllables may inspire compassion, warmth and love. It is a name that leaves me in awe for the way she dedicated her life to helping others, total strangers.

Gracen Miller. What connotation does that name bring to mind for you? “General” for some over at Supernatural TV, but what am I truly known for? Hopefully not terror, but neither have I dedicated my life to helping total strangers. So, I'm not Saddam Hussein or Mother Teresa. I have two boys and a husband of 16 ½ years. I am an author, but not well known. I have many facets about me, but so few of them are revealed to anyone but my true friends. Tell me, what was your first impression of the name Gracen?

What’s your name? Do you like it or not? What type of names do you prefer? What preconceived impression do you think people have about your name?

Names identify us to others with preconceived and misconceived ideas. It could be because of those that have come before us with the same name. Their character attaches to a name and then it is up to us to change that polluted misconception if there is one.

So, when I write, the names of the characters are terribly important. If a name is not right, it will haunt me throughout the writing until I grasp the character’s correct identity. I have to be able to connect with it, feel its truth for my character before I can come to peace with it. Naming is one of the most important steps in my writing. And typically I do not like the average every-day household name. I like names with flavor and flair. Maybe that’s because Gracen isn’t the typical household name. I took the same concept when I named my boys and while they are not odd names, they are seldom heard or seen.

When coming up with names, it can be a brainstorm session with my girlfriend or my sons. Like Sierra and Sarah, I use websites to help with my creation. Some of those sites are:

Sometimes I want a particular meaning for a character. Other times I want the strength of the name to carry the character through the storyline. What it all comes down to is the power I infuse into that name, whether real or conceived. It is my belief of the power the name holds that makes all the difference in my mind and in my storyline.

Share with me your thoughts about naming your characters. Tell me your thoughts about preconceived notions that particular names have attached to them and how that person may have differed from that misconception once you got to know them.

Have a great weekend everyone! Check in tomorrow for a paperback book giveaway!

0 deadly screams: