"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."- Shakespeare
Hiya! Annika here. Today, we're going to talk about names. Despite the wide range of people a name can cover, certain things come to mind when you hear certain names.
What do you think of when you hear Esmeralda?
See? Different things come to mind. For example, Analiese makes me think of a princess. Billie Jean perhaps a turn of the century cowgirl. Juliet- well, Wizards of Waverly Place, to be frank.
But people's perceptions of names are very different. Did you know that some people dislike the name Lucy because they somehow see it related to the name Lucifer? I find this odd, as Lucy Pevensie, one of the most innocent characters I've ever read about, is named this. So in step, I have come to associate the name with innocence.
Now, when it comes to naming characters, sometimes a name can indicate something they don't realize or keep buried. Oddly enough, my nanowrimo novel's protagonist was named Demi, even though she proves to be anything but by the ending. Her name is Demetria, but for some reason she is always called Demi, even going so far as to prefer it over her true name.
Other times it is because they can't stand their full name. For example, George Fayne from the Nancy Drew Mysteries real name is Georgia, but she prefers George. This is justified, as even when the original books were written, she was shown to have tomboyish tendencies.
Something that has always annoyed me in Fantasy and Sci-Fi is that some writers go over the top with names. Even in fantasy, I'd rather use slightly less common Earth names. Or if I make up one, I make sure to still keep it simple. I'd actually use Ivy or Tess(a) or Ava instead of something crazy like Elfiria or Mcedomen.
Here are some great naming resources:
The Baby Name Wizard
Behind the Name
Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names
But what do you think? Do you have any favorite names or traditions for finding names for your characters?