Friday, August 18, 2006

What's in a name?

I have my entire first novel written and suddenly decided I wanted to write a really detailed backstory for my villain so I can make him even more evil in this novel. His story will be told in bits and pieces in the second and third novel, but the introduction to him in the first wasn't "evil" enough, IMO. So I've been punching it up. Nowhere in the first novel is his "real" name mentioned (so far, anyway - things could always change), but the name I'd chosen for him because of its meaning is the same as the name of a relative who might not get that much of a kick out of having a villain named after him. The matching names were unintentional, but still, I see no reason to cause strife unnecessarily, so I've been searching for another name for my bad guy. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! The previous name was PERFECT! But it might hurt that relative's feelings, so I just can't use it. I've been through numerous resources looking for just the right name and I think I'm closing in on it at last. Whew!

It interests me that the villain, who I greatly dislike (he's a bad guy, after all!) is so hard to name, but my heroes (who I love dearly!) were both quite easy to name - and I named them before I looked up the meanings of the names that I'd chosen for them. I just picked names that they "looked like" in my mind - Ethan for the tall, quiet, strong but gentle older brother, Jake for the impulsive, talented, charming younger brother (not that Ethan isn't charming and talented too - and Jake has Ethan's qualities as well). But the meanings of their names suit them so well! I was amazed. "Ethan" means "loyal, strong, constancy, firm," and "Jake" means "supplanter, conqueror" -- good names for warriors, right? They fit the boys SO well, as will become evident throughout the "Star Sons" series.

Other characers have been very easy to name - it's the bad guys who give me the most trouble when it comes to naming or describing them or developing their characters. Guess that shows who I prefer, eh? I'd be delighted to spend the day with Ethan and/or Jake! I have no wish to ever meet ANY of the bad guys in my novels!!

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