Sunday, July 24, 2011

Naming Your Characters

Two Sundays ago, I mentioned Best-selling Author, Janet Evanovich, searched through yearbooks and phone books to find names for her characters. Usually names come to me, but I have discovered a couple of resource books I have used often.

Character Naming Source book by Sherrilyn Kenyon, another New York Times Best-selling Author. She lists names by their nationality and gives their meaning. According to her book, Tina is English and means river. Maybe I shouldn't have looked. I've seen better definitions elsewhere.

My favorite resource book is The Secret Universe of Names by Roy Feins. He believes names have a subliminal power. We form an image of someone when we hear their name. This is helpful for writers who are forming characters with particular traits. This gives us an edge if the reader already has a predisposed belief system about names.

He lists names according the significant letters. For example, Tina is listed under tn. He then gives a page describing the personality attached to the name. I read through the page for Tina. Some of it applies to me, but not all. He also lists strengths and weaknesses. My strengths would be Energetic, Talented, Warm. I can live with that. My weaknesses would be Self-important, Pushy, Demanding. I guess I have been those at least once. My friends would say I am definitely not pushy or demanding. Perhaps when I was younger or if I feel I am standing up for someone's rights.

The author also gives a rating scale on how likely someone with a particular name is to be charismatic, have a successful career, be lucky in love and friendship, and how much power they might have. My scale is the highest when it comes to love and friendship. I would have to agree.

Until next week,

happy writing,

Tina LaVon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Tina. I use phone books as well for last names and sometimes last names of customers here at work. For firs tnames I use The Name Book by Pierre Le Rouzic. It sound alot like the one you use. :)