Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's in a name?

One of the funniest parts of starting a new project is picking names – I know I should have had more children. There’s just something about searching for names that I just love.

With my first book I picked a lot of names based on what they mean and then wrote the character to match.

Anyway I started planning for a project I’ve been thinking about for a year. In the book there’s a family of boys and I was looking at Old English names and came up with an idea. All of the names will focus on nature, more specifically trees. This family started out being very secondary characters but I can see them so clearly that I want to write more for them. Funny how that works.

Here are the names and what they mean:
Alder - revered birch tree
Booker – beech tree
Beacher – dweller by beech tree
(they’re twins and Booker was born first)
Lind – Linden tree
Sherwood – Bright forest
Oliver – (doesn’t necessarily mean Olive tree but I thought it was close enough)

Mother: Ashling – (same thing, doesn’t mean Ash tree)

Now for the father I have three names:
Garrick – governs with a spear
Waverly – tree-lined meadow
Stokley – tree stump meadow

The bottom two are tree related but I see his character as ruling with a spear. What do you think?


Heidi said...

Those are absolutely the coolest names!! What a fantastic idea!

I spend a lot of time with names too, and come up with ones like Logan and Travis and Ashley. Not brilliant, but very Texan.

Your names make me wish I were writing something more exotic!

And I like Garrick, both as a name, as as the symbolism of the father being the one who governs - probably with a spear!

JKB said...

Oh, I am fond of Garrick!

strugglingwriter said...

I've been getting character names from the names my 3 year old daughter assigns to her imaginary friends. Seriously. She comes up with some good ones too!

Patti said...

Heidi & Jen: My favourite is Garrick as well. I can totally see him as a strict father.

SW: Kids are awesome for providing names. My daughter thinks of the best ones as well.

Heidi said...

The three imaginary friends we've had in our house are Grape, Clicky, and Chicky.

Not particularly useful. :)

Holly Kennedy said...

Garrick all the way.
Very solid name!

P.S. so sorry to hear you broke your wrist! Bummer.

Dara said...

Definitely another vote for Garrick!

And I love looking for names too--I often get too caught up in that aspect. :) I'm still trying to find a good name for my new novel's MC; it's a bit difficult since there aren't many records of women's names back in AD 1000 for Japan (they were normally recorded with nicknames and after the position they served in if they were in the Imperial court).

Those are great names!

Kasie West said...

Fun! I love coming up with names. Congrats on meeting your deadline for your MS. And sorry to hear about your broken wrist (sorry, I'm catching up all the comments I haven't been able to leave with my out of commission computer). I broke my wrist when my third child was two months old. Wow, it was hard. You don't think about how much you need both hands to care for a newborn until you are without one of them. The same is true for writing. Typing with one hand would stink. It would kill me. So, way to go you for still meeting your goal even when you had an excuse not to.

Jessie Oliveros said...

One of my many books that I have abandoned had tree names as well, but you did a much better job than me. Garrick's a winner. I'm a big fan of Beacher and Booker.

Patti said...

I think it's hard to name characters especially when it's from a different culture.

Breaking your wrist when you have a baby. Okay that makes me feel better. My kids are old enough to help me do things.

I love the Beacher and
Booker and the meaning of their names has helped me know exactly how to write them.