It’s Just a Name: Is the Name That I Give to My Character Actually Important?

names

It’s one thing to slap a label onto a character, it’s another to give it a name.

Not everyone takes this into consideration when creating their own characters, however what they don’t seem to realize is that names are symbolic and often reflect ones personality. This means that the name you give to your character should have some sort of significance.

A great example of a well named character, is the character Daisy from the novel, The Great Gatsby. Being named after a flower adds to her extremely, dainty and feminine persona. The flower itself, also symbolize unhappy love, which is significant to the character Daisy because her marriage is an unhappy one, full of careless lies.

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.

If Daisy had been given a name like Rogue, meaning rebel, her personality would not be reflected in the same way. This is because the name Rogue gives the impression of someone, strong, and daring. The name also would not be a reflection of Daisy’s unhappy marriage.

Putting thought into a character’s name builds onto the characters personality, acts as a form of symbolism, and a character’s name can also have significance to their overall story.

So to answer the question above?

Yes, the name you give to your character is actually important.

Tip: Look up the meaning of a name before giving it to a character. This can help you pick a name that suits your characters personality and it also helps save your lovely’s (characters) from getting slapped with labels.

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7 thoughts on “It’s Just a Name: Is the Name That I Give to My Character Actually Important?

  1. Lovely! It’s true that the name does matter, although most writers these days simply give any random name they can think of. Generally when I write, however, the name of the character just comes to me – I never change it after that. It just seems to fit. 🙂

    • I either find it very easy to name the character (I created lists of names I like and what the mean) or I find it extremely hard because I’m a bit of a perfectionist when I write my books. Sometimes I annoy myself with my obsession with perfection (I’m not OCD but my parents were getting concerned).
      I’m also pretty picky when it comes to reading, and choosing names that I like, so whenever I read a book where it’s obvious that the author carelessly named their characters, I get very irritated.

      • 😀 I know the feeling! I’m a bit of perfectionist too – oh, who am I kidding? I’m a complete perfectionist – I have to be happy with anything I write. (Hasn’t annoyed me yet, but plenty of people I know – family and friends!)
        I find that if a character’s name isn’t thought through, the character’s personality isn’t that well thought through either! Keep on writing great posts!

      • Yah, being a perfectionist definitely has it’s ups and downs. At least we put a lot of care into what we write.
        Yes, you’re right. When character’s names aren’t thought through, their personalities seem very bland and almost plastic?
        I don’t know if that was a good way to describe it, but I couldn’t think of the right words. I’ve extremely tired today.
        Also, thank you for commenting on my posts.
        I really appreciate it. Plus I enjoy hearing back from my readers.

      • Definitely. Very true. I never thought of describing them as plastic, but it seems fitting! 🙂 Gives it a new approach.

        You’re welcome, by the way. That’s what blogging’s all about, according to me. 🙂 Looking forward to your future posts!

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