Saturday, January 16, 2010

Name Making

On NON, I ask all the debut authors how they chose their main characters' names. There seems to be a pretty even divide between those to whom names and characters spring to life, whole and complete, and those who do the research, look through baby name books and phone books, and test out the sound and feel and look of names before they make their final decision.

For Areia, I'm definitely falling into the second category. I originally chose names that worked at the moment I needed them. I didn't want to get bogged down in research and I didn't want to waste a lot of time daydreaming up names (because nothing sprang to mind fully formed). I wanted to write the story as it was coming to me. I picked names, and ran with it. Microsoft's Find/Replace feature is a writer's dream for changes like this.

My male lead's name is Casican, which is completely made up and rather bland and easily mispronounced. I want to keep the general sound of it, though, because honestly, after so long saying Casican (aloud and in my head), something radically different would throw me off. I'm toying now with Casimir/Kasimir, which means peaceful proclamation or commands peace. It fits the character.

I'm also toying with changing Areia to Arianna, Aria for short. It's a rather simple spelling change with almost the same feel and sound. Arianna means holiest, which again fits aspects of the character.

I'll have to think on both for a while before I make a final (and global) change. If nothing else, I know my mom will be happy to see "real" names in a fantasy novel. Her first question when I started Madison after finishing Areia was, "Will the characters in this book have real names?"

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