It was not too long ago, during my failed 365 Day Challenge, that I was asked to list my five favourite male and female names. Rather than simply write a list of these names, I took the opportunity to explore how I go about naming the characters within my fictional forays:
When I come to create a character I never start with their name.
I begin by writing a short biography of their life; where they were born, who their parents were, whether they have any siblings, major incidents (if any) of their childhood, how and to whom they lost their virginity (I’m a stickler for details) and continue onwards through any events that shaped who they are; their belief structure, moral standpoint and ethical values.
Once I have a full understanding of how they became the person up to the commencement of the story, I look at where their life is headed over the course of the plot and then bestow them a name that reflects who they were and what they will become.
Nothing too unique about this, most writers do the same thing, it was just especially important to me as names feature heavily in early folklore (that’s old magic) and I decided names should be important elements of the Chronicles.
A section that I repeat here because, let’s be honest, Salmagundi was an odd choice for a post title and not many people read it. After this explanation I went on to list my favourite names and, in an effort for some original content in this post rather than a simple cut & paste job, I’ve added a wee description of who they are within my urban fantasy world.
Kira origin, Gaelic; meaning, little dark one.
An Immortal, who just happens to be a psychologist, warrior, archeologist, sexual fiend and kick-ass Jenga player.
Kathryn origin, Greek; meaning, pure.
Kidnapped as a baby, Kathryn becomes (courtesy of Stockholm syndrome) a vicious assassin for a clan of Ancient Faeries.
Tara origin, Gaelic; meaning, Craig; hill.
A banished Faerie trying to build a new life for herself in Scotland.
Gwendolyn origin, Welsh; meaning, white ring.
Pseudonym of Katherine. Not the vicious assassin, but the Immortal bookshop owner and erotic fiction publisher.
Aurora origin, Latin; meaning, dawn.
A Faerie. Kathryn killed her family (something she’s not all that happy about!)
Rowan origin, Gaelic; meaning, little red one.
Blogging nom-de-plume of Natalie.
Magnus origin, Latin; meaning, great.
Natalie’s boyfriend’s father. Believed dead. He isn’t.
Sawyer origin, English; meaning, one who chops wood.
One time partner of Skye. A red herring.
Alexander origin, Greek; meaning, defender of mankind.
Elder brother of Megan and boyfriend of Sophia. He saves the world, lives with the Faeries, then kills himself.
Mackay origin, Gaelic; meaning, son of the fiery one.
Pseudonym of Seitheach (see below)
And, to make it eighteen, here are eight more:
Megan origin, Greek; meaning, one who is strong and mighty.
Baby sister of Alex; a stubborn, naughty genius with an apple-fetish. Kick starts the Chronicles by getting murdered by a serial killing psychotic Ancient Faerie hell-bent on destroying the worlds. Also, one of only three humans to have met Nessie.
Natalie origin, Italian; form of, Natalia; meaning, Christ’s birthday.
Stereotypical girl next door with a long hidden family secret.
Sophia origin, Biblical; meaning, wisdom.
Alex’s girlfriend. She kills herself – then goes to Brussels and gets a tattoo before befriending Dead-Megan. She’s complicated.
Isabelle origin, Spanish; meaning, devoted to God.
Musician. Wife of Natalie’s boyfriend. Killed by her sister.
Seitheach origin, Scottish; meaning wolf.
An Immortal and prophesied saviour of the worlds; doesn’t want to be. Adopted brother of Alex and Megan; wants to be.
Lachlan origin, Scottish; meaning, warlike.
Natalie’s father. A vicious bastard who isn’t as dead as his daughter thinks he is.
Timothy origin, Greek; meaning, honor.
Friend of Natalie. Often undervalued and misjudged by everyone around him.
Abrecan origin, English; meaning, storm.
An Immortal friend of Dead-Megan.
Only time will tell whether I am asked this question in a further blog challenge. Part of me hopes not. Part of me wants to just list the entire cast of the Chronicles for the pure hell of it. However, I shall curb this desire for the time being and instead ask what your favourite names are?
Tomorrow: 17 Words I Like…