Monday, February 7, 2011

What's in a Name?

I really enjoy writing ethnic pieces, and part of the fun for me is name-finding.  I love hunting for names that have a meaning in the larger context of the story.  Sometimes choosing names for American-based characters in this way is too thinly veiled.  (Think Violet for a girl who loves flowers, or Christopher for a boy who loves to explore.)  Usually, however, names from other cultures are so new to American readers that their direct translation or underlying meaning is not widely known.  So it can be a fun exercise.  Sometimes this method for finding a name actually inspires a whole character for me. 

My latest name-find: Prasad meaning "pure."  This boy has haunted my thoughts for years, wanting to have his own story.  Even better though is the name for a sure-to-be nemesis for Prasad: Adripati, which means "Lord of the Mountain."  Doesn't that character just beg to be written about?

How do you get names for your stories? 

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