Names. Powers to describe the universe. Yet, can’t fully define you. Why do we live by names and not the stories beneath? The real magick is how the names came to be.
I’m just going to dive right in. I love the stories behind names. I think they are amazing and really tell a lot about the person who gave the name. Not the person who got the name, but the person who told their thought process, past, what is important to them, and what has special meaning to them when giving the name.
Take me for example. I have three daughters. I wanted to make sure that together as one their names were powerful and it is my belief that true power dwells in sounds like syllables. Just like how poetry can really affect your soul by the flow of the words in verse. To make their names powerful in syllables for their names to be able to fit together, I had my oldest daughter’s first name have 3 syllables and her middle name have 1. My second daughter’s first name have 2 syllables and her middle name have 2. And my last daughter’s first name have 1 syllable and her middle name have 3. That way they all equally have four but the syllables are distributed differently forming a full circle. And it goes
Angela, Sarah, Dawn
3 2 1
Lee, Nicole, Abigail
1 2 3
Also, they are each named after two people. Angela’s first name is after one of the nicest people I had ever met and worked with, and her middle name is a family name that goes back generations. Sarah’s first name is after a best friend from elementary school and her middle name is from two very important red-headed friends that influenced my life and were both named Nicole when I was younger. When I lost one, I gained the other. Dawn’s first name is named after the Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the character named Dawn from Pokémon.
Just by looking at their names it doesn’t tell you much, but by all of that you learn a piece of who I really am. Which, if you can’t guess, is a crazy geek who definitely overthinks but who really believes friendship is important and who takes some people deeply to heart, even and especially characters.
Now as a writer, naming a character verses naming a child is quite different. A character’s names can actually tell you personally about the character more than it would naming a child. When you name a child, you don’t truly know them yet and they end up molding the name to fit them and they make a story of their own with it. When we name a character, the name is sometimes put to the adventure or you end up asking yourself what name may best describe this character and what defines them? You shape the story around the name or the name around the story. You already know the character in your mind and want to reflect what you know. Who do they feel like they are? What do they feel like they should be named? Both are questions that may be asked and you feel like the character is already speaking to you. But once again, the question of why did you decide to give that name is so much more interesting than just what is the name. The real magick is how the names came to be.