N is for Names
Okay readers, be warned...this is going to be a long one.
Why you might ask, because like many other authors I think names should have meaning. In fact my readers will be able to get huge insights into my characters long before the plot revels them if they just look up the meanings of their names. J.K. Rowling (she's my favorite author so yes I talk about her a lot) has talked a lot about her name meanings and how she likes for her characters to have names with meaning. Well I like the same thing but here is the thing though...my characters started out with almost totally different names. In fact the naming of my four main characters went through four stages and I am going to break each stage down for all of you so you can see the crazy I go through.
Stage one Character Full Names
Elena Marie Wilson (Lena)
Lillian Ann Brandon (Lily)
Penelope Ophelia Toph (Penny)
Jason Paul Andreus (J.P.)
Stage One: Stage one was basically me asking all my friends who they the characters are based off of what names they would like. Elena and Lily were left over names from a joint story I had been writing with an old friend so since I liked them I used them. Penny's name we wanted originally to spell POT as a joke about what a liberal tree hugging hippie her mother was and Paul was kind of an inside joke between my friends and I. So at first the names didn't have much meaning but that was going to change.
Stage two Character First Names
Stage Two: I decided to focus on the first names. Elena got changed to Kendria which has a connection to water. Lilly got changed to Gia which up until I started this post I thought was a variant of Gaia which means earth. I stuck with Penelope because I liked it and I figured I could give her a meaningful middle name or something. J.P. got switched to Zephyr because that was the only male air name I really liked. I didn't like the idea of people calling my main character Ken so here we are at stage two and I still wan't pleased with my names so...
Stage three Full Character Names
Marissa Emera West (Rissa Riss)
Lillian Gia Norris (Lily)
Enya Penelope Teman (Penny)
Zephyr Jason Sol, birthname Aston (Z.J.)
Stage Three: I finally looked into all of the name meanings first middle and last. I did want to keep Gia as her first name but my friend didn't really like it so I switched it back to Lily. So here's how they break down.
Marissa-of the water Emera- Industrious Leader West- Self explanatory
Lily- after the flower Gia- What I thought meant earth Norris- North
Enya- Fire Penelope- Means weaver but some people also think it means clever Teman- from the south
Zephyr- Air Jason- Healer Sol- means sun but this is the surname of his adoptive parents. Aston which is Z.J.s birth surname means East
Stage four (which up until now I thought was going to be the final stage) is basically the same except I switched Lily for Gia. I was getting Lily and Penny confused too often so I decided to solve the problem. Now my names look like...
Marissa Emera West
Gia Lillian Norris
Enya Penelope Teman
Zephyr Jason (Aston) Sol
Now I see I am going to have to have a stage five and rename Gia once again. I'm really not sure what I want to change it to either. My friend suggested Tara but I don't know if I like that for her, its not original enough. So if anyone has a female name that means Earth or something like it please leave it in the comments below.
Stage Five: ????