I’m one of the biggest name nerds I have ever met. And I’m not bragging. I know way more about names than the average person. Maybe this is why I love writing, or maybe writing is why I love names.
Coming up with a name for a character is like naming a child. Each name represents something about the character. Abigail means, “My Father is Joy.” And my character learns to take joy in the Lord. A character from another book, Lev, simply means “heart.” And he’s a man with a lot of heart who learns how to give his away. The hero in War Torn Heart is Harvey, which means “battle worthy.” As a character who goes off to war, the name suits him perfectly.
Just like how protagonists’ names are chosen carefully, the same is true for the antagonist. In War Torn Heart, one of the antagonists is Clarice, which is a form of Clara. Which does mean “clear, bright, famous,” but that’s because Clarice thought a little too highly of herself. A last name might be the glimpse into a character’s persona as well. For one character, I used the last name O’Toole. Wanna guess why? I also used the last name DePrive – which is just the word “deprive” reimagined.
So next time you read a book, look at the characters’ names and see if they offer any insight into who that person might be. You might be surprised.