What’s in a Name?

I have a story trying to take form in my mind right now. All I know is that it involves three sister witches (totally not a Charmed rip-off, my sisters are triplets, totally different, gosh). I have a vague idea of one of the big issues they will have to face, how and why they come together… But I don’t know their names yet.

I have seen many, many writers say that names are not that important. Just put any name in and then once you’re done, go back and change it.

The thing is, names are actually one of the ways I figure out a story. I get to know the characters first and then the story comes. The first thing I know about a character is the name.

I once wrote a short story that stemmed solely from the fact that I wanted to write a character named Savannah so I could call her Savvy for short. And another where I wanted to use Belly Button as a nickname, so I have the main character a little sister named Isabelle.

Most of the time (though not always) my stories begin with a name, and then a person forms around it, then a story forms around the person.

I don’t really know where I was going with this, other than that names sometimes are important to the forming of a story.

I really need to find these girls’ names. I know one is Sage (I really love that name) and people constantly come to her for advice but she’s horrible at giving it.

Hmm, maybe I’ll just start with her and she’ll tell me her sisters’ names…

1 thought on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. I completely agree! Names are incredibly important. Flat names can equal flat characters. My current MC went through like five names in the first thirty pages before I settled on one. Definitely go through baby name websites. Figure out what letter you might want the name to start with or what time period you think your name might stem from. You can also look up names by meaning. Google, “what names mean brave?” I don’t know, I try a lot of different things. Sometimes, I just had to act scenes out in real life and see what kind of names naturally bounce off my tongue:)


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