Today I was doing the thing I always do when I need to write, especially when I am behind on my goals, searching the internet for things that will distract me. One of the things I can came across was a random list of names. It was supposedly the top fifteen names for each gender of people that are crazy. It is completely made up and only posted for laughs but it got me thinking.
I let my characters name themselves. If I am writing and I need to call a character something and they have yet to tell me what it is I will simply use a filler but eventually they let me in on the secret and I know what to call them. Some writers name their characters after people in their lives while others will research trying to find names that mean something profound in order to help demonstrate traits they feel their characters possess.
I have tried to look up names through several different sites and books and while I have found some inspiration it still comes down to what the characters want. For some of them they will give me a hint but other times they refuse to talk to me until I am able to find the proper thing to call them. Even though I allow my characters to choose for themselves I have occasionally looked up what the names mean.
A few I have used are:
Daniel - meaning God is my judge and that knowing right and wrong is so fitting being that he is a police officer
Persyphone - spelled differently ut it means to destroy and while she does not destroy anyone or anything in the book based around her it is the first book in a series that ends in the destruction of many
Rebeccah - it means a snare and she is a living trap for people, she is powerful and used to getting her way but if she is crossed she will stop at nothing to catch you and punish you to her own satisfaction
When I was looking up some of the names it made me think about some advice I was given when I was young. My name Renee is a name of french origin meaning reborn. Because of this I was always told I never had to worry if I got stuck in a rut in life I could alway be reborn and change myself to become who and what I want to be.
I got stuck at one point and recalling that advice I have pushed to reinvent myself. I am still working on it but it makes me curious what does your name mean? Is it fitting? Have you ever gotten advice or followed a path based on that meaning? If you are a writer and have to name your characters what process do you use?