Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Name is Just a Name (or is it?) - Payne

He called me, “Heather with the laughing eyes.” Although my name is actually Kimberley, the name my Dean called me the night we played shuffleboard in the campus games room was a name that I adopted in my heart.20 years later, I christened the main character in my work-in-progress novel, Blind Trust, with the name Heather Williams.

Heather’s last name comes from a Welsh/German background that means, “By following the truth.”In Bible times, names had significance. They usually indicated a personal or physical characteristic or related incident to the birth of the child. When Sarah was ninety years old, God told her that she and Abraham would finally have a child. Sarah named her first-born Isaac, which means “He laughs” because she laughed when God told her she would bear a child in her old age. Isaiah’s name means “The LORD saves,” and Eve means “Life-Giving”. God changed the names of Sarai to Sarah, Abram to Abraham and Saul to Paul – just to name a few. This was to show that they were new creations and somehow changed after their encounter with God.

The names of Bible characters and saints have become popular in our society today. Leading all saints names are Mary, William, and John. My brother named his firstborn son, Benjamin, which means “Son of My Right Hand.”When writing fiction, it’s important to choose a name best suited to your character. I named the antagonist in my novel, Rod Kramer. Both his first and last name give the reader a glimpse into his character. Rod is short for Roderick, “Famous Power” and his surname comes from Irish/German ancestry.

There are a number of websites on the Internet that offer anything from the origin and meaning of the name to popularity rank by year.Baby name books make a wonderful gift for bewildered parents hunting for the perfect name for their baby. They also work wonders for writers who are looking for the exact name that will fit the personality of their characters.So before you name your heroine or villain, make sure you know her history and choose the perfect name that holds true to her character.Kimberley (forest clearing) Jane (God is gracious) Theresa (of the harvest)

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