Goldie's Blog

WHAT’S IN A NAME? by GEORGE IVANOFF

11 January, 2012 | By Goldie Alexander

SOME TIME AGO I ASKED SOME PUBLISHED AUTHORS TO GIVE MY READERS TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING.
I WOULD APPRECIATE MORE ARTICLES FROM OTHER AUTHORS TO DISPLAY ON THIS BLOG.
I HAVE WRITTEN EXTENSIVELY ON MANY OF THESE TOPICS. HOWEVER, OTHER POINTS OF VIEW ARE INVALUABLE.

THANK YOU GEORGE IVANOFF FOR THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
George says:
When doing school visits I’m often asked how I come up with names for my characters. I thought this would make an interesting topic for a blog post. So, here goes…

Names are important, in that they can give you an immediate first impression about a character. Names can contribute to how a reader perceives a character. So I rarely just pluck random names out of the ether. My characters’ names are always considered and chosen for a reason.

In my Gamers novels, different names have been chosen for different reasons. Let’s start with the two main characters Tark and Zyra. These teenagers inhabit a fantastical computer game world, so I wanted names that reflected that world. They couldn’t be ordinary names. They had to be fantasy names. But, I didn’t want to have names that were too long or difficult to pronounce. I wanted short simple names that worked well together (as Tark and Zyra are a team) and that would be easy to remember and pronounce. I tried out lots of different combinations and variations before finally settling on Tark and Zyra.

By contrast, the personas that Tark and Zyra take on when they enter the ‘Suburbia’ game environment needed to sound ordinary, and even a little twee, in order to match the environment. Again, they also needed to work together. I remember trying out names beginning with the same letter. I had Tim and Tina at one point… but I decided that was a bit too much. So I ended up choosing John and Tina.

With the villains, I decided that the names should reflect their characteristics. The Fat Man was named as he was because he is very fat. He is also hungry for power, so the name’s association with possible gluttony worked in nicely. The Cracker gets his named from his habit of cracking his knuckles. That name also has threatening connotations, which is appropriate for a thug.

With Princeling Galbrath, I wanted a name that sounded like it could be both a person and a place. Something a bit stuffy and regal. Again, I played around with a number of names before settling on Princling Galbrath from the Principality of Galbrath.

Then there’s the dragon and his enormous wife. I wanted them to have fairly ordinary names because, although they are far from ordinary, there is an ordinariness to their lives. They are married like ordinary people… and this extraordinary woman married her dragon all in the name of money. But I also wanted the names to be a bit old-fashioned, as the dragon was quite elderly. So I opted for Edgar the dragon and his wife Vera.

Sometimes, names can also be symbolic. The second book, Gamers’ Challenge, introduces a new character. She is part of a community of people who refuse to abide by the rules and do not play the game in which they are trapped. She is very special and the community have a great deal of hope in her being their salvation. And so, naturally, I named her Hope.

As a writer, I enjoy coming up with names for my characters. And as a reader, I enjoy considering the character names in the books I’m reading — looking at the connection between character and name. It’s lots of fun. The Harry Potter books are really good for this — there is a werewolf named Lupin; and Sirius Black is a wizard who turns into a black dog. As I said… lots of fun!

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author and stay-at-home dad. He has written over 50 books for kids and teens, as well as many articles and short stories. He is best know for his Gamers books — teen novels set within a computer game world. The first book, Gamers’ Quest, won a 2010 Chronos Award and is on the reading lists for the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Reading Challenges. For information about George’s writing and school visits, check out his webiste: http://georgeivanoff.com.au

89 Responses to “WHAT’S IN A NAME? by GEORGE IVANOFF”

  1. [...] wrote a guest post about character names for the blog of fellow author Goldie Alexander (see “What’s in a name?”). The post went online this morning and I Tweeted about it. WHAT’S IN A NAME? Guest post on [...]

  2. [...] and should not be chosen at random (see my guest post for author Goldie Alexander’s blog — “What’s in a Name?”). So, I sought out a list of Italian names that explained their origins and meanings, and used [...]

  3. [...] and should not be chosen at random (see my guest post for author Goldie Alexander’s blog — “What’s in a Name?”). So, I sought out a list of Italian names that explained their origins and meanings, and used [...]

  4. Thanks , I have recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve found out so far. However, what about the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i do not understood is in reality how you’re no longer really a lot more well-preferred than you may be right now. You are very intelligent.

  5. Amery Waters says:

    Going through your entire site, it is very good for me, full of great information. Especially for me, because I am a newbie in this area. Thanks

  6. Twitter Tool says:

    [...] Wonderful post, I will definitely subscribe to your list, looking forward to more post from you. Read More… [...]

  7. I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers but this piece
    of writing is in fact a good piece of writing, keep it up.

  8. What’s up to every single one, it’s really a good for me to visit this
    site, it contains priceless Information.

  9. Nice blog here! Also your web site rather a lot up
    very fast! What web host are you the use of?
    Can I am getting your associate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    • goldie says:

      I’m not too good technically speaking. I leave that to my webmaster. Thanks for enjoying this blog.

  10. goldie says:

    Thank you for your kind comment. I use wordpress for my blog and my webmaster handles the rest. You might like to have a look at my website as it is brand new and I am rather proud of it.

  11. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it is truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  12. You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites on the net.

    I most certainly will recommend this website!

  13. Hi I am so thrilled I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was looking
    on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous
    post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb work.

  14. seo adelaide says:

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.
    I am attempting to find things to enhance my web site!
    I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  15. albany.com says:

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep
    it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is
    really a great web site.

  16. seo adelaide says:

    I know this web page presents quality based content
    and other data, is there any other web site which offers these kinds of
    data in quality?

  17. Our destination is to crack to find topics similar vigor efficiency, reprocessing, and the comparable in going unripe Sproul.
    I would liketo broaden my declinations to AT&T, tiers of taste and phenomenal people attainments.
    Which physicians did you search discussion you exact you endured as a consequence of the accidental injury?

  18. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or
    tips. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  19. Charles says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

    Feel free to surf to my site; wild mice (Charles)

  20. Jennifer says:

    May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody who genuinely understands
    what they’re discussing online. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising
    you’re not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

  21. My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site.
    He used to be totally right. This put up truly made my day.
    You can not imagine just how so much time I had spent for this information!

    Thanks!

  22. green smoke says:

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in web explorer, may check this?
    IE nonetheless is the market chief and a good component of folks
    will omit your excellent writing because of this problem.

  23. help.vth.ru says:

    You made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue
    and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

    Also visit my page … a knockout post (help.vth.ru)

  24. Seb says:

    Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your submit is just nice and
    i could suppose you’re a professional on this subject.

    Well along with your permission let me to grasp your feed
    to stay updated with imminent post. Thank you one million and
    please continue the enjoyable work.

  25. Oakley Antix says:

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct
    my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    cheers

    • goldie says:

      Unfortunately, I’m a bit of techno phobic and I have a clever webmaster create this for me. Good luck with building your own.

  26. I drop a comment when I appreciate a post on a blog
    or I have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation.

    It’s a result of the passion communicated in the article I read.
    And on this post WHAT

  27. I every time emailed this website post page to all my contacts, for the reason that if like to read it then my friends will too.

    Look into my web blog … 最安値 トートバッグ 推薦

  28. iherb promo says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures
    on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I
    was wondering if you knew where I could locate a
    captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform
    as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  30. Madie says:

    Stunning story there. What happened after? Take care!

    My website – investments en espanol (Madie)

  31. Sherryl says:

    Admiring the dedication you put into your blog and in depth information you offer.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while
    that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Great read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  32. Hello, I read your blog like every week. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  33. I am genuinely thankful to the owner of this web
    page who has shared this great article at at this time.

  34. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe
    for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable
    deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

    Here is my web site … telecharger subway surfers

  35. ethan says:

    If you like reading a blog, what kind of interesting things that make you like that blog? Give me your favorite blog links too..

  36. Williams says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good
    asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off,
    I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link
    back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested.
    Regards!

    • goldie says:

      Thanks all the same, but I write all my own articles. However somone else reading my blo might be interested.
      Good luck with your business.

  37. Amazing things here. I’m very glad to see your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m having a look forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  38. fotografia says:

    Very rapidly this web site will be famous amid all blog visitors, due to it’s fastidious articles

  39. pvc pipes says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting
    a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the
    meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this subject here on your
    site.

  40. Remona says:

    My brother suggested I would possibly lioe this web site.
    He was entirely right. This publish actuallly made my day.
    You can noot imagine simply how a lot time I had spent for this info!
    Thank you!

  41. What’s up everyone, it’s mmy first visit at this web site,
    and piece of writing is genuinely fruitful designed for me, keep up postijng these articles or reviews.

    Also isit my web-site: http://www.xtremepicks.com

  42. domain says:

    It’s amazing to visit this site and reading the views of all friends on the topic of this piece of writing, while I am
    also zealous of getting experience.

  43. Stanley says:

    I know this site offers quality dependent articles or reviews and additional
    data, is there any other website which presents these information in quality?

  44. Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this site regularly, this web page is genuinely pleasant and the visitors are really sharing fastidious thoughts.

  45. top Article says:

    Hi there to every , since I am actually eager of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis.

    It carries good data.

  46. Blair says:

    May I just say what a relief to uncover an individual who truly understands what they’re talking about online.
    You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. More people need to look at this and understand this side of
    your story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular since you surely have the gift.

    • goldie says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I also wish more people would read my blog and even more would read my books. All the very best, Goldie

  47. ask.fm wiki says:

    Hi there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  48. Elise says:

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful.

    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable
    and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait
    to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.

    My weblog website (Elise)

  49. Candelaria says:

    Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely diggg it and personally suggest
    to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this site.

  50. Niamh says:

    I just couldn’t ggo away your web site before suggesting that I
    actually loved the usual information a person provide to your guests?
    Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to check up on new posts

  51. Suzette says:

    This post presents clear idea for the new viewers of blogging,
    that truly how to do blogging and site-building.

  52. I really like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve included you guys to
    blogroll.

  53. omnipotence says:

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this website, because i want enjoyment, for the reason that this this website conations actually pleasant funny information too.

  54. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on web?

  55. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang
    of it!

  56. link wheel says:

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page
    and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

  57. Saved as a favorite, I love your website!

  58. Wonderful article! This is the type of info that should be shared across the net.
    Shame on the seek engines for now not positioning this put up higher!
    Come on over and consult with my site . Thank you =)

  59. What’s up to all, for the reason that I am in fact eager of reading this webpage’s post to be updated daily.
    It carries nice material.

  60. […] wrote a guest post about character names for the blog of fellow author Goldie Alexander (see “What’s in a name?”). The post went online this morning and I Tweeted about […]

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑