The Science of Naming Characters

As it turns out, there isn’t one. You might think that naming characters is deliberate and meaningful but, in my case, not really. I actually couldn’t wait to name everybody so I could just get on with the storytelling and, in hindsight, that’s probably not the right way to go about it. I came up with names that made sense to me but didn’t have anything to do with me so I could be creative and be attached to the characters for who they were or who I made them to be-not any previous experiences. Plus, it’s kind of fun to just randomly make names up.

I did, however, put plenty of thought into naming the pets in the book, and, of course, I named them after my own.

So why did I name my main male character Dez Parker? I guess you could say I had the name on the brain. When ESPN is on in the house every day and on multiple TV’s during the football season, you start to pick up on things repeated over and over. Athletes Dez Bryant and Jabari Parker’s names were mentioned a lot in the summer/fall 2013 when I was avidly writing and shazam. Dez Parker was born.

Sabrina? That one I really can’t explain. I watched Bewitched as a child but that I am sure had no influence. I have never watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch so I know that’s not it. I am at a loss when it comes to naming her but I know she most definitely IS a Sabrina, no matter the reason. It just fits her.

Some names mean more and are more important to the story (and the author) than others. It’s not solely determined by the flip of a coin but it can be. It’s fiction, and there isn’t a whole lot of science to it.