What’s in a Name?
I’m not one for research while writing a book. Sure, I’ll look up some things I need to know but full on research? Not for me – of course that isn’t to say I won’t write something down the line that requires it but for now, minimal research. That being said, if I need to look up something or book mark a page for reference, I’ll do it.
My current, thisclosetobeingfinished and by finished I mean Iamthisclosetobeingsatified, WIP had me perusing the Internet for some information – to be specific, names. names of angels, other names for devil – because, though Lucifer is a fabulous name – full of sinister appeal, it has a stigma attached to it and if I wanted readers to sympathize with my devil, then I needed to change his name.
Some names have emotions or memories attached to them – Romeo, Juliet, Gatsby, Bella, Edward, Katniss… Writer’s need to be wary of reintroducing them. For this, my advice is do some light research.
Back to my devil – like I said above, Lucifer is an obvious name for the devil and thought it fit (my character is, after all, the devil) I didn’t want the heads of my readers to go there every time he was on the page. I needed sympathy, I needed them to forget. At the same time, I wanted him to be named for what he is. Beelzebub? Sounds like Beetlejuice. Satan? I picture horns and a tail. I eventually settled on Damien. Damian is often associated with being the son of Satan but actually means to tame. I liked the name, it fit so I changes it a bit, took out the “a” added an “e” and voila! My devil was born.
I also did research as the Angel of Death makes an appearance. It would have been too obvious to call him as such. So, once again, I trolled the internet. I needed a strong name. I settled on Abaddon, meaning “to destroy” – it’s also another name for the Angel of Death.
Lastly, I needed the middleman between my main character, Samantha, and Damien. It’s very “Children of the Corn” but Malachi means messenger.
There are a few more examples within the pages of TORN and the sequel but the point of all of this is, when it comes to Biblical FanFic, we have a plethora of options to choose form. Be careful when naming your characters. Names form the Bible evoke emotion and you need to decide if you want your characters to be obvious, sympathetic, strong, or ambiguous. For this, Google is your friend. Using baby naming sites, sites that highlight the names of angels and demons. It’s easy enough even if you dislike research as much as I do. Bookmark the pages for later use. You’ll thank me for it.