Names (And The Lack Thereof)

If you ever get a chance to see my rough drafts you would see a lot of things that look like this:

[Elf King]
[Elven King]
[King of the Elves]
[Elven King I really gotta name this dude since he’s Pash’s father]

Um, yeah.  Naming things is not my forte.

Titles are even worse than character names.  My list of Word docs looks something like this:

Book One
Book Two
Book Three
original NaNo novel
NaNo 2010
June Camp
AotA bk4
AotA Marsden and Vinadi (That one’s at least slightly helpful.)
(It should probably be noted that Book One, Book Two, and Book Three have been without real titles since 2008/2009.)

The problem is that names define things.  Once something is named, it becomes permanent and… limited.  Some of its potential is lost.  Therefore, names have to be perfect.

(I often run into this same perfection problem with counted cross stitch when it comes to choosing a fabric for a project. “Yeah, this will look good on it, but what if there’s a better fabric out there for this chart? Or what if another chart comes along and this fabric would be perfect for it?”)

Names have power.  Some cultures believed that knowing someone’s real name gave you power over them.  (Remember Rumpelstiltskin?  Only by knowing his true name could she void the deal they had made.)

Names give you power over demons, too.  To summon a demon, you have to know its true name. That is how you control it, confine it, bend it to your will.

You know…

Novels are a lot like demons…  They possess you and refuse to give you their names.


Need naming help?  Don’t look at me!  (But do look at my links page.)


Filed under general, names

6 responses to “Names (And The Lack Thereof)

  1. Pingback: I Have Decided… | Novel Notes

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  3. Haha! I feel your pain. All of my stories are saved in my documents under the protagonist’s name, because titles are my worst! I keep hoping one of my minions (previewing friends) will say “Hey, you know what a great title for this would be?” But, no. No, they’re no help, either. :)

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  5. Pingback: Names! (Sort of) | Novel Notes

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