Naming your characters
This year, I was blessed with two nephews. One is named Arnav and the other is Kanishk.
Earlier this year, my brothers’ were looking for names for their yet-to-be-born kids. And I was asked to contribute.
I began my research…
Name has lot of significance in one’s life. That is your identity, in more ways than one.
Also, given the fact that Indian names have meaning and references to dead people or Gods, I went back to the origins of Names…
As I was digging, I found that genealogy could be traced effectively ONLY by using both gotra names and surnames (In an Indian context). I tried unraveling the genealogy of a famous rebel leader Gona Ganna Reddy – one of my favorite historical figures of South Indian history.
1262–1289 CE was the historically dated time for Rani Rudrama Devi’s reign.
GGR was a ruler of a princely state under Kakatiya dynasty (currently called Warangal). It was the time when Rani Rudrama Devi at 14, was instated as the ruler of Kakatiya dynasty. The decision didn’t sit well with other rules. They revolted against the idea more so under the rein of a woman.
How she set order and suppressed all the uprisings with the help of GGR always intrigued me. Along my research, I found lots of interesting stuff about the culture, lifestyle, economics, politics, religion etc. and I kept going.
Then I stumbled upon two interesting details. One – Every name comes with a predefined set of personality traits. Two – A ritual of mass suicides on the night of Shiva raatri called Brugupaadam took place on the Srisailam hill.
A story took shape in my head – A historical fiction. I even had the title: “Brugupaadam – At Shiva’s feet.” The story is about mass suicides, politics and religion. (Synopsis coming soon ;P ).
Anyways, going back to the first point – Names being pre-ordained by character traits intrigued me. I began my search in that direction. No wonder they say it is important to match the first letter of a name to the time of birth and astrological placement of planets and stars!
Intrigued by the idea I looked around. I found a website that spins out some character traits for a NAME…
Take a look…
This is what I got for my first name Ushasri
Your first name of Ushasri has made you desire system and order and to progress step by step, yet you are taken into new experiences, turmoil, and change and rarely can you fully complete an undertaking to your satisfaction.
You are extremely analytical and sometimes critical of both others and of yourself, and must guard against sarcastic speech and temper.
At times you feel torn between your desire for system and order, and your need for change and new experiences.
You do not accept new ideas readily and do not appreciate unsolicited advice.
You tend to be impulsive and could attract accidents as a result.
The opposing forces in your nature affect your nervous system, causing tension in the solar plexus, indigestion, ulcers, or growths, and moods of depression.
You have not found the happiness nor the settled conditions you desire.
When I just used Usha see the results:
Your first name of Usha has made you a patient, meticulous person who enjoys working in a detailed, systematic way.
You are determined and deliberate in pursuing your ambitions, but you must work at your own speed.
You hate to be hurried or to leave anything unfinished or untidy.
Your infinite patience would allow you to develop intricate, involved skills to perfection.
Often feeling burdened with work, you worry about details out of proportion to their importance.
Having definite ideas, you are skeptical and do not change easily, for you require proof, preferably in complete detail before you will alter an opinion.
Once you are settled into a situation, you do not like to move or make changes.
When on a schedule, you follow it implicitly.
Your sense of values emphasizes material things, with little appreciation towards the more artistic, philosophical, or inspirational matters.
Health weaknesses of this name affect the stomach and intestinal tract, and could appear as growths or constipation.
Arthritis, or rheumatism could result.
I was more than intrigued. I input randon names into the search and found it was spinning out results with 55 – 65% accuracy.
Here is the website. Check it out. It is fun 😉
However, it only analyses the names that are already in their database – About 993,049 of them.
Check out what I got for the name RAM and gender Male
Your first name of Ram has given you a quick, analytical mind.
You are creative, versatile, and imaginative.
However, independence, positivity and the urge for action and progress are such strong forces in your nature that you find it difficult to control them.
You feel happy as long as headway is being made, but as soon as you are obstructed or your individuality and freedom of action are restricted, you experience an intense nervous reaction.
Moods of depression can result during which you become caustic and belligerent in your attitude toward everyone, especially to those in closest association with you.
Routine, monotony, and the responsibility of looking after details can have a similar effect on you, as you are a person who desires change, travel, and new experiences.
In order to gain greater congeniality in your personal associations, you need to cultivate a more relaxed manner, greater generosity, understanding, and tolerance, and, above all, you need to avoid being too outspoken and self-opinionated. The influence of this name can be very destructive to your health and personal happiness, even though it may take you far in business.
You frequently experience nervous tension in the solar plexus.
A sensitive stomach and ulcers could result.
Also, ailments could centre in the head affecting the eyes, ears, nose, throat, or teeth.
When I kept the name constant and changed the gender see the results. (Female Ram)
Your first name of Ram has given you energy, drive, and ambition, but also an almost excessively strong-willed and independent nature.
While you are creative, inventive, and ingenious in practical matters, and always ready to initiate and promote new undertakings, you often experience difficulty in bringing your undertakings to a successful conclusion because of your own changing interests or changing circumstances.
You become intensely involved with everything you plan to do, but the stress arising from frustrating obstacles or misunderstandings with others could prompt you to be intolerant and sarcastic in your expression, with breakdowns in congenial relations with family and friends a possible end result.
Any emotional outbursts or moods would register as tension in your solar plexus, resulting in nervous indigestion and related problems.
Tension could also centre in the head affecting the eyes, ears, sinuses, or teeth.
True relaxation and peace of mind are elusive under this name.
Interesting isn’t it?
That’s not it. I went further down the trail and looked up a name from an astrological POV.
Tested for name Laxman
Then numerology… for the name Laxman
By the time I was done my research, I had a character sketch of all my 5 main characters Ram, Laxman, Sita and Urmila and Hanuman for one of my love stories.
And that my friend, is a good way to name a character – through his personality traits.
It has many advantages:
It helps you keep track of the character arc (as the name goes with the character).
If you know what the character is now, you can easily back track to create a back-story and or a flashback.
Every time you use a name in a scene, you know what his actions and reactions, dialogue is going to be when interacting with others. It helps tremendously to build in conflict.
There are many others and I am sure you can figure them out and will stop my ramble.
Happy planning and happy writing…
More to come… 😛 😀