The Importance of a Character’s Name

One of the many beauties of being a writer is being able to choose a name for your character that encompasses the characterization of that character. It’s pretty freaking cool to be able to set up a character’s vibe for your readers with the use of a name.

Some writers make conscious decisions to do this. I definitely have. The Revolt Occult is about a peculiar coven of magicians who use their magic to rectify everyday modern injustices. Each coven member’s name resonates or represents the qualities of a specific planet. The title character, Madera in my first book of The Revolt Occult Series – Welcoming Mad Era (Madera) is an example.

Madera represents the planet, Mars. Within the character, Madera, one will find wrath, passion, aggression, action etc. Even the pace of the novel, like one reviewer said, “moves at the rate of thriller,” reflects the speed of the warrior planet, Mars.

But — I will say, it is as interesting as it is intuitive, when a writer subconsciously selects a name for a character that symbolizes the character without even trying to. The mother of Madera, Constance is an example of this. Since I was a little girl, I loved the name, Constance. I just thought it was cool. When I gave Madera’s mother that name, I didn’t noticed how much it made sense.

The character, Constance is only known to readers through flashbacks paired with Madera’s internal thoughts. Constance was wrongfully murdered by a corrupt cop in the streets of Chicago. Midway through writing the novel, it dawned on me that the name, Constance fits the character and all that she symbolizes — the unfortunate constant growing number of police brutality victims that there are. How social justice warriors are constantly demanding for change. How pitiful it is that the word, constant is prominent in such matters. All this fact did was reassure me that the spirit in our writing is powerful and when we tap into it, it will lead.