Character names, I’m sure you’ve seen the trends change. One year all the boys are named Axel and the girls are some rendition of Isabelle. We had a long run of the ‘dens; Aiden, Hayden, Brayden. Cayden.
- The modern hottie – Tristan, Bella,
- Traditionals – John, Sarah
- The one you don’t want to make angry – Cage, Arya
- The unique – Acheron, Daenerys
Naming characters is important, the readers with identify them this way forever. Some names are symbolic or nods to something else. Winter Summersun’s name is symbolic of her dual court status, while Bastien’s name is a nod to The Neverending Story. Bastien’s last name, Bonvillain, translates to good villain. I thought that was funny so I used it. I use a character’s names to name the characters around him/her. I researched fairies and folklore to name the Fae. Bastien’s family needed names that fit his, borderline unusual or just not used as much any more. His sister Madalaina is a cross between Madeline and Magdalaina while his brother Athan is a variation of Nathan. I have no rhyme or reason for why I gave some character’s their name. The lion shifter, Cleary, is an example of me just liking a name. Vampires Manias Artorias and Varian Caina were pulled out of the ether. Manias Artorias needed to sound Roman and the surname Caina alludes to a piece of vampire mythology.
Characters become popular baby names if they’re popular enough. The names from the Twilight series found their way onto birth certificates everywhere. Katniss, Peeta, Khaleesi, Arya, and Triss are rising stars. My own kids names that don’t show up on the traditional list. Blackwood Boy’s name is of Gaelic origin and on becoming more popular, according to one baby name site it’s #629 out of 1220 trending names. Ballerina Blackwood was named after a mermaid, and Baby Blackwood’s name is found in Greek mythology.
Just for fun I added a list of the trending names in 2012, showing that unusual is in and traditional is out. You decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.