Name Theory: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

I think in stories. I dream in stories.


I dream complicated movie-like stories with various settings and time periods and numerous characters.

Stories are part of my life. And names, being part of the story, are always with me as well.

So as I go about my day, I subconsciously listen out for names and then create stories around them.

When I was set to meet a boy named Odin, I wondered what Thor’s father would look like. (If you don’t get it, Google the name.) I thought about what would make parents chose that name, how a boy could or could fail to live up to that name, and how the name would affect him.

When my son named his new (from the fair) stuffed pig Piggy, I thought about better names for him. Peregrine? Mal? Horatio?

When I read about a baby with a name mashup, I thought about other name mashups and came up with Annemily. Then I wondered what kind of character Annemily would be. I imagined a woodland creature a la Beatrix Potter’s characters, who would get herself and her friends into trouble but in the end find a way to make it all better.

Names and Stories. Stories and Names. To me, they are like peanut butter and jelly: Better together.

Today, think about the names you come across. What kind of character would have a certain name? What kind of adventure would that character go on? Let your imagination go all easy peasy into the world of the name. You may just find yourself a new story that you “have to” write.


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