Posted by: victanguera | April 26, 2012

What’s in a Name: Writing Post #357

Stars on Ice is coming to Victoria next month. I found myself wondering if Elvis Stojko would be here.

So that led me to thinking about the names we give our children. Did Elvis Stojko’s mother give him that name on purpose? How could you grow up with the name Elvis and not aspire to some kind of fame?

And this scene popped in to my head:

He sat across from me, a thin kid, hunched into a sweater that probably came from and older brother. The brother who had broad shoulders and probably played on the football team. The boy couldn’t be much older than fifteen, and I might have been generous in my estimation. Red marked his face, and there was no way a razor had never touched that skin yet.

“What’s your name.” I leaned on my elbows, trying to put him at ease. It didn’t help. He scuttled away from me, eyes darting to my face, then his untouched cup of coffee.

“Elvis.” He hunched even deeper into his shirt, as if shying away from his name, hiding himself from the burden of such a great weight.

So, what do you name your characters? Any significance to their name? Is their name a burden? Do they aspire to greatness in an attempt to live up to their moniker?



  1. I do try to think about that. I have three characters whose parents were very religious, for example, so I gave them names from the Bible: Samuel, David, Sarah. But I also have a lot of characters who are using names they weren’t born with, so then a different question comes into play: why did that character choose that name?

    • Changing a name is another really intriguing question. So many questions behind why they’d change the name and the reason for choosing the new name. You’ve got so much material you can intersperse! Nice.

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