Character Names and their purpose! (POLLS)

Should the main character’s name really have meaning and purpose towards the plot?

Like I have a female character that I want to name Helvetica.
If you have questions, I shall answer pertaining why I named my character “Helvetica”.

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • Maybe.
  • Sometimes.
  • Don’t Know.

0 voters

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I assume your character works for Apple, Inc. as a fontsmith ? (>‿◠):v:

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Even in a fictional setting like Alagossia?
:sweat_smile:

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So why did you name her Helvetica? ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

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Because it sounds nice…
It was originally meant for a fictional country set on Alagossia, but I’ve became bored with that idea.

Now, it is a person.

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I named my MC Alma because I thought it sounded nice and just fit. It was only later that I looked up the definition and realized that it was perfect for him and the story.

If you’re curious, the name Alma is derived from Hebrew and Spanish roots if I remember correctly, and roughly translates to “to nourish the soul” or variations such as “soul”, “nourishing”, “kindness”, etc. Seeing as my character, Alma, is a synthetic human with a soul, and he makes it his goal to basically nourish and encourage the development of souls in others of his kind, I was quite pleased to find out that the random name I had chosen for him was so fitting for his role in my story.

I guess what I’m saying is, character names don’t have to have any meaning, but it’s always a fun little easter egg to include when they do.

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When the story is allegorical or you want to give people a stereotype without examining it? Yes.

There’s a lot of reasons to do it. The problem is that while it won’t give details a very aptly named character gives a way major plot elements without doing a ton of work.

Big example?

Darth Vader.

Vader means father. There was no ambiguity. The only reason Darth Vader being Luke’s daddy was such a surprise is because we were given misleading information from other characters and Americans are very language-insular, at times.

But if we were back in Pilgrim’s Progress’s era, most every character would have some meaning to their name.

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It’s great if they have a meaning or purpose but it’s not necessary.

I’d only be cautious of a meaning if you’re using a name from language/ethnicity you don’t know. Those you might want to look up to ensure they fit and aren’t offensive, etc.

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This! This is the comment I needed!
Thank you so much! I was worried about whether using that name regardless of nice it sounds to be stereotypical.

I like the sound of Helvetica, but naming a character that name while there’s an eternal blizzard on Alagossia and stuff, seem wrong to time.

Originally, the name would have been Cosmina and the character was a bit different.

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I said “no” because as a reader, I really don’t care what the name is as long as I can read it.

Elspeth from the Obernewton Chronicles gave me a headache. It’s just so hard for me to say even in my mind.

As a writer, however, it is fun that the MC has a name that actually has special meaning towards the plot.

It is a font, but why not name her that? I think it’s fine.

I have characters with super common names: Jack, Henry, Richard, Allen, Mary, Mason, Ginger, Christoph…I typically make MCs with common names if the story or the world around them is super complicated. Their names don’t have anything to do with the plot and they are really plain kind of names, is what I’m trying to say.

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Helvetica is also the Latin name for Switzerland…a country.

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