First Chronicles 4:9-10 records a momentary stop in the listing of the family tree. All of the sudden there’s a short blurb about a man named Jabez who prayed a bold prayer.
The Bible says Jabez was an honorable man, more honorable than his brothers. But, his mother had tagged him with the name Jabez which means pain. She explained that she had given birth to him through great pain.
Though Jabez could have lived up to the name he was given, causing pain or wallowing in it, he chose to rise above it. He prayed for God to grant him blessing and territory with God’s presence and protection. Obviously, Jabez was right with God and his request was in line with God’s will because God granted what he asked.
In the writing of fiction, characters have to be chosen and given names. Are names of importance or will just any name suffice?
Pull out your work in progress and list all character names thus far, including last names. Do you have characters with names which start with the same letter or have a similar sound? This can become confusing as a reader. Similar names can make it easy to mix up characters.
Say each of your characters’ names aloud. Do they sound like the character you have described? For example, Butch probably wouldn’t elicit images of a docile man. The only exception would be if you are trying to create humor with the use of ironic names.
Use the internet or purchase a cheap name meaning book. This can be extremely helpful when choosing names for your characters. Some authors will choose character names based on their meanings. This can also be helpful if you have a character of a particular ancestry and want to give a name that would be from that specific country or family lineage. Some name books even give other forms of names in case your characters are named after a certain family member.
But, do remember, no matter what the name given, God is the one who made each one unique. This can be shown through your characters. However, remember this when it comes to you, the author, too. You are who God says you are.
For fun, look up your name’s meaning. There are books that give Christian meanings with verses as well. How true is the meaning to the person you are?
Keep a list of names that intrigue you as you hear people addressing one another in life or even on television. Keep this list handy in a file when you are creating your next cast of characters.