Coincidences = my friends (or, What’s In A Name?)

DebE —  August 11, 2012 — 2 Comments

So, now that I have “finished” my first book and am working on books 2 and 3, I have been doing some researching (some might call it procrastination … but I’m sure it will all be useful in the end).

Xena – Warrior Princess (and a Kiwi, too! – yep, from Oamaru, just up the way …)

Anyway, along with working on these next two books, I am being bombarded by ideas on how to improve my first book – some scenes will need a re-write, some stakes will need to be ramped up … I wanted it to be finished, and I know I am close, but I can see some of the comments I’m likely to get from reviewers/editors already, and I want to fix them so they can be left to only say the really hurtful things.

I was checking out a website full of advice on novel-writing, and one of the things it pointed out is that nothing in a novel should be a coincidence. Sure, they happen in real life. Not in fiction. Well, according to a lady at Pixmar, bad stuff can happen at random. But not good stuff.

But my point from the first site mentioned isn’t about “bad” or “good” events. It’s about everything, even character names. Yes. Apparently, they have to mean something to the story. So I thought Uh oh, I’m gonna have to change some names here But guess what? Well … Rather than tell you, I’m a gonna show you … see, I is good storyteller (o:

Name: Closest Real Life Version(s) Meaning
Llewella: Luella,
or Llewellyn (male, and the name I actually based it on)
“Female Warrior”,
or “Like A Lion”
Jonas: “Gift from God”, or “Accomplishing”
Braph: Can’t find
Alvaro: “Truth-speaking”, or “Guardian”
Aris: Can’t Find
Cassidy: Clever, Intelligent
Anyunca/Anya: Anya = variant of Anna Gracious
Hisham: Can’t find (despite being the only character named after someone I’ve met)
Emylia: Emelia “Industrious”, “Striving”

For those who have read any or all of what I’ve written … what do you think? Think I need to change any names?

The only one I’ve really had queried so far was “Hisham”, because he comes from a similar area to Jonas but his name sounds different. But I’m dragging my feet on that, because “Jonas” is generally Hebrew or Israeli (or Spanish, apparently), and Hisham is from the same general region – physically, though perhaps not religiously …

I think my favourite revelations here are the “Female Warrior/Like a Lion” for Llew, and the “Clever, Intelligent” for Cassidy. In Cassidy’s case, that’s how I cast him, even if he doesn’t often act that way. I still think of him as such. He’s smart. That’s why he’s so good at playing the goofball. And Alvaro is a bit of a Truth-sayer and Guardian. Not a very effective one when there’s a Syakaran around to better him, but he tries.

And the toddler wakes.

And here endeth the lesson.




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

2 responses to Coincidences = my friends (or, What’s In A Name?)


    I personally hope you don’t change any names. I believe it could confuse the reader and/or alter their view on the relationships you’ve already established. Just my opinion.

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