“What’s in a name?” is a question that can simply be answered in one word, ‘Everything’! Naming your superhero is just as important as naming your series.
It’s important to remember that a name will define, or at least influence, the character’s personality and/or super powers. For me, one of the most important aspects when writing The Deciders was coming up with names for each character. I wanted the names to be catchy, easy to pronounce, and of course not already taken. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to naming your character but I’d like to share with you my method for naming the twins within The Deciders.
While writing the first half of The Deciders, I did not have names for the main characters, who are identical twin sisters. I spent weeks playing with various names in my head but none of them made sense or fitted them. I even went to some Online Name Generating sites, which I’ll list at the end, just to get ideas. Still, I had nothing.
I always liked the name Delilah, from the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, so I came up with these variations:
However, since the main characters are Godkillers it didn’t make sense for them to have a biblical name. Not to mention the twins aren’t temptresses or manipulative, unlike Delilah who is both.
Armed with my trusty Roget’s Thesaurus and Wikipedia I started researching words relating to gods and the killing of gods. Before I had the title of The Deciders, I’ll blog about how I came up with that title another time, I came across the word “deicide”. The definition according to Wikipedia is
Deicide is the killing of a god…the concept is applied to the Crucifixion of Jesus specifically, but may be used with to any life-death-rebirth deity who is killed and then resurrected.
At last, I had just found the perfect word to sum up my comic book! Yet, I still had no names for the twins. They might be identical but they are opposite in personality and I wanted their names to reflect that. I started scanning the thesaurus for words relating to “Yin and Yang” or “Alpha (the beginning) and Omega (the end)”. When I spotted the word “coda”, which is similar in meaning to Omega, I mashed it with the word “deicide” and came up with:
Bingo! Dekoda sounds like the state of Dakota (North or South), so I rearranged some letters and came up with Decoda. The perfect name for the younger twin, since “coda” means ending.
But what about the older twin?
Unable to find a suitable word meaning Alpha, or the beginning, I went back to researching words relating to gods. When I came across the word “devi”, I thought I’d found the perfect name. That is until I discovered (the now defunct) Virgin Comics already had a character and a series called Devi. Doh!
I still loved the name and it’s meaning fit with the theme of The Deciders. So I played around with the name some more and came up with Devah. To my knowledge no other comic book character has this name with this spelling.
And there you have it folks! I hope this was helpful or insightful for those of you who are in the process of trying to think up names for characters. As promised here is a list of sites which offer name generators of all sorts. Until next time!
- Seventh Sanctum – A site of generators to randomly produce concepts, characters, and descriptions for stories, role-playing games, art, etc.
- Serendipity – Fabricates plausible names for your characters or other fantasy naming needs.
- Online Name Generator – Free and easy to use name generators. Generate names with a single click.
- Generator Land – Features a wide variety of insightful, stupid, intellectually stimulating and asinine random generators.
- Buzzword Generator – Creates catchy buzzwords to impress all the attendees at your next Board or Staff meeting.
As a fellow writer, I found this very interesting. I sometimes put thought like that into names, though not generally. Once wrote a story where an older guy dated a high schooler. I named him Dodd so that every time the girl said his name it sounded as if she were calling him “Dad.” Also, I’m from North Dakota so it’s too bad you didn’t stick with Dekoda haha.