The Name Game

There can be many things that make a character: a crafted personality, descriptions, with faults and all. What completes them or makes them, depending on the how one would create his or her character, is the name. It can give the writer a chance to be clever with a character’s name. A meaning can give a glimpse into a personality trait or give clues into what they are or will become.

Screen Shot from HP Lexicon

Screen Shot from HP Lexicon

Baby name sites can be another resource if you don’t already use them.

Stumble along google for new name sites if you don’t already. Those sites may be a go to for you, so feel free to leave them below for others to check out.

One of the reasons I decided to write this post is because of how much fun it can be and how it can be somewhat daunting to find the right character name.

I’m sure there are other writers who spend some time deciding, going back and forth on which will be the character’s name. The journey in finding the right name depends on what kind type of material you’re writing. In fantasy or otherworld pieces, the name can play a part in the story and create a different culture or environment for your character.

What I mean by that is that it can give a character a little more background. Even with nicknames; it raises the question on why the character doesn’t go by their full name.

As an example, Ace, one of my main characters from Torque, goes by that name by other character though I made his first name [Alexander]. Originally, his name was just Ace Thurston. I decided to change it and use it as a plot point for later. It also fit better with his character traits.

Origin: Biblical, German, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Slovak, Dutch, Norwegian // from Behind the Name

Origin: Biblical, German, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Slovak, Dutch, Norwegian // from Behind the Name

When searching for names, I normally go to Behind the Name. The site has a wide variety of names with meanings attached to them, which will make it easier to decide if decide to choose a name that meets your fancy. The names can be separated by gender and/or ethnicity.

If the name doesn’t fit the character, than create a list of names you necessarily can’t part from. There will be plenty of chances to create a character that will fit the name. (There may a time when you review the list and you get inspired by a name.)  Just be sure to keep track and sure you are not using the same name for different stories — unless it’s intentional.

Surnames, like first names, has to fit the character. There are times when you may like a name, but it doesn’t fit the character or it doesn’t fit well with the first name. Or you intentionally not give the character a last name, which is something I am doing with Spirits.

With surnames, I believe you can have a little more fun other languages. Depending on the ethnicity or nationality, you can pull names from simple meanings of dictionaries. (Sometimes you need to turn to something that’s a little unconventional to get what you want.) While writing a fanfiction (not Whispers), I turned to a Japanese to English – English to Japanese dictionary. At the time I felt some of the names were either too common and I wanted something different.

To make things a little easier when searching for names on Behind the Name, is the ‘Tools’ tab. It will give you the option of searching for what you need in themes or anagrams. Say a you want a “flowery” meaning for a character’s name. Then you’re in luck. It will bring up “flowery” meanings from every country that’s on the site and if you want male, female or unisex names.

Even name generators can be a useful too.  If you use the Scrivener writing app, there is name generator that can be used as well.

Be sure to explore the “Links” page on Behind the Name which will give you more options in name searches.

Until next time,


P.S. Don’t forget to follow my blog and YouTube channel for writing updates.


Romance and ages

What is the appeal behind a young female protagonist falling for an older male protagonists – the ones where the men are over 100 years old, but doesn’t look a day over 20 something.

I can’t give a definite answer to that because I am not getting a degree in psychology or anything related to development. But I just started to find this relationship dynamic interesting.

The book I am currently reading, Tiger’s Curse is about a girl named Kelsey (16 18y/o, she acts like a kid, though) who decides to go India under the impression she’ll help the tiger, Ren, adjust to life in India. But that quickly changes to her trying to break a curse on Ren she met after feeding and reading poetry to him for two weeks. Of course the tiger is not what it seems and he’s a prince.

He’s over 300 years old, and looks young ( no description how old he looks age-wise. Or there is and I forgot, whoops.) Like any book similar to this the female starts to fall in love and/or vice versa.

The plots are different but the endgame is usually the same: they fall in love. Maybe there’s an article out the that focuses on this relationship dynamic and gives the reason on why it’s so appealing to people my age or younger.

Maybe it’s possible that the book reflects our inner desire to have a older partner or someone old fashion – which some of us wouldn’t mind because some people are a-holes.

What I haven’t seen, which would be interesting is a younger guy falling in love with an older woman, someone over 100 years old looking 20 something. Or even people of the same gender with the dynamic. I bet that would be good. (Hint, hint.)

There’s nothing wrong the large age gaps, otherwise I wouldn’t have it on my bookshelves, but it is a little creepy. Especially if they aren’t legal. But that’s a huge plot hole for later.

Intimidation of page numbers and word count

I’ve come to realize why it’s hard to write, and why it may be hard for others to write. The expectancy of x amount of pages for chapter or book.

When someone expects a certain amount or as a writer, you pressure yourself to get the amount you want or need, it can take the fun out of writing. It can make your writing area into a stressful environment. Which is not very productive.

It’s all some writers, like myself, can think about when writing. It started to make me feel unmotivated when I tried and write Torque.
Continue reading

New Story Idea!

Hello Readers. If there still are any. (I keep disappearing because of life.)

I am currently was in Italia, studying abroad and taking trips to amazing places. I just recently went to Paris and it was amazing. While I was there it seemed so unreal, that I am studying abroad. There are many people that do not get to do this. But I’m not going to talk about my trips in this post. That’s what my other blog is for. It’s called “In Firenze” and I (will) update those adventures there (eventually). I’m still stuck on the first week because I had been out and about, napping or in class.

A while back (way back), I was writing fanfiction for this anime called “Attack on Titan,” or its actual Japanese name “Shingeki no Kyojin“. I had two ideas that I couldn’t decide on, but I ultimately stuck with the one that would of been a alternate version of what was to come in my version of the storyline.

I didn’t want to scrap the other idea and I felt like I could make a three-part series out of it. I still have some plot holes to fill out, but I have my characters’ name. I wanted the first part to be like a diary entries, the second part will switch to third-person, and the last part will be third-person omniscient (at least for now).

I’ve started writing part one and it’s called The Book of Phaedrus. This part of the series I am planning to set it in the past, either in Greece or Egypt.  The next two parts in the series I am not completely sure, but I do have the main character’s names. Part two will be about a girl named Asha, which will take place in the present and part three will be about a friend/angel named Ariel, which will take place in the future.

If you would like I can put a little piece of the beginning in one of my next posts.

See you next post, which will be in another week. Seriously this time.

XO Arisa


I don’t know what I’m doing but…

I seriously don’t know what I am doing, but I hope to begin the film script soon. I have set up a time with my friends this past Monday to help brainstorm some ideas and hopefully begin something.

Since I have no clue what I am doing, I have asked two of my theatre friends and my college writing professor, who studied film to help. Of course my theatre friends will be guide in regards to content and plot in this form of writing. My professor said he was going to send references to help with structure and ways to set up the script. I’ll eventually search the for references myself.

When my friends and I talked on Monday, I told them the truth about not knowing what I’m doing. So one of them told me to write a 10-page script and told me not to think about what I was writing. All I could think was: “How am I not supposed to think?”

I am used to thinking about what I’m writing and whether it will make sense and if the plot will match down the line. The 10-page script will be challenge for me to do, but I am up to it. I must finish by the next time we talk to each other.

The reason why I want to create a film script is because I want to try something new with writing, for fun and because of my college writing 2 course. The course was based on the analysis of film and writing papers on them. Watching the films made me want to know what was the process like for the writers of the movie. The dialogue is the backbone of the movie then the visuals.

I think that when stories are created and turned into a great visual masterpiece, it’s pretty freaking awesome. Lately, I have been looking a graduate schools that offer film or television programs. I am finding it hard to chose what I want to do for a Master’s degree.

I think this will conclude my rant about not knowing what I am doing.

And for you Trekkie fans, go see Star Trek: Into Darkness. I found it quite delightful, I want to see it again. (The lens flares don’t disappoint.)

XO Arisa (If you guys have good references for script writing, format, etc.  comment below.)

Trying to find that love again

Since I am going to college for journalism, specifically magazine journalism, writing has been a love-hate relationship. I know that it’s a different style but it has been difficult for me to master. I made it a goal of mine to work for a publishing company, become an editor of a magazine and one day own my own magazine.

If you’ve ever had a journalism course or went to j-school, they probably told you the ABCs of journalism. The ABCs stand for accuracy, brevity and clarity. I think that as I was learning the ABCs and other rules, I began to slowly lose my touch and (I dare say it) my love for writing.

When I came to school I knew I wanted to journalism ( and to also please my parents because an English degree wouldn’t suffice.) And I’ve always loved magazines;  features,  ads, horoscopes, photographs – basically the entire package of a magazine. As I am wrapped up my reporting class I realized that I don’t like the newspaper aspect of print journalism. Maybe it was just the class. (It was the class.) 

I refuse to give up on something, just because of this factor. The other factor is that I am not sure what I was doing well in the class. For all I know, every story and brief I wrote could be classified as: meh or okay.

As someone who generally writes creative fiction better than non-fiction, fact filled work, it’s hard. Lately, I’ve been trying to “label” myself as a storyteller, as I am telling someone else’s story with facts. We will see how this holds up when I take my feature writing course in the fall. I will keep pushing forward to do better in my journalistic writing, eventually I’ll get it.

xo Arisa

-PS. I will be updating the site soon and it will showcase my published works, designs and projects.

Helping out a friend


Always #severussnape ~ Photo courtesy of Google Images

I don’t mind helping out my friends, whatever it is I do my best to help. In this case, it’s editing the first draft of my friend’s book.

We all know what it’s like to hand over the first draft, it’s hard. It’s hard because someone may mark up and down with pen or pencil, get it back with different critiques than one was hoping for. It’s the business of writing:  start, fumble around a bit, stop, start again and eventually finish(again).

When I was in middle school,  I gave my brother my very first draft of my novel series. He read it, asked me if I was going to rewrite it and when I said no, he threw it in the trash. Yes, it was mean to do that, but it opened my eyes to be prepared for any critique. And yes, I got it out off the trash and kept writing.

It’s been hard to concentrate on her book; I put it down three times in one sitting. I hope to finish it and give her a typed up critique when we get back to school.

I gave myself a head-start  and  all ready begun to type up her critique and the things they need to work on is going to get long. No one is perfect on their first or even final draft. Eventually the writing gets better.  As I was writing the critique, I felt like a teacher. While I do this, I am hoping this is what an actual book editor for a publishing company does.

I hope what I say doesn’t discourage in her in the journey of novel writing.  It should give her fuel.

Well I am off to do something productive… I hope.

XO Arisa

Blog Response: It Isn’t About You…

This is a blog response to Allie B. Books post: It isn’t about you…

I am so glad that this post was made! At the time Allie B. Books made this post, I was feeling meh about my writing. I was also afraid of putting too much of myself into the words I wrote. Sure there is an eraser at the end of my pencil, but it still doesn’t shake the feeling that I’m putting to much of myself in it. Like the title of the post said, It isn’t about you.

There are pointers that are in the post itself and makes note of the things that writers put in their stories. Stating the type of character, Allie B. Books, proceeds to explain that certain characters are the way they are because of an influence in our lives.

I think it’s good to put a little bit of yourself in your novel but it depends on how much you put into. If it’s too much then it becomes a problem, but there is a thing called an eraser/ backspace button.

Three main parts of this post are: The Bully as the Whipping Boy, The Stone- Carved Lover, and The Everything I Wish I Was. Each section points out problems and/ or solutions to avoid character development that you probably don’t want.

To read this blog, just click the link above. And good luck writing!

XO Arisa