Friday, February 18, 2011

changing the names

i think I mentioned earlier that i wished to change the names of the characters. i thought i would write the novel in English, but i opted for higher diversity of vocabulary and deeper expression of thoughts so i wrote it in Hungarian.
in a literary website some people commented that names are unimportant as long as there is a great story going on, while others used the old 'nomen est omen' argument to encourage me to choose carefully.
the main character, a former Sarah, is going by Margaret, but now I am seeking a fine Hungarian alternative.
i think i get a great one by Greta, which is of German origin and has the same feeling: 'a' Greta sounds strong, yet close to nature. it feels like a feminie name that has no connection to any major religion. (this issue was the main reason to reject 'Sarah' - although a name i do like very much.
also Greta has a clear reference to Margaret.
her mother is going by Nancy at the moment, but that must surely go.
there isn't anything similar in the Hungarian, so i have to invent and use something else instead.
her father, now Kyle - the same situation.
i think i'll try Attila, which is a Hungarian name meaning father. Attila, the hun has a dubious reputation. some historians say he was good, some go for bad. some even venture into saying that the huns have nothing to do with the hungarians.
the same goes to Margaret/Greta's father: Nancy thinks he was attractive and seducing on one hand and flirtatious and careless on the other.
as Margaret/Greta has received quite a bunch of remarkable genes from his father, the simile may go further on...
i think Attila will do.
what's your opinion?
how do you choose names?
or do characters with specific names just appear seemingly out of nowhere, begging you to be writing about them?