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Naming Conventions: Self-Referencing

I am not very good with names. I never have been, even my close friends I'll cycle through different names until I get the correct one. It's something my father and grandmother on my father's side did as well, some weird family trait or something.

This presents a real problem when I'm trying to name characters. That's the primary reason for my chacter The Anaconda in the Spiral Island series having my name, it's not so much a self-insertion job as it is a story that began being told in the first person, and I could not come up with any different name for the character. I am utterly horrible with coming up with names, often leading me to resort to using random name generators for different tasks.

In stories that I think of in the first person, usually stories that branch off different dreams, I've ended up with more or less 3 different core personailities for the character, and give them general purpose names if I don't expect the story to go very far. For characters that more or less fit me, computer apt being the main thing, I just use my normal name. If the character's not specifically computer oriented, I switch to my alternate alias, James Millen, which I have used in Celebration and Dreams of Reality. The name James comes from my middle name. The last name came from some website I found during an English class in high school where we were researching urban legends, from a site that was supposed to generate your "writer name". If I recall it might have actually generated James Miller and not Millen, but then I changed it.

The third profile I use is named Jacob White, Jacob being the Hebrew form of the name James. I use that one usually for characters dealing with conflicts beyond themselves. The character for the Project L storyline, Jacob Moon, was the prototype for this character, before I came up with the final name. I never intended to call him that, actually, and never actually called him that until he was introduced to Miku in Skewed, however that name just stuck with him and I couldn't bring myself to properly call him Jacob White. That name ended up getting borrowed from the first thing that stuck in my head for the name Jacob, a character in the LDS fiction novel series Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites, particularly after a character named "Jacob of the Moon" from the 2nd book in the series.

The White last name that the subsequent characters using that profile own comes from another dream I had which I turned into a storyline for a game, listed on the AnacondaSoftware site as Project WBY. This dream consisted of only 3 characters, myself and two others. The other two were college girls guest-starred in the dream by Blue and Yellow from the Pokemon Special manga. Based on this I decided to refer to another dream I had a week before: a dream where AnacondaSoftware was contracted to make some Pokemon games for the GBA, which we titled White and Black versions, and then when Game Freak came out with their DS game that they were working on, they made homage to those games by putting in sprites of me and my friends and naming the characters in there after the names of of our games, in homage to the tradition of having characters named after he game names. Particularly, the chracter based on me was put in as currently dating Misty, and both of them were visitnging the region on vacation. My character was named White if you got into a double battle with Misty and her boyfriend. (Interestingly enough, Diamond and Pearl ended up having a visiting Gym Leader, with Jasmine visiting Sunyshore City. Sunyshore looks a lot like the town in my dream where Misty and White were in in my dream, though in my dream there was a seaport there as well). I ended up putting these things together, renaming the two girls with names that meant the color of their original character, and then officially assigning Jacob's last name to be White. The project name ended up reflecting this, Project WBY simply standing for "White-Blue-Yellow".

Date posted: 17 August, 2008
Tags: anacondasoftware celebration j_millen names novels spiral_island writing
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