Firstly, your research is a little slapdash and leaves something to be desired. You will find great gain in being a little more thorough.
Secondly, somebody's name doesn't necessarily have any relation to their personality. The character can exist independantly of any label that's applied to them. When the name has to be "meaningful" in order to lend some depth to your character, that's poor writing. When the character is a believable individual in their own right who doesn't need
a meaningful name, why give them one? That just smacks of hammering home a point where it's not necessarily needed. It can be rather insulting to the intelligence of your audience.
People get their names shortly after birth. It doesn't actually mean that their personality is going to reflect those names. If a name was something you generally only obtained after years of growth, then sure, it would be fitting to make sure that characters have names that relate to their personality, aspects of plot, their role, or something else that's "important" to the story.
But it's not. It's a contrivance, and when it's an obvious
contrivance all it ends up re-inforcing is that this is not real, it's a fiction. The best writing tends to be believable at least on some
level. Even the stories about dragons and spaceships and impossibly suave secret agents tend to have something that allows you to disconnect from the fact that it's not real, and ride along with the flow of the story. They have an internal logic.
If your lead character is a priest and has a name like "Pious Prayalot", that implies that he comes from a priestly or devout family who named and raised him with that vocation in mind. There's no self-determination there. Similarly, if your villain is called "Stabber McKillington", it would seem that he also comes from a family who have had his destiny in mind for him since before he could talk. Where's the sense of who these people are
, deep down? Is this a universe where everybody's fate and personality and lifestyle and ultimate endpoint are determined by their fathers and mothers? Is it a universe where you can tell who is good and who is bad by looking through a phone book? This can break the internal logic that your world runs on, if you do it especially badly.
"Meaningful" names (or at least the obvious ones) tend to have an opposing influence on the suspension of disbelief unless the story is really
well written. They make you all too aware that you're reading the exploits of a character
rather than a person
, and that what's happening was scripted
by the author, rather than being an organic flow of events that is narrated
With all that said, there are plenty of character names that have some sort of extra meaning who come from stories that are very, very good. Further reading
is recommended though. A lot of the best ones are still not obvious, especially outside of literature intended for children. The ones that are obvious tend to be lampshaded, and the story tends to be more amusing than serious. There is at least one exception to every point I've made, but you'll find that the cases of exceptions tend to be... well... exceptional
. In general, making names obviously meaningful might make your writing seem a little immature. It might even make it seem as though you lack the creativity to disguise the name's meaning a little. It might lead to the audience disconnecting from the story somewhat, and it might end up being a substitute
for character depth rather than a seasoning or enhancement to it. The pitfalls are myriad.
The thing about meaningful names is, the meaning should be something that you only recognise once you get to the end of the book or the end of the film. If it's something that you get immediately
, it tends to cheapen it. For me, at least.
Finally, there are several other
reasons that Twilight sucks. Which I'm not going to go into here.