Character Names in Four in the Garden

Most people don’t know that I renamed the Teachers in Four in the Garden many times. In my first draft, they were named Initiator, Fulfiller and Enabler. Those names didn’t work for me and every subsequent set of names didn’t work, either. I devoted a lot of time to figure out the best names for them.

Ennoia, who is the mind of God, was chosen because it is a Greek word meaning “mind.” The word also means thought, understanding, will, intention, and purpose.

The Teacher, Manna, expresses the words of God. The name refers to manna from heaven, which symbolizes spiritual nourishment from God. Mana is a Japanese name that means truth or love. Mana is also a Polynesian word that describes the supernatural force found in and flowing from all things.

Aable is the power of God and performs the works of God. Abel or Able is a Hebrew name that means breath. Breath and spirit are implied by this name. Aable is a variation of able, which means capable.

The name Cherished for the protagonist came to me from the very first draft. The name fit and stuck throughout the entire revision process. I never had reason to question it.

Illuminos, the fallen angel, started out as Luminous. Adding “ill” to the beginning gave the name a slightly sinister cast. Both names are based on the Latin word lumen, which means light. The Bible mentions that the devil can masquerade as an angel of light.

The name, Radiance, was chosen for the good angel because she is all about light. She has the ability to project God’s light into a scene and to focus it into narrow beams at a target.

Blaze, the most complicated character, was chosen because I wanted a word that had to do with fire, his obsession. His name needed convey something out of control. His favorite phrase, “Conflagration!” also conveys an out of control fire.