Friday, December 17, 2010

Character Names

Is it difficult to come up with names for characters? I don't know. Some seem automatic, others seem coincidental. It's most fun when they are clever.

My children's names/nicknames are there. My youngest is named Dominic Charles, the king's two attendants. Of course, Adam. When my son Adam saw The Lion King II, he was captivated by the character of Scar's daughter Vitani, and we have called him Tani ever since. When my daughter was first learning to speak, she used to invert the syllables of words: Daddy she pronounced Dee-Da, Mommy Mee-Ma, and you guessed it, baby was Beeba. 

When I first had the idea to give apprentices to the ministers, I merely needed a set of three names for young angels. I used Mickey, Donald and Goofy and over the course of revisions, these evolved into what they are now. Mickey was too close to his hero, Lord Michael, so I changed his name to Shamar, ("warrior"). As the plot developed, he became Abaddon, whose name foreshadows a lot of plot. Donald is just fancied up to look like Dunn Eld. Did you notice his speech impediment, and how I used it to develop his character? And Ghoulphus. A made up name Goofy might be short for, but I get a lot of mileage out of how they all (mis)pronounce it.

Another set of three names involves the ministers' secretaries. You know them as Dickens, Harrison, and Thomas, but don't be fooled. They're just a regular bunch of Tom, Dick and Harry.

Then there's the tactic of using another language. Prio Thane, whose name means "first death," has three sons: Gary, Fomie, and Alfie. They represent war, famine and pestilence respectively. Gary sounds like romance language words for war. Hunger is "fome" in Portuguese, and Alfie might be derived from affliction. Likewise, their wives and children. Sadie, married to Fomie, comes from the root for thirst: "sede." Their daughter, the child of hunger and thirst, is named Kaida, which sounds like the word for desire or longing: "quera." Alfie's wife is Dora, whose name means "pain." Their four children (the offspring of affliction and pain) are the triplets Coshu ("lame"), Surdu ("deaf"), and Seggu ("blind") and Doe En Chi, a transliteration of "doente" (diseased).

One group of characters whose naming was a process are the Naofeito board members. These guys (as well as Prio Thane and family) are the inverses of what the king created. Specifically, General Mal is "Evil." Oz Curo, from the root for dark, represents ignorance. Cardinal Fred represents apathy, from the root for cold, "frio."

The name for Big Seg, Prio Thane's "boss," comes from the insinuation that he is the Second Death, since the word for second is "segundo."

And here is a little teaser. Coming in the next novel I introduce a mute Naofeito (Port. for not made): Silenta. Can you guess what she is the inverse of?
Perhaps, but can you also guess what her role is? I'll give you a hint: Whatever happened to the soul stones? The Bible says the dead go to a place called "Sheol" (literally the grave). And Silenta has a garden called Holes....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Book at Last

A little premature, perhaps, but I thought it necessary to have this blog up and running before the book is actually available.

After over six long years, I am proud to announce that The Image of the Invisible, Tales from Eternity--Book One is finally coming to print. The last galley modifications and changes to the cover design have been submitted. It only remains to sign off on the corrections and see the first book in print.

Then I will finally be able to say that I am a published author.

Now you want to know why I wrote this book? Or how I get my concepts? Would you like to ask me about something you read in it?
Here is the spot. You post a question and I'll try to answer it.