Sunday, February 9, 2014

Naming Characters for Through the Oracle's Mist

Another post fromt he recent tour that might be fun and interesting for folks was the question of How to name characters.

I don’t know that there is a right or wrong way to name characters. Is there conventional wisdom on it? Who would know? I know that JK Rowling uses names that are indicative or base meaning supportive of the character she is naming. I myself would have no notion on many of the names I’ve used of the base meaning, if there is a base meaning, or perhaps if it’s ever been used as a name before. I have been known to pull up lists of names from different sources to find a name I like, but often that is for the flow of the name in a series or segment of the story, not for the meaning of it.

                The exception to this, is when Tynan calls Michiko, ‘Mejawen’ which translates to ‘my little warrior’ but that was added to the story long after those chapters were written and set aside. Rigor, for example has a longer name that hasn’t been revealed yet and took me days to come up with. I believe it is an old name that he has eventually landed with, kind of, but again, it was pen and paper playing with letters more so than seeking a name that had inference to the character. I had the names for the brothers before I knew their stories, so I had Asmodai in the tale long before he was known as “Ass”.

                I think I probably do the naming thing backwards compared to most. I know the names of all eleven of the Pietre warriors from the current generation even though I know that there are a few of them who will not be known beyond their name. Their story is just not part of my plan, but I know their names anyway. That said, perhaps there is a subconscious lull to naming characters before you write or as you write they show up an announce to you who they are.

                Perhaps it is that the character names for me are known ahead because that is how I will recognize their stories when they come. Perhaps there is a part of my mind that needs that visceral connection to piece the tales together as I see them unfold and to know who it is that is speaking to me or through me. Really, who’s to say? It is rare that I go back and change a name once I know it. I have been known too to get a sense of a name and jot it in my journal for somewhere down the road having no idea if it will ever be used. The list is quite long. Does that then mean I have that many stories to tell? 

                Maybe it does.


Who then is your favorite character from the tale and Why?


In the blackest night, with the moon and stars to guide him, she would always be there waiting…

Cyrenna thought she died the day she watched Tynan and his brothers jump through the banishment portal in an act of solidarity with Rigor. Little did she know, it would be the first of many deaths she would experience in her quest to claim his heart. She would surrender not only her immortal soul, but a mortal one repeatedly. Through a deal with the great Oracle, she has multiple mortal lifetimes to change the direction of her future and have a chance with Tynan.

Her journey spans the ages from the GenPei War in Japan and the Silk Road west, to Cromwell, the Three Kingdoms and modern times, bringing her one step closer to forever until she makes a misstep. Then, the burden falls to Tynan. The only thing that is absolute is her fervent hope that he will come, but there’s one big problem.

Through it all, he doesn’t so much as know her name.



joni stevens said...

It's so hard to pick a favorite character. I'm curious to learn more about Cyrenna and her life before her journey through the Mist. I also want to know more about each of the Vengeleys before I can choose a favorite.

DeeDee Dhreamer said...

I liked all of them, even Ass with questionable tastes. I love Tynan & Cyrenna's tale and want to see their HEA. I find that I want to find out Rigor's tale and I want to know why the gates were shut. And where are their parents & sister. Oh, and what is her story? What did she choose? And, and, and...

lol. Finally, I loved the description of Cyrenna at the end when Tynan finally see her and knows her name. *le sigh*

Aedan Byrnes said...

I'm so pleased to know you are enjoying the tale. I'm working away at Watchtower and Kingdoms....stay tuned.

Cathy Lee said...

I'm very curious about how author's generate/choose proper names in their stories. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic.

Joyce said...

I love all the characters. I especially loved Cyrenna's time spent as Ite and Niamh.
I want to know what new trials Cyrenna and Tynan have to go through to be together. I want to know Jondre's story...and if Rigor and Synae find their way back to each other aannnnnd I want to know what Dom's story is. Still waters run deep with that one. In other words....I want more. lol