the how of writing

what names give you

Is the title the last thing you decide on when you write something?  Most of the posts on this blog are like that.

Not always the case with my stories though.  This one I’m currently revising, I got the title about halfway through.  It was at that point that I realized what the story was about and by putting the title on it, I kept myself focused on the point of the work.  Up to that final “ah-ha!” moment I used all kinds of filler names.  Nonsense some of them.

And I’m wondering if life is like that.  The concept of names is very important in various myths.  Names hold power.  Names keep you focused on your purpose (or the purpose for which you were born).  One of the Egyptian myths focuses on Isis’ search for the name of the Unknown God, who, because no one knew his name, was untouchable.  In some myths, once you know the name of a creature, you have power over it.

We see that nowadays with all sorts of things.  People get sick and search for a name for what they’re going through.  An awful event occurs and people search for a name that defines that moment.  If you can name it, you can get some power over it, or at least the illusion of control.

And sometimes the illusion will satisfy.  For a while anyway.  Long enough to get our feet under us.

Back to writing though, I made a little progress yesterday on the revision.  It’s been tough because I’ve had to dramatically add to a couple of scenes to tie events together better and give a deeper insight into motivations for one character in particular, the antagonist.  His name has changed, too, btw.  Formerly, he was called Red.  When I first wrote the story, I was kind of going with a color scheme for my characters.  Then, I added variations to move my dragons (the main characters) away from anything that smacked of role-playing, including changing the color idea, and that meant getting rid of the reason for the name Red.  I kept it, though.  I used it as a place holder as I wrote.  I finished the draft and wasn’t satisfied with that name, but figured I could take care of it in the revision.  It wasn’t until I was over halfway through the revision, as I was working on names for other characters that I realized what his name actually was:  Hunter.

I saw that and blinked.  Perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

From that point on his character has been more focused than before, more dangerous, more willing to destroy everything his rival loves until my poor protagonist, Nicholas, makes his decision to sacrifice everything to keep the person he loves most safe.

My feet are under me.  I’m almost ready to send this out.

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