19 July, 2011

Unfinished Business

So, something I meant to do after finishing Cousin of the Crown, but forgot until just now, was write a little about how I decided who everybody should be and their names and stuff.  I always think that's really interesting to peek into someone's creative process.  Sometimes it leads to cool observations.  Sometimes it all boils down to "I made it up."

BTW, there's a chipmunk barking at my dog in the backyard and it's driving her crazy.  It's like a squeaky fuzz-covered car alarm.

Anyway, so.  Now comes the hard part.  Trying decide how I decided to do things in CoftheC.

First off, I named Terran Terran to imply he was solid.  Unmovable.  Steady.  Determined.  Terra plus 'n'.  The earth or stone or gravity, that sort of idea.

I picked the names of the countries by looking at old maps of Europe and picking some that sounded cool.  Nothing really special there.  I do that all the time.  Saves making up names.

Gulin...it wasn't really for 'gullible' but I like the name because it sounded weaker than Terran.  Sorry if anyone in the world is actually named Gulin.  He had to be less firm than his older brother.  Less concerned with his duty.

Henry, pronounced all french like, if you want, was a minor character that I randomly assigned a name to and then never changed later.  Lazy author.

I recently discovered someone who is really named Alea, even though I thought I'd just made it up.  I liked it for a girl name because of the vowels.  Most girl names end or start with an a or e and it sounds soft and feminine, even though she is not at times.  She was an opera singer to show her slightly rebellious side, flouting convention, that she was passionate and driven, but still disciplined.  You can't be a great musician without being willing to buckled down and work hard and do things you don't want to.

Also, I think it led credibility to her ability to act like nothing was wrong.  It gave her an escape and a way to manage the problems she was having.  Lahdel, on the other hand, was a terrible actress, though Alea loves her too much to even suspect.  I tried not to make it too obvious about L and G, but the hints are in there.  Was it effective?

Hmmmm...the setting was just me like "I want to write a quasi-fairy-tale-thing."  I'm not sure about the landlocked lake...I just thought it would be a cool way to get Terran to be shipwrecked without the possibility of losing him across an ocean.  That would have been too unbelievable for him to make his way back without the story lasting for years and years.

I still think the plague should have had more part in the story, but then it would need a lot more exposition and development of other characters.  I wanted to keep the plot tight, centered around just the four main characters, very intense and personal.  If too many other characters require development, I think it would lose the focused quality it has, making it too long and rambling.  I love Robert Jordan, but heavens-to-Betsey, that man was verbose.

So, yeah.  I can't think of anything else I made a conscious decision about at the moment.  I did write the opening chapter first, with no pre-character development.  Then I expanded from there in both directions.  I wasn't going to write any before at all, but I felt that would make it feel odd.

I usually write in a straight stream of consciousness way, letting things get made up as I go.  I usually have a goal in mind.  Like I knew Lahdel would get pregnant.  I just didn't know when or how...well, I knew how, but...oh, you know what I mean...*blush*

So now the next story!  This one I haven't finished and am not sure how I am going to finish it.  I like to keep some options open.  Maybe I'll have a vote.  Or a choose your own ending...Hmmmm...So many words so little time!

Oh, and a friend of mine has made a cover for CoftheC.  It's fabulous!  I lurv it.  Maybe I'll get it up soon!