With so many of you asking questions about the names I used in the books, I thought I’d share the reasoning behind two of the characters in Vaempires: Revolution.
For me, deciding upon a character’s name may be the most difficult part of writing. So much can rely upon a name: an appropriate one can give you insight into a character’s character (no pun intended) and help accurately plant a visual in the mind’s eye, while a bad choice can become an insurmountable obstacle. Knowing this creates a lot of pressure. And it’s not just the first name, mind you—last names have to be selected, as well.
Some names required hours of research and a painful decision. There’s a commitment involved that’s not unlike naming a child. My character will carry his or her name forever, for good or ill, and I’ll always be the party responsible for assigning it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Not every name involves a difficult choice. Some names pop into existence as soon as a character is envisioned and it just feels right. Luckily, this happens almost half the time—otherwise, I’d probably never finish a story.
The two characters I’ll discuss today represent both sides of this coin:
Vielyn—everyone’s favorite new villain has a name that seems somewhat exotic and unique… yet, it is anything but. Although it is pronounced vee-ellen, it’s actually just a slight modification of the word villain.
Vielyn is a bad guy, pure and simple. He’s evil, he’s black-hearted, and he’s going to get much worse as the series progresses…
Iris—I spent weeks agonizing over this name. During that time, she was identified within the novel as ***. I struggled. What name could best reflect a character with the fashion sense of a punk rocker but the power to resurrect the dead?
After much contemplation, I settled on Iris, shortened from Osiris, the Egyptian god associated with death and life after death. Moreover, Osiris is usually depicted in bright, flamboyant colors—much like dear Iris.
So, there you go: the stories behind the story for two character names. Feel free to comment or email and tell me who you want to know about next.
Wed, May 22, 2013
by Thomas Winship filed under