So for this week’s writing challenge, we were asked to delve into the power of a name. This reminds me of Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages. This saga is about a woman named Rhapsody who is a Singer who wants to reach the status of a Namer. A Namer knows the true name of every plant, animal, and being in their world. Knowing these names means power.
So whose name shall I delve into? I decided to talk about the name that gains the most compliments:
My dog Abner.
Several years ago I was looking at names for the guinea pig I had at the time. Her name was Cuy (little side note: Cuy means male guinea pig…..but it also means the dish of cooked Guinea Pig. It was a joke in my family that I got her, but she was never eaten).
Anyway….I was looking at names and I saw the name Abner. I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I loved the Indiana Jones movies and it’s the mark of a good fan who knew the correlation between Abner and our favorite archeologist:
Abner Ravenwood (Marion’s father from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’) was Indiana’s mentor.
As soon as I saw that name I had a light bulb moment: if I ever had a boy pug, I would name him Abner. It then became my goal: I wanted to own a pug and name him Abner. It is a name you never hear anymore and even when you do (or at least I do) you would imagine a feeble old man with his cane. Of course a pug has the face of a little old man so the name just seemed to click together. All I needed now was the dog.
Several months later, I was in a Delilah’s Pet Shop in Bloomington, Indiana (a store that only deals with breeders) and I met this adorable little baby:
He’ll be five in May and he’s the love of my life.
So I decided as a writing exercise that I would challenge myself to the weekly writing challenge. What better way to work on my writing than to write on a subject that does not come from my own cranium.
For the current week, this was the challenge: to write about perspective…..
- For our fiction writers, cultivate a character. Through your imagination, pinpoint a common theme in his or her life, and show us how your character’s perspective changes as he or she grows older.
What actually came to mind was my first real fleshed out character: Rei Ettowa.
She is one of the main characters from The Rebirth Trilogy. She is the reincarnation of a Micaela Roya. Both women have very rich and unique back stories but one thing I touch on in Rebirth is that while one is the reincarnation of another, that does not mean they are the same person.
But this is not what I want to talk about.
I first came up with Rei when I was about twelve or thirteen; I also made her the same age. I have always stuck with the old addage: write what you know. I knew what went through a thirteen-year-old’s head because I was thirteen. When I did my second re-write in college not only did I grow up but so did Rei. I increased her age to twenty where she remains even though I am twenty-seven now.
As I was growing up, I realized that I needed Rei to grow up as well. In order for her to realistically face the hardships she will face in her adventures I needed her to be more mature. I still have her to be young and naive thus twenty being a great age for the first book.
Rei lost her parents when she was young and was raised by a woman called Hotara. Rei may not have had biological parents but she was never lacking in parental figures. She did have an older brother, Niklaryn. She loved him dearly but rarely got to see him because he had become a knight and was off in the civil war. He also died when she was thirteen and she never completely recovered from that. By twenty, she had worked in the family bar and dealt with ruffians and bedouins in her travels a cross the desert. She will also dabble in what will be the great love of her life but (like myself) she does not truly understand the seriousness of it all until she grows older.
In the second book, I let age a few more years pass to where she is 24. When I look back at how I was at ages 20 and 24, I was completely different people. At twenty, I had just reached adulthood and I was in my second year of college. I was more mature than a freshman but I had never quiet experienced love but I knew how to have fun. But by twenty four, I had had my heart broken a few times and faced difficult stresses in life of finishing college (as long as I didn’t fail genetics) and finding a job and living on my own for the first time.
There is a chance that I may make her older still but while I am not working on that book I am nothing thinking about it. As a twenty seven year old, I have gained even more wisdom than when I was twenty four. I have gained more experience living on my own and have finally experienced a great love; such experiences will help my writing. Again, I still write what I know.