Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Greetings, Harold

My written exams are over. My Chemistry practical exam is complete. My Biology practical (ISA) is tomorrow and the written part of the practical element on January the 29th. However, my ISA preparations are going well, so I still have time to blog today. Most of the prep is in lesson time anyway.

Tomorrow I am going to start on The Magician's Tattoo properly again. In the latter part of 2012 I essentially deleted everything and started again. Three chapters have been written so far, and I hope to get chapter four completed this month and at least one chapter a month.

name
Image from maxfarquar.com
A few days into 2013, I started thinking about my characters. One thing that I couldn't get passed was Kwaad's name. As the novel isn't very long at the moment anyone who has read it won't notice the issue with his name, but I do. After all, I have done world building for the novel and so I'd hope I'd spot discrepancies within the world I created.

Every magician in the The Magician's Tattoo has a normal name. There is a little bit of comedy in the opening chapter when it is revealed the eccentric 'magic man' in the purple dressing gown is called Brian. However, despite this comedy, normal names are common in the magical world. They have different cultures to normal people (which will be developed later in the novel) but not so drastic that names are different. The normal people and magician populations developed along side each other. The only major difference is that magician's are magic and so have developed a religion (or religions on the world wide scale) based on how they get magic. But because they developed together their naming conventions aren't going to be too different.



Kwaad directly translates to 'evil' in Afrikaans and so proves to be a rather lazy choice of a name. I played around with a few names, but I couldn't find one that fitted. That is likely due to the name Kwaad having been following me around since 2010 (yes, I'm a slow writer (to be fair I have restarted twice)).

So, I changed tack. Rather than throwing random names about, I thought back to why Kwaad attracted me as a name in the first place. It is an evil name. So what names sound evil? Instantly I thought of Sebastian and Harold. I have no idea why the first one sounded evil to me, but it was too long for such a key character so I had to dispose of it.

Harold sounds a bit like Herod. Herod was the evil character in the bible who wanted to kill Jesus. Now, I'm not planning on using that kind of plot in my novel (it isn't a religious novel) but Harold as a name has a loose enough connection to appease my want of an evil sounding name.

Harold also sounds right for the character. Real people called Harold are around the same age as the character so it just works.

Thanks,
Matt B

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