Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Name That Character
For today, I'd like to talk about Faina Daniels and Jace Blackmon, the hero and heroine of The Last Soul. Faina is a demon. She's been dead one hundred and fifty years. In order to create her demon world I had to figure out what I was going to call the other inhabitants. I've never written a story with demons as characters before. I've done contemporary, time travel back to WWII and fantasy. Crossing the Dark Moon takes place in an alternate universe, similar to our medieval period, so all the characters have medieval names. But demons? Where to start?
It's amazing what you can find on Google. I literally googled (when did that become a verb?) "demon names" and all sorts of sites popped up. Go on and try it. I'll wait for you. Wasn't that fun? And while I was looking for interesting names I found out demons have specific jobs. Like Apollyon the king of demons. He's named in the Book of Revelations. Or Mastema, the leader of fallen angels whose job it is to tempt men to sin and accuse them before God.
Some names I paired with their specific job, but others I took a bit of liberty with and changed their job description a little. Faina isn't a demon name, because my heroine used to be human. It's actually a Russian name that means shining. When I found it, I pictured blonde hair and startling blue eyes, and Faina was born.
Jace isn't a demon name either. My hero is a philanthropist and the son of a Baptist preacher, so you can imagine how meeting a demon posing as a human rocks his world. As near as I can tell, Jace is of English origin and is a shortened version of Jason or other variants. I chose the name because I knew a man named Jace. We went out on one date. And no, I didn't base the hero of The Last Soul on this man. Not even close. I just like the name.
The reason we only went out on one date, you ask? Well, it's because when he told me his favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon was drink beer in front of the TV until he passed out, I decided he might not be quite what I was looking for. Truth be told, I wasn't sure what I was looking for at the time, but I knew it wasn't that. :)
But I digress... I'd love to hear how you name your characters. Do you choose themes? Time periods? Certain meanings? Do you base them on people you know, or movie characters? Tell me about the names you choose, or about certain names you really love, and why.