Tag Archives: wunschderkönigin

#LoveWritingChallenge – Naming Characters

I’m participating in the #LoveWritingChallenge by Katie Kling. For more information see the introduction post.

This weeks theme are Characters and today is all about How to find the names.
To make things easier for myself I will focus on the characters in three of my longer stories:

Though I might add more from other stories.
For stuff about our characters from Warlords feel free to check out our Facebook Page.

What’s in a name?

I’m horrible at naming people and cities and countries and have I mentioned characters?
I have either no idea what I should call someone or I keep ending up with the same names…
I already talked a bit about this when I mentioned my usage of Georg(e) and Richard, but that’s only part of the problem…
For most of my stories I go through real life names I have in my mind and then either use them as such (TUO/NBWolf) or change them to fit the story (TQW). I know I could use baby name pages and I sometimes do that, when I have a specific meaning in mind, but that’s rather rare.
Sometimes I try to use names that actually serve a purpose or have some kind of „hidden“ meaning, sometimes I just come across a name that fits the character and keep it that way – or change it if it doesn’t. Though I usually do the meaning part with surnames, at least, if I give people a surname. 😀
In TUO most of my surnames are references to movies and such: There is a family called „van Saken“ originating from „The Fosaken„, another is called „Carfax“ like the abbey where Dracula comes to live in London, another „Verlaine“, which was the name of Bela B.’s character in the German Zombie movie „Garden of Love“ and so on…
For TQW I not only added the rule „royals (or those working for the royal households or those wanting to be as grant as them) add H’s to names“ (e.g. that’s why she’s called Lihsa and not Lisa), but I also pretty much used my Mums family tree as inspiration for the names of a certain family, including her actual name. On the other hand did I make an unsubtle reference to Merlin and Athur by naming the main wizard character Emry and Aturo respectively (For those who don’t know this: Merlin was sometimes called Merlin Emrys and Arturo is the Spanish version of Arthur), not to mention that Sarah isn’t just a princess in name…
By the way: Rasha is an anagram of Sarah, because Nina is an anagram of Anni and I wanted to name those two after two girls by the same name, I know in real life. 😉
So, yeah, my names aren’t really original, but well, so far no one complained about them. 😀
See you tomorrow, when I talk about Quotes from my Characters.
PoiSonPaiNter

#LoveWritingChallenge – Female Characters

As I told you yesterday am I participating in the #LoveWritingChallenge by Katie Kling. For more information see the previous post.

This weeks theme are Characters and today is all about Female Characters.
To make things easier for myself I will focus on the ladies (and characters) in three of my longer stories:

Though I might add more from other stories.
For stuff about our characters from Warlords feel free to check out our Facebook Page.

So let’s take a look at the ladies in my stories…

In general am I not a fan of the Damsel in Distress so most of my ladies are strong and independent, but usually also compassionate about something and sometimes girly.
I’m fairly certain that I only have one girl that is obsessed with her male counterpart, but I still portray this as very unhealthy, at least I would if I had written any of it…
And when I think about it, do I have quite a lot of ladies in my stories, especially in leading roles…Michael’s family alone has about ten important female characters…interesting…
Though I still don’t always manage to pass the Bechdel test, as sometimes those ladies‘ main focus of discussion in a scene is a guy in trouble or at least one of their male family members…

Anyway, let’s talk jobs.

I’m fairy certain that housewife is a non existent job in any of my stories. I have pretty much everything from (kinder garden) teacher, maids, barkeepers/-owners and housekeeper over journalists, psychiatrist, doctors, corporate consultant, lawyers (to-be) up to matriarch and queen.
Usually I try to fit the job to the character and not the other way round, but sometimes it has to be the latter way (if you write about a queen, then you have to make someone queen 😉 ).

And what about their relationships?

I’m not entirely sure any of my ladies have what is generally considered a normal relationship…
Sure some of them got married and stuff, but the circumstances are a bit different.
In TUO I created the concept of the True Mate, which is basically the only partner a (wer)wolf can mate with and expect to conceive a (healthy) child, so some of the couples there are created through that concept, others defy it.
Thinking about it also made me realize that the love-arc in both TQW and TUO follow a similar pattern: Two people fall in love, but stuff and logical reasoning keeps them apart. It’s not innovative, but it fits the characters. They want to be together, but they also know that it’s not a good idea. And I think that’s also a pretty important point: Don’t force a relationship if it might end badly and you already have a bad feeling about it.
Talking about relationships means talking about sexual preferences and I have to admit that those have changed quite a bit over the years. When I first started working on TUO every character was straight, simply because I was forteen and I didn’t really know it any better.
Now I do and my characters come to a headcount of at least two bi, four lesbian (+ three side characters), one ace (and a transgender side character).  It’s not much, but through this they no longer feel like something is missing and they’re not themselves. It just makes so much sense for them…

Special cases

Okay, let’s take a closer look at some of my ladies, all of which are minor lead characters, without giving too much away. I’d talk more about all of them, but then I wont be able to finish the post any time soon…

Rita Desmond (TUO)

Rita is a pure blooded Werwolf and therefore quite peculiar. She would do anything to preserve her race and is therefore not just a well trained doctor and genetics/racial history specialist, but also an executioner. She is also the head of a multi-species (different Therianthropes) asylum for strays.
One of her biggest flaws is that she loves what she is and gets pretty violent towards anyone calling her „human“ and she also looks down on them as the lesser race.
What I like about her: She is one of my few female asshole characters and it’s fun to write her badass side, but also her vulnerability.

Lihsa (TQW)

Lihsa is one of the queens maids and deeply loyal to her. Originating from a small village she came to the castle to become a member of the staff and over the years even became the right hand to the head cook (also female). She can be spunky, but also melancholy, challenging and thought provoking, but most of all: She knows what she wants. It’s not always easy for her to manage her (love) life in the castle, but she gains a certain wisdom from it that even makes the queen admire her for it.
What I like about her: That even though she always receives the bad end of something, she doesn’t lose hope and is strong enough to give something up that is important to her.

Rasha (NBWolf)

Like much of the story in general was Rasha not planned, but writing more about her makes me quite like her. She is one of the few human characters in the story and cares deeply for her wolf friends and lover. Yet at the same time is she a fierce protector of the law and striving to become a lawyer. She has a certain light headedness about her and manages to lighten the mood in almost every situation. Her big heart lets new people in easily and she accepts them as they are and wants to be accepted like that as well. Which isn’t really easy as human fiancée of a wolf, who doesn’t want to turn her(, yet).
What I like about her: Her optimistic personality that I’m still exploring. 😀

Girls, girls, girls

When creating my girls I don’t think about breaking gender roles, I pretty much let them tell me who they are. Sometimes they surprise (e.g. when I discovered that one of them liked girls, when I had already planned for her to get a boyfriend), sometimes it’s a transition of exploring different topics and seeing what fits for the character or how they would react to it.
It’s important to have a variety of characters in a story, just as we have in life.
Life is colourful and fiction should follow its example.
See you tomorrow, when I talk about finding names for my characters…
PoiSonPaiNter