Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's Up With Villain's Names?

Writers. Friends. We sometimes like having villains in our stories, yes? Or antagonists who are driving forces that propel our plot, stand in the way of our protagonists, and more often than not we wish them to be evil and villainous to justify the actions of our main characters. Yes?

Which begs to question... what’s up with villain names?

No, really. What kind of mother gives birth to her child and says, “Yes, my darling baby will henceforth be named Darko Beelzebub and golly he will grow up to achieve great things!”

Although I find this to be a more common theme with high fantasy novels, something which is a little out of my element. But every now and then I will pick one up and go, “Well, what did they expect?” Like who names their son Galbatorix (Eragon) or Darken-freaking-Rahl (Wizard’s First Rule) and not expect that they’re going to turn out to be nasty people? I’ll at least try to give Lord Voldemort some credit, as maybe he found that the name Tom Riddle wouldn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the wizarding community. But still. Can I just say that Tom Riddle is actually a pretty cool name?

It genuinely makes me curious as to what creative process goes through writer’s heads when coming up with names for their antagonists (assuming they have one at all). For me and the horror genre in general, most of the time an antagonist’s name can be anybody’s, and that’s what I love about it. It’s perfectly realistic to imagine a parent naming their child Joe or Sally and not expect them to grow up to become a bloodthirsty psychopath. It’s not like they’re damning them to a life of socipathy. And when they are given really evil names, it’s usually given to them by either themselves or people who decided to call them Belphegor the Butcher.

For me, as far as the Seraphim books are concerned, I like to think that names such as “Gregory” and “Rhea” and “Jonah” are more liable to initially inspire trust and confidence than fear — and that’s how I think a good opposite force should be. Someone who you can think and trust to do good, but have more selfish ulterior motives in mind. Not some moustache-twirling man wearing spikes and a dark cloak, sitting behind his desk, petting his lapdog while trying to assure you that his name is Dark Lord Astaroth of the Shadow Realm, and he is absolutely not a villain.


Huh. Kind of makes me actually want to write a Darko Beelzebub as a protagonist now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hush Redux

A few years ago, I wrote a short story. Several years later, I tweaked and rambled about it a little. The other night, I started expanding on it a little bit more. I have posted an excerpt of the short story over here.

Like the other characters from this particular project of mine, Hannah Vallejo's story is one I've been wanting to tell for a long time, as she was created during my late night/early morning drives through dark country roads. To this day she holds a very near and dear place in my heart.

(Also Hannah just happens to be my favorite girl name. When I was a kid and hated my name like most kids usually do, I wanted to change my it to "Hannah" when I was old enough to. Of course my adult sentiments have changed since then. This absolutely has no bearing on the story or the character, other than the fact that I was able to fulfill my childhood wish via my literary child owning my favorite name.)

Anyway, I have other plans for Hush to be part of a potential short story anthology involving two other characters from the same storyline, if my current plans for it fall through. Either way, I have some big things in store for poor Hannah Vallejo.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

David the Dinosaur

Wow, sure has been a few months since I updated.

I wish I had some long-winded subject to talk about, but I really have to kick myself in the butt to get started on the sequel to the first book I'm trying to publish.

To motivate myself, I did a quick little Photoshop of one of the characters from said novel, David the Dinosaur.

You know. For fun. :)

Spoilers: He's not really a dinosaur.