Friday, March 28, 2014
Fantasy Characters: The Weight of a Name
While reading some of the reviews for Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series, I noticed some people were complaining that a character named Saetan is this loving grandfather figure. The books are still popular despite that. Although, in the series, Saetan is still The High Lord of Hell.
I had this problem going into the second book of my Merging Worlds Trilogy. I named a character Belial because he started out as this badass demon. As I tweaked the story, Belial became this nice guy with no demon connection. Nothing like his namesake. However, the name Belial still fit this character for some reason. I didn't want to change it.
For those who don't know, Belial, in the real world, is either another name for Satan or is a high ranking demon. Either way, the name holds a lot of weight.
How do I keep the name without pissing off readers? Create a new mythology. In my world, belials are demons who disguise themselves as beautiful poor children. They suck the souls out of adults who take pity on them.
Now the question is, why would any parent name their child Belial? Because of this name, I've added more depth to Belial and his parents- who by the way, aren't total monsters.
Be aware that when readers see a certain name, they'll expect a certain type of character.
Labels: Belial, characters, dark fantasy, fantasy worlds, Merging Worlds Trilogy, names, world building
Auden is a dark fantasy author. As a kid, she created her own books by folding several construction papers in half and stapling them down the middle, adding her own illustrations. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing. Darkness and dark thing have always fascinated her.