Writing this story has been quite an event for me. I have loved fantasy literature since I was quite young, but I never saw myself as someone who wrote in the genre. Of course, I didn’t see myself as a would-be novelist or short story writer, either, but here I am. A couple of weeks ago, however, the germ of an idea for what I thought would be a short fairy tale came to me. I thought, “Hey, I can tell a good yarn in a couple of pages, post it to my blog and facebook author’s page, and maybe read it to the grandkids.” Then I sat down to write.
One of the things I’ve had to do as I’ve tried to work on the novel I have in progress is give more attention to the details of each scene I’m creating and to work on dialogue to move the story instead of relying only on description. I preached “Show; don’t tell!” to my Creative Writing students for years, and I like to teach by example. By the time I had written those first two pages, I knew I was in trouble. I needed more detail of the kingdom I had created. The whole thing needed more backstory. Most of all, the characters kept demanding more of the plot. Although there is a strong connection to “Beauty and the Beast” here, as well as Merida from Pixar’s Brave, and Tolkien, of course, and other stories like these that I didn’t consciously use for inspiration, Asthore and Llyr just wouldn’t come together quickly and live happily ever after.
The writing was obsessive. I had decided that I would post the story as a serial on my Monday through Friday facebook offering and on my WordPress blog. I had written the first three “chapters” before that Monday and realized that it was going to be too long to do one chapter a day, so I settled for two (and some of them are long), and still wasn’t sure I could do it in five days. I would start writing and be at it for hours, go do whatever needed to be done and come back to the story. For a good two weeks, I think, I wrote four to nine hours a day, and the whole tale is still essentially a rough draft according to my usual process! Editing and revision were both done “on the fly” and the last changes were typically made when I read through the day’s posting just before I copied and pasted. When I finish this explanation, I need to read the whole story from start to finish to see if it really is cohesive.
I still don’t know if what is here is any good, but I enjoyed telling the story, and I learned a great deal about myself as a writer from this experience. I know I could do much more with it, more detail, more dialogue, more minor scenes, more backstory…. I’d like to finish the novel I’ve already started before I go off on a totally different tangent! Actually, I’d like to see this story as a movie. Anyone have the number for Pixar or Disney?
For those who expressed an interest (or confusion) with the names of the characters, the following might help:
“Character Names and Analogy of Nomenclature”
I have been intrigued by character names in fiction for years. When I was introduced to the study of the analogy of nomenclature (what character names mean and how they fit the characters), I became a bit obsessed with this aspect of literary critical analysis. As a writer, I am always trying to come up with names that are appropriate. All names in this story (except Bridniclir) and definitions come from http://www.names-of-baby.com or are variations of them. I looked for names with meanings that fit the characters in some way. Most of the time I looked at Celtic, Irish, Gaelic, or Welsh names because I like the look and sound of them (when I can find a pronunciation). In some cases I used names that looked appropriate even if the meaning didn’t quite fit.
Anwir: In Welsh, the name means Liar
Aod: In Celtic, the name Aod means Mythical son of Lyr
Asthore: In Irish, the name Asthore means Loved one
Bridniclir: This is my manipulation of the name Bridget Cleary, or Bríd Ní Chléirigh, the last witch burned to death in Ireland [my apologies to my Wiccan friends for another stereotyping]
Cuini: In Gaelic, the name Cuini means Queen
Edan: In Celtic, the name Edan means Delight. In Hebrew, the name Edan means Fire
Eibhlin, Plain of: In Irish, the name Eibhlin means Derived from the name Evelyn or Evelina: In French, the name Evelyn means Life
Enid: In Celtic, the name Enid means Fair. In American, the name Enid means From the Welsh “enaid,” meaning soul or life. Also faithful or abused wife. Famous bearer. In English, the name Enid means Spirit. In Arthurian Legend, the name Enid means Spirit. In Welsh, the name Enid means Woodlark. Life. From “enaid,” meaning soul or life
Evanheir: [This one is a combination and is a bit tricky. It actually began with the name Benson, itself a combining name that is “Ben’s Son.” This made me think of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (hence the Twelve Kingdoms). In Hebrew, Ben means Right-hand Son.] In Hebrew, the name Evan means Right-handed. In American, the name Evan means Stone. In Celtic, the name Evan means Stone. In Scottish, the name Evan means Young Fighter. In Welsh, the name Evan means Young. The Welsh form of the Hebrew John, meaning God has been gracious, or God has shown favor
Farrell, General: In Celtic, the name Farrell means Brave Man. In American, the name Farrell means Brave. In Gaelic, the name Farrell means Brave. In Irish, the name Farrell means Victorious
Gallaghern: Male—In Irish, the name Gallagher means Eager Helper. In Gaelic, the name Gallagher means Surname [I added the “n” to make it more unusual.]
Gervase: In Celtic, the name Gervase means Servant Spear. This name is derived from combining an Old German name meaning Spear, and the Celtic word for Servant. Famous bearer. In English, the name Gervase means Serves
Haldis: Female—In Norse, the name Haldis means Firm Helper. In Teutonic, the name Haldis means Spirit of Stone
Ivy: In Greek, the name Ivy means Faithfulness. This name is derived from the plant name. In American, the name Ivy means Ivy. In English, the name Ivy means Ivy
Kunsgnos: In Celtic, the name Kunsgnos means Wise
Llyr: In Welsh, the name Llyr means a Mythical King. In Celtic, the name Llyr means From the Sea
Meghan: In Welsh, the name Meghan means Pearl. In Irish, the name Meghan means Pearl. In Greek, the name Meghan means Pearl. In American, the name Meghan means Pearl. In Anglo-Saxon, the name Meghan means Strong and Capable
Regan: In Celtic, the name Regan means Little King. In American, the name Regan means Regal. In Irish, the name Regan means Regal
Rhychdir, Captain: In Welsh, the name Rhychdir means From the Plow Land
Tabrimon: In Biblical, the name Tabrimon means Good Pomegranate, the Navel, the Middle [my nod to Middle Earth]