Tuesday, 24 January 2012

My name is, my name is, my name is

Names are difficult. i had to come up with a whole load to populate the book. Mostly for people but also for some places. If you're interested, this is where some of mine came from.

Gabriel York. York came first. I was starting to write and there was an article on the news about something that had happened in York. For his first name i wanted something that was completely unexpected and sort of out of character. i remembered a scene from the film Assassin where Gabriel Byrne stares down Bridget Fonda who's armed and angry as i remember. How cool was he.

The Admirals and the Marines. They're all named after streets near where i used to live.

I'm half way through writing this and i've just realised that, as hardly anybody has read the book, most of you won't know what the names were in the first place.

Places - the Sleeper Empire started on five planets where ships from earth arrived with tens of thousands of people in suspended animation. The planets took the names of the ships. There were six "Visionary" ships.

The Asimov, the Bradbury, the Heinlein, the Wells, (one i've forgotten, it's late) all founded worlds.Nobody wanted to get on the ship named after Philip K, and The Clarke was lost (although found again, but that's book two). For planets in book one, i thought of the characteristic then ran the phrase through Google translator and wrote down whatever sounded right.

There's no real science to it. i think i'll tweet and see how other people do it.

And so, i've talked about two main characters. One, who's been called York throughout the blog and one, who's picture was subject of the vote (which is now closed) but whose name i haven't yet used.

Here's a question. What was the name of the spy in the Len Deighton novels The Ipcress File and Billion Dollar Brain? In the films he was played by Michael Caine.

If you said Harry Palmer, go stand in the corner

In the books his name is never mentioned. Never. We know where he comes from, but not who he is. Originally i wanted to do something similar. In my head her name was Chorus - named after the narrator of several of Shakespeare's works  -but i was trying not to use it. A touch of mystery but, in the end it was just too clumsy and i gave up.

However, at the last minute, we changed it. In the first draft her sisters Echo and Legion (there are reasons for this) appear briefly. With a flick of the find and replace button, i swapped Echo and Chorus over. I think it suits her better.

I'm doing the final cut now (somebody else will do the final edit - worry not, professional writers) and the only thing that i worry about is the names. Particularly the one named after a Beatle.

I was 19 before i realised that the Beatles was spelt with an A

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