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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Books and Characters..

I am about 1/3 of the way through the book I am reading of Eldest. The second book of a trilogy that began with Eragon.

I've been trying to find the words about the writing of this book, and find I have a really hard time explaining it. It is very precise. It is written so that young people would have no trouble reading it... but.. every so often a word will appear that breaks the flow of the reading. The word is a correct word but is one that you don't expect from a 15/16 home schooled kid to be using.

It's not that I don't think he knows the word he used.. but because he uses them so infrequently, it disrupts the reading. You find yourself wondering how or why he used the word.

There are writers that I do not read because they use so many of these types of words (beyond my knowledge) that I can't understand half of what they are writing. Those authors seem more interested in showing of their vast knowledge of the English language then they are about telling a story.

In the case of Eragon and Eldest, I find myself wondering why he would toss in these occasional words that will make a young person stop and figure out what it means before they can continue.

Beyond this, I find the story he is telling is not bad at all. And I am not surprised it has become popular among the young adults reading them.

I don't know which way he will go as he grows with his writing. Will he keep his stories simple or will his writing change so much that the young adults will have a hard time reading his future material? I guess the time will come when we find out.

I am reading these books because I really couldn't find something else that interested me, and none of my favorite authors has come out with anything new. But I am looking forward to this coming year when, as we know, the new Harry Potter book will be release in July. Also the second installment to a trilogy by Margaret Weis will be released the same month, Dragons of the Highlord Skies. Then in October of this year the second installment of Stephen Donaldson's trilogy will show up in bookstores, Fatal Revenant.

So, at least I can look forward to those!

I don't mind reading books for young adults as long as it's not "all" kids in the books. Harry Potter is a good example, having other characters that I really like, as Rubeus Hagrid, Albus Dumbledore, Professor Severus Snape, and Professor Minerva McGonagall.

Aren't they great names?!!! And all of them easily pronounced! I have to admit, there have been many books that I wind up using phonetics to try to pronounce some of the names... but, truthfully, that doesn't really matter. Eventually you come upon a pronunciation the lets your read without pausing to pronounce it.

I think that part of what makes me like a character might start with their name. Take the Lord of the Rings.. Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee....and Gandalf they Grey. What better name for an elf then Legolas Greenleaf?

So many names that I can never forget!! And the ones I continue to remember?... are the ones I can pronounce!

Saltheart Foamfollower... how's that for a name?!! He's a giant that lives by the sea in the Thomas Covenant books. I couldn't shake that name from my head if i tried!

I once wrote two posts, some time ago, about character names and how I came up with ones I used here and here. So now I'm wondering, if you write at all, how do you come up with the names that you use???

'Till next time...


Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

I hated the twenty five pages that I managed to fight my way through in this book. All the while I read it, I kept thinking: So the guy takes his son's stuff, rewrites it, turns it back as his son's, and markets his kid (who homeschools through American School--for God's Sake--) as a progeny. Hmmm. Anyway...I hated this more than you.

If I wanted to read knock off prose, I could browse the fan fiction sites.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

I think one must have a rare and wonderfully alive imagination to come up with some names you read in books.
I loved "The Hobbit" and the trilogy when I read them years ago and I keep promising myself I'll read them again, but there is just so much else to read. I could live four lifetimes or more and not have read all that I wish to read.

I don't think I read anywhere in your post, Desliy that you hated the book you're presently reading as Stewart seems to believe. Maybe I've misunderstood what you wrote, but I don't think so.

I don't know why words like you described are thrown into books...perhaps it is as you say, just for the hell of it to prove that the writer knows a different word.

I'm one who always has a dictionary beside me when reading or writing but it is off-putting if suddenly a word I've never ever heard of before leaps out of the pages. I think it is a form of 'showing-off', particularly in a book for children/teens etc. Perhaps the young writer is just testing the water, testing his wings.

11:49 PM  
Blogger ian said...

My characters tend to name themselves. Sometimes the names are references to other characters or to people I've known. For example: in my book Deep Six, Katie Malone and Tim Foster are the main characters. "Katie" is shorthand for Caitlin, who is my daughter. "Malone" is a reference to "Matches Malone", which is an alter ego of Batman. Tim Foster is a fellow I was in a martial arts school with years ago.

In my current project, Locke and Keyes, I'm having a lot of fun coming up with names. For example: characters born on Mars tend to be named after geographical locations or countries on Earth. Belt miners tend to be of Hispanic origin. Since the book is about pirates in space, the names need to be colorful. Hence I have folks like Shenandoah Locke, Skecher Stevens, Billy Hutchins, Senegal Torres.


12:05 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

You are so right about the names. When I read a book with names that are hard to swallow, I forget who they are and get them all mixed up.

sometimes simple is best.

I've enjoyed Ians books. Right now I'm in love with a big red headed pirate with a red beard. ha ha ha!

2:54 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Stewart: maybe it's because you are a teacher that you are harder on Paolini then I am. I wonder if you feel they are so bad you wouldn't think a young reader would enjoy them??

Lee: no i don't "hate" them. But I can honestly say I've never read a book for adults or young adults that consistantly stops me at certain words and makes me wonder if it came from his vocabulary or not. It definately interrupts the flow of an enjoyable read.

Ian: that's wht I was curious about.. how writiers come up with their characters names! especially dealing with fantasy and scifi.

Pamela:yes, I've done the same as you.. gotten confused who is who..sometimes because their names are similiar!
I read what Ian wrote yesterday too and enjoyed it.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Saltheart Foamfollower? yeah, that IS a name.

As far as the writing goes, maybe the author was just using his thesarus every now and then, picking a word that he would not have normally used, and that is why it doesn't flow with his style?

Happy Superbowl Weekend!
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2:32 PM  

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