The Aspect of Mystery

Why does a reader read a book? Why does he start it? Continue it? Plow through to the end? What is it thatĀ tantalizes him so that a unique series of words entices him to invest in perusing and understanding them?

As with most questions dealing with mental processes, there are several answers. Today I would like to focus on the aspect of mystery.

I am an avid reader, but I don’t read books just because they are popular or recommended. And while I do read successful books that don’t necessarily appeal to me as a study of my craft, I also read for pleasure. What pleasures me is the pursuit of knowledge.

Did I ever mention that I am so Erudite it makes me feel guilty?

So, when I read a book for pleasure, I pick it up because I am interested in the knowledge I can accrue through it. In other words, I read a book because it is a puzzle, a mystery, for me to solve. I read it because I want to discover a new way of looking at a particular subject, or the answer to a riddle of story the author has laid out which I cannot solve simply by reading the back cover (which is possible, by the way.) I read a book because of its aspect of mystery.

What are some of your favorite books? Why did you choose to read them? What is the aspect of mystery in them which intrigued you as you read, or was the cause for your reading?

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There’s Only One God, Ma’am…

…and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like “Shakespeare in the Park”. Doest Mother know you weareth her drapes?

Excuse my inaccurate quotations.

Guess what we’re talking about today.

Clothing!

Yeah, characters do wear clothes, you know. Lots of clothes, usually. Sometimes, not so many. After all, some characters just can’t wear sleeves, because they have to show off their ham sized arms!

I love Avengers, by the way. LOVE. Especially Hawkeye, because he’s a guy with a bow and arrows. If he was a girl, I’d be like “modern Katniss get out of my sight!” Unless she-Hawkeye had curly red hair, in which case I’d say, “Prithee, Merida of the here and now! Shoot thy cupid’s bow into the mercury-stream of yonder robotic alien who seems set on destroying this thy earthly abode!”

Enough digressing, as much as I enjoy it.

While names are chosen for a character by others and are subtler hints (if you like to be a writer who puts extra meaning into everything,) clothes are chosen by the character. They are a direct reflection of who the character is…or who the character wants to be seen to be.

Let us take, for example, the notorious Discworld business rivals Reacher Gilt and Moist von Lipwig. They both know the importance of outward appearances.

Reacher Gilt. Look at him, with his long, dark, curly hair and beard, his eyepatch, his parrot, his flamboyant clothing…there is a business man! Well actually, he looks very like a pirate, and pirates are murdering thieves. But he couldn’t possibly be that, because he looks it! Here is the genius of Reacher Gilt, according to Moist. He tells the world what he is (through his appearance) and they keep giving him their precious pence and clacks messages. A villain who looks a villain and is a villain is too villainy to be true.

Picture: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__7s9GUTM-oY/TAh5dIVjPqI/AAAAAAAAREs/BPnnJAG6GHI/s1600/Going-Postal-19.jpg&imgrefurl=http://enchantedserenityperiodfilms.blogspot.com/2010/06/going-postal-loved-it.html&h=364&w=570&sz=32&tbnid=VrP8oVr8_EkNpM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=141&zoom=1&usg=__yRqS6gNHvw4O_yMfOKzEJ757xik=&docid=UxPdOHbwuupDMM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ufAiUOvRN-q5iwKqqIDoCg&ved=0CGoQ9QEwBA&dur=3173

I love Discworld.

Oh, wait! Here comes the Postmaster, Moist von Lipwig! Appointed by Lord Vetinari himself! He’d be completely unmemorable if it weren’t for the blinding gold suit, winged hat, and captivating smile. He looks to be an avatar. He acts like a conman. He is a conman, and he works for the tyrant of the city. That is the genius of Moist.

Picture (minus winged hat):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Making_Money_Lipwig.JPG

And the genius of Terry Pratchett. He has created two business rivals who are both the same sort of person, and through their accoutrements alone you can tell who they are, both as villains and as characters.

How do you dress your characters? Is it in line with their personality, or the one they are trying to portray? Do they change the way they dress as their personality changes? Like Violet, in The Incredibles….

I digress. Again.

There are other things to consider, of course, like culture, money, time period…but I don’t want to digress on those right now.

Cheers!

What’s In A Name?

Character names are considered very important. There are whole books about finding the right name for your character. Whole websites. Tons of forums. Are names everything? Or are they nothing?

“A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” So a name is just a name, right?

But names have associations. Names have meanings. So do names make or break you story?

It depends on how you feel about meaning and branding. What I mean by branding is the characteristics and stereotypes associated with a name. For example, what is the brand you think of when you hear or see the name Scarlett? Or Edmund? Matthias? Johanna? Ariel? Prince Charming?

Snicker. I know, eyes rolling. Moving on.

Let’s take Edmund as an example. When I think of the name Edmund, I immediately think of Edmund Pevensie, the just king of Narnia. I think dark, with beautiful eyes (thanks to Skandar Keynes). I associate it with betrayal, and redemption. Edmund is a beautiful and heroic name to me.

Let’s add another layer. Did you know Edmund means Wealthy Protector? We’ll take the protector part first. Think of Edmund’s act of sacrifice in the great battle against the White Witch. When he slices through her wand with his sword and subjects himself to fatal injury at her hand, he is not just trying to prove himself. He is protecting his people. Think of when Shasta meets Edmund and Susan in Tashbaan. What was Edmund doing there? He was there to protect his sister, and that is precisely what he did.

Next, let’s look at the wealthy part. In what ways is Edmund wealthy? Besides being one of the kings of Narnia during the Golden Age, of course. Obviously he had lots of jewels and gold and fancy swords. How was he wealthy in Aslan? Or by his siblings? Was he wealthy in the love and respect of others? Did his wealth come from his jewels, or from the wisdom and care he received from those he gave himself so selflessly for?

So, names are definitely important. On the other hand, I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect name for a character. Names add depth and layers to a character, but there are alternatives in every case. For example, a tough, life-loving survivor (female) could be named Zoe, Eve, Ayisha, Aoife, Keisha, Liv, Nona…Katniss…Tris…June…yeah, yeah, whatever. The point is, names don’t make or break a character. They do define character and have important implications that must be considered.

Which is a good thing. Because my name (my secret, real life name) means Black One, or Dark. If you knew me for real (and some of you do) than you know black one/dark does not describe me. At all. Period. I should have been named Angelica, or Blythe, or Felicia, or Hana, or Joy, or Lacey, or…well, you get the picture. Something light and fluffy. Oh! Is there a name that means fluffy?

Apparently not, unless your name actually IS Fluffy. šŸ˜¦ Sad.

 

What do you think about names? Can you give any examples of names whose meaning or brand stick out to you?

 

Cheers!

I’m Back!

Well, I have been away for quite awhile. I’m back. I’ve had the best week of my life, and I have a lot of information stuffed in my head I need to sort through.

I just got back from Worldview Academy. For those of you who know what it is, moan with envy. For everyone else…well.

It’s expensive. XD

 

Cheers!

Belle’s Genre Definition List

Note: this is not ment to be a comprehensive list. XD

Contemporary–normal stuff in dramatic mode

Dystopian–future twisted societies with control issues

Fantasy–magic stuff

Historical–stuff that happened way back when…really

Mystery–smart (or dumb) people puzzling over theft, kidnapping, murder, et cetera

Romance–lots of angst and kissing

Science Fiction–techie stuff, not necessarily limited to starships and intergalactic wars

Supernatural Thriller–Angels and Demons in various forms

Young Adult–starring teen(s) with identity issues or love triangles

 

Cheers!

Hana: Transporter

Variety E. Discipline 501 in progress.

Project Kitsune

A top secret government organization producing lab specimens demonstrating particular abilities in hopes of forming stealth agents capable of tracking and observing a mysterious rising power.

Security Grade Omega-Sigma

This is really secret stuff. It even has Greek letters.

Variety E

This variety of stealth agent was developed to be a transporter. It is most highly skilled in Set 5 of the Disciplines.

Subject 4.6

Fourth generation stealth agent. Both parents are third generation stealth agents. Preferred Name: Hana. Codename: Eos.

Discipline 501

The lowest level of Set 5 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Telekinesis. Subject is able to move any object with mass using controlled will power.

Discipline 502

The second level of Set 5 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Teleportation. Subject is able to transport herself and anything she is touching at the time of transportation to another area within a set time and dimension.

Discipline 503

The highest level of Set 5 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Dialation. Subject is able to open a hole in space and/or time.

Akane: Warrior

Variety D. Discipline 401 in progress.

Project Kitsune

A top secret government organization producing lab specimens demonstrating particular abilities in hopes of forming stealth agents capable of tracking and observing a mysterious rising power.

Security Grade Omega-Sigma

This is really secret stuff. It even has Greek letters.

Variety D

This variety of stealth agent was developed to be a distraction. It is most highly skilled in Set 4 of the Disciplines.

Subject 1.0

First generation stealth agent. Neither parent is a stealth agent. Preferred Name: Akane. Codename: Pele.

Discipline 401

The lowest level of Set 4 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Destruct Mode. Subject is able to produce a phosphorescent substance of red and orange hues which burns like acid.

Discipline 402

The second level of Set 4 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Healing Mode. Subject is able to produce a phosphorescent substance of blue and purple hues which acts as a trigger for swift healing.

Discipline 403

The highest level of Set 4 of the Disciplines. Commonly called Creative Mode. Subject is able to produce a phosphorescent substance of green and yellow hues which replicates any inorganic object contained within it.