Names and Things

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So it comes to it that I am forced to actually write now :). This is good because I have every desire to write something fascinating and altogether appealing to audiences out there. So intermingled between posts–probably once a month–will be chapters for this new story I have cooking.
I think some might be turned off by the fact that this is a YA novel, novella, or whatever it actually turns out to be. Perhaps I am just speaking from what I think others might think, which as a sentence in and of itself is confusing in its own right, but I think there should be a big distinction made here. YA doesn’t mean it is going to be dull and uninteresting to more adult audiences. Look at the fame of Harry Potter, the Phillip Pullman’s series, or heck even Christopher Paolini’s Inheritence trilogy (well or saga…not sure if he’ll stop at three books). All of these books are geared towards that YA audience, and even younger, yet adults read them like mad.
I’m 22 and I love the Harry Potter books. Granted Rowling didn’t choose the most original ideas, but did she have to? I think just writing style and the characters alone hold the novel above all its cliches. So, a YA novel doesn’t mean it won’t be of interest to adults, not at all. In fact I hope to write something that fits into that inbetween space between “just for kids” and “just for adults” so that what I write is something both kids, parents, adults, older kids, etc. can enjoy. That’s the whole point of wanting to write a YA fantasy. I think writing for a younger audience while making it accessible to adults is a great thing. Look at what the HP books have done to reading. Sure, most kids don’t read, but can you imagine how many more kids wouldn’t be reading if HP hadn’t come around and forced the market to explode? I even have to laugh at those extremist Christian groups that condemned the book because of its imagery of magic and the like. How can anything that causes kids to read be evil? Not to mention, book burnings really don’t do anything to stop the book from being made. You have to pay for those books you burn, so in reality the publisher and the writer are getting money for your silly little demonstration which will only renew peoples’ interest in the book.
So while I write this I had all this running in my head. I’m not sure exactly why it popped in there.
To add I’ve found that coming up with names for places, people, and things is altogether quite a difficult thing to achieve. Why are names so hard? You’d think that with it being so easy to create things in a mind that is already half-delusional that it would be just as easy to come up with something that would fit into that delusional world. So, I wonder if anyone that pops by has any ideas on how they come up with names. It doesn’t have to be fantasy names. It could be SF or straight Fiction. What’s in a name that makes you select it when you design a character? Is there something striking about that characters personality that makes you pick that name?

Now in other news are my fun little plans coming up. I’m a big herp hobbiest. Herp is basically a term used to say “reptile” (and if I’m not mistaken it applies to amphibians too). I don’t have any snakes, not yet anyway, but I do have six leopard geckos, a bearded dragon, and three baby common musk turtles. This thursday I have two more beautiful leopard geckos coming and I just can’t wait to see them :). I found them online through a lovely breeder at ID Gecko. Following that will be the Sacramento Reptile Show and Sale where I’m picking up another beautiful Leopard Gecko from Marcia at Golden Gate Geckos. Who knows what else I will find there. Anywho, so I’m planning to breed them next year :). It should be super exciting to be involved in the process of raising little leopard geckos from the egg on up to the point where I will find them new homes. I love it :).

As such I end my four day weekend on a high note. I’ve started this blog. I’ve declared my little mission of writing a fantasy novel, which I have really wanted to do in the YA area for so long, and I am merely days away from the most fascinating weekend since FanimeCon 2006. Things are going to be good from here on out I hope. 🙂

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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