Friday, May 26, 2017

Please Lose the Extra 'L'

Danyel tugs at my imagination hesitantly. “Excuse me? Um, Lady Author?”

I’m a little taken aback at this courtesy. Most of my characters are never this polite. Particularly Quartz. 

Quartz: I heard that! 

Surprisingly, Quartz settles down right after that comment. Whatever Danyel is saying is important enough not to interrupt. 

Wait a minute, I’m calling Danyel ‘Danyel’. Not Danyell. 

Danyel: That’s just what I hoped to speak to you about. I’d like my old name back, please. (He glances over at his twin.) Dayel would, too. 

I look across the shifting landscape within the Cauldron to see Dayel, nodding vigorously, Dayel, not Dayell. 

It looks like my twins are taking back their old names. 

What brought this on? I changed their names a while back to differentiate them from the characters they’d been when the twins were first created. To create a subtle change between whom they were in those online roleplaying games and whom they are now. Plus, I was worried about copyright. I did use the name in a bunch of posted stories with other people. 

Dayel: You already checked on copyright. Your characters’ names are yours. (Dayel scowls a bit at this. He’d like his name to be his, not mine, thank you very much.)

Danyel: We just don’t quite feel like ourselves with the extra ‘l’ on the end. 

Me: I’m still worried about this. Dayel, your name was used by a character in a Terry Brooks’s novel. Danyel, your name was used by a character in a Robin W. Bailey novel. I changed your names to protect us all. It seemed easier and safer. 

Dayel: Other people use the name. One shouldn’t own a particular name. 

Me: Unfortunately, sometimes they do. Why do you think the princess in ‘Fairest’ has no name? Every fiber in my being felt she should be Aurora. This was her name in the ballet, but Disney may have rights to the name. Someone else suggested calling her Dawn, but ‘Dawn’ didn’t conjure up images of her in my mind. She ended up nameless as a result. I tried to make sure you got names which felt right. Leiwell had two ‘ls’ at the end of his. This makes your name sound like his. 

Danyel: Why don’t you call your princess Rose? You’ve already claimed the name Briar for her beloved. 

Me: (thoughtful) Now, there’s an idea…

Dayel: Danyel! 

Danyel: What?

Dayel: Stop meandering and being distracting by characters in other universes. Return to us and our names. 

Danyel: (looking abashed) Right! Lady Author, we’re really not comfortable with the extra ‘l’ at the end of ours names. I’m not sure if you are, either.

Me: (wincing) Well, I wasn’t. Not really. Other people who knew you before weren’t, either, I think. 

Danyel: You see?

Me: I was starting to get used to it.

Dayel: We never will. 

Danyel: We’re still not comfortable with these names. Could we please change them back?

Me: (relenting) I’ll think about it…

So I’m thinking about it. What do you think? Danyel and Dayel? Or Danyell and Dayell? 

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