I decided today would just be about the letter K. It’s one of my favourites (along with capital Q and Z in all its forms).
I just like writing it. There’s something about the sweeping tail that I like — something found also in the capital R, of course — but I like my lower-case handwritten k better than any letter. Maybe lowercase m, but only when I write it at the beginning of a line, when I tend to have a sweeping lead-in.
My younger sister’s name is Kate, which is pleasing, though brings me up to the question of when it’s okay to use names of close friends and family members in stories. I haven’t had to deal with this yet, but as I have close friends named Katherine, Alexandra, Rachel, Jennifer, Heather, and Alice — common names which I like (plus other friends with names that I could see wanting to use one day) — I wonder about it sometimes. As a fantasy novelist I can make up names, of course, but I do have stories that take place in the real world, and sometimes you want real names for other reasons. If I write about historical or semi-historical figures, naturally I can use their names regardless of whether I know people who share them … but this isn’t something I’ve come to any conclusion about yet. My friends are probably all reading this and thinking — wait, why didn’t Victoria mention my name? Or wait, why have we never talked about this? And does she really think I’d assume a random character named Katherine in a story about King Oberon’s fairy court was actually about me? — To which I can only say, although I’ve thought about this before, I haven’t had any characters who were calling me to name them with the names of people I know. Yet.
I have a number of characters whose names start with K — Kasian, the brother of my main character in Till Human Voices Wake Us, Kasiar, their grandmother for whom Kasian was named, and Kadia, who is the Innkeeper of the Rose and Phoenix Inn for which my blog was named, and who (and which) features in the series I am currently working on, Derring-Do for Beginners. You can see I like three-syllable names with an ia in the middle. (Damian is one of the main characters of Derring-Do.) This is a bit of a problem in the Derring-Do books, because both Kasiar and Kadia are significant secondary characters.
I named them at separate times, and didn’t realise until I was starting to confuse them while writing how much of a problem it was going to be to have such similar names in the stories. They are very different sorts of people, but their names are similar. I don’t want to change them, however, as they are long-established as having those names — and I like both of them — so Kasiar is going to be referred to as Lady Kasiar throughout the story, and Kadia mir Daniroth (her full name) will be generally referred to as the Innkeeper, Pelan Kadia (the local honorific), or Mistress mir Daniroth on more formal occasions. Hopefully this will avoid confusion in the reading.
This is a totally random post, I’m afraid. It was going to be about making kimchi until I discovered the half-cabbage in the back of my fridge had gone off, so that’ll have to wait — I was going to say, keep, but that was the problem — for another time.