As you might know, I’m writing a book. I had a mini-epiphany the other day at work concerning one of my main characters. I considered posting the details of that revelation because it’s a nice twist, has to do with the main plot, and I was excited to share… but then I realized it pretty much gives away the main plot, so it would be silly to share it all so early. I don’t want all of my blog readers to know too many secrets before I publish.
So here’s the compromise! I’m going to write about Allythera Murrin, a girl who lives with her family in Attwater and is friends with Naus during their childhood. (Note: if you don’t know who Naus is, I HIGHLY recommend reading at least these three posts first: man, Academy, turns… unless you like being a little lost while I ramble about made up people.)
I came up with her name based on the characteristics I knew I wanted her to embody: honesty, kindness, and loyalty - so her name comes from the ancient Greek word ‘truth’ or ‘unconcealed’ (αληθεια). Thelia, Allythera’s mother, is also named from a Greek root (Θηλυ-), which lends to words dealing with femininity and womanhood. I chose this name because I see Thelia as extremely feminine in appearance and also a wonderful, if strict, mother. She is incredibly smart, strong-willed, confident, and even-headed.
Allythera’s younger siblings are twins, a boy and a girl, named Traves and Aiaka (more on them and their names – which aren’t Greek or Latin based – later). The two are nearly the same age as Dellon, Naus’s younger brother, and spend a lot of time with Naus’s family.
Partanen Murrin is Allythera’s father. Think of a mix between Hagrid and the dad from Pixar’s Brave and you’ll be close to my image of him. I found his name on a site of surnames from European countries; Partanen is Finnish for ‘beard’. Before I found the name, I wasn’t set on physical characteristics or personality, but now I see him as tall, with a full beard and head of thick brown hair and brown eyes. He is generally quiet, unless drinking, or if someone provokes him into a rage (particularly by threatening his family). He is equally as smart and hard-working as his wife, Thelia.
After writing some background of her family, the character of Allythera came into better focus for me. She is rather quiet, like her father, and fantastically smart… although she keeps this fact to herself most times and doesn’t like to brag. Her siblings, especially Aiaka, are boisterous and entertaining enough for the whole family, so Allythera tends to slip into the shadows when there are lots of people around. Yet no matter how annoyed she might get with the twins or how busy she is with school and house work, Allythera is, above all, entirely committed to helping her family.
That is why, when her parents are requested by the Academy to teach, and Thelia and Partanen leave it up to Allythera (at the age of ten) on whether they should move to Windbright, she says they should. For although she will miss Naus, Dellon, and her other friends desperately, she knows the Academy will give their family all the help they need.