<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Yay! Happy moment: I finally finished the first scene of "Ohntai." It's exactly the same series of events that I've been trying to get down for weeks--no, months--and yet now it just works. I stumbled across a sentence while scribbling in class and bing! Lights went on. I knew that was it. And I knew that I could just write and write from that line, though made myself put my pen down and pay attention to what was going on around me. The line waited paitiently until I got home.

For the curious, the line is:

Jackson stood in the tunnel, in the cold, in the dark, his tongue lying stillborn in the cradle of his mouth.

And yet I'm frustrated because the two remaining scenes (scenes #2 and 3 chronologically) are still dark to me. I know the sequences of events and the emotions behind them, just not the words in which to phrase them. Perhaps later tonight something will come to me, or tomorrow. Or Tuesday in class. Whenever, so long as something clicks in the near future.

I also hit a bit of a word stumbling block. The word "ohntai" is obviously key to the story; I'm not changing that (nor can I define it without ruining a major plot point, sorry). And I found a name for the alien race: Ieren. (Finally! I was getting tired of referring to them as the **.) Yet the appearence of those two words doesn't match. The key vowels in ohntai seem to be the O and the A, yet in Ieren the vowels are I and E. The best way that I thought to make the words feel believably similar (because neither particularly wants to change) would be to encorporate an H in the latter to match the former, and the best way to do that seemed to be to have an H replacing one of the Es. I liked the way that "Ihren" looks best of all. Only to discover that "ihren" is the German word for "your."

Hmm. This tells me two things:
1. I should really have my Grandparents teach me more German.
2. That it probably isn't the best word to use. Unless I can somehow encorporate "your" that into the meaning. Which I don't think I can. Damn. If it was "you" everything would be fantastic, but "your"? That's possesive. Mutter, mutter.

But does "Ierhn" get pronounced the same way? I am somewhat skeptical. Does "Iheren" work? I am all kinds of confused.

Just to note, this sort of stuff has only been occurring to me since I started figuring out the naming system for the Peak of the Ocean/"A Prayer of Salt and Sand" world (which, I was surprised to discover, is both rather complicated and important to the plot. Who knew?). And since I began to notice how certain letters/vowels/combinations give a feel to names and words, reading short stories in a fantasy world in which the names are just all over the place is becoming somewhat bothersome. Ah, just what I need ... another quibble.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:57 PM


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