Monday, December 07, 2015

Deathbushes and Mixups

Books Three and Four of the Season Avatars series each feature a different Avatar as the main character. Book Three, Chaos Season, stars Jenna, the Avatar of Summer, as the viewpoint character, while in Book Four, Fifth Season,the viewpoint shifts to Ysabel, Avatar of Fall. Jenna's magic centers on plants, while Ysabel's magic revolves around animals. Perhaps it's not surprising both of them will face a unique plant or animal unlike anything they've encountered before. The difficult part is choosing what names to give these new species.

My current name for the plant Jenna must deal with is "deathbush." It grows very quickly, thrives in conditions that would kill other plants, and has poisonous thorns. It's not based on a single real plant (though they smell like thyme) but was inspired by a combination of undesirable traits.

Ysabel names the creatures she finds "mixups," since they're a mixture of reptile and bird. I based it on troodons, the dinosaur with the greatest brain-body ratio and therefore supposedly the most intelligent. Since this is a fantasy world, I may modify them a little to make them bigger and more intimidating, or possibly give them other features too.

As readers, what do you think of these names? I like the idea of using compound words, since they are descriptive. While "deathbush" doesn't sound too bad to me, I wonder if "mixup" downplays the threat factor of the animals. Since both of these book are still in the first draft/revision phase, I can alter the names without affecting the other books in the series. Please let me know if you think I should keep or change these names. If you have ideas for new names, feel free to suggest them. If I pick a name you suggested, you'll be mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of the appropriate book.


Pat Dilloway said...

I don't think I'd want to get near a deathbush. I did something similar for magic ingredients in my Scarlet Knight series. I think I had stuff like dwarvenroot or elfberries and so forth.

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks for the feedback, Pat!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mixups might be what she calls them at first, but maybe a more proper name would be better? Not a long, scientific name no one can pronounce though.

Sandra Almazan said...

Hopefully I'll think of a better name for them, Alex.

Maria Zannini said...

"Mixup" almost sounds comical out of context. I would try for something more arcane sounding that mixes reptile and bird. You were on the right track with deathbush. I'd do the same for the animals.

Crystal Collier said...

I like deathbush, but I'm not such a fan of mixup. I'd keep playing with that one.

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