Prince Dawn


The Prince of South Circ could not merely be great—he had to be loved. 
“And I am loved,” mumbled Prince Dawn to himself as he gripped the edges of the ceremonial table. His gold hair gleamed in the lamplight as he shifted. Behind him he could hear the blade being sharpened and ink being poured. 
South Circ was a land of agricultural palaces, cash crop plantations grown by families who had specialized in them for a thousand years. Dawn had grown up in the coastal lavender fields.  His family crafted perfumes of rose, moss, and ash...
At fourteen, his father had carved the family seal in his back to show he was trusted by the family. Loved. 
Since being elected to be prince of the South, he had received three such tattoos. Salt. Coffee. Spice. Today was tea. 
Dawn closed his eyes as the blade brushed his back. 

As I write this, it's 5:11. Almost dawn, so oddly appropriate. 
Readers of Mabel's City might recognize the name similarity between this prince and a certain Gate. Just to set the record straight, this prince came first.
Well, technically he came second. Dawn the Gate from Mabel was originally named Nova, then Unnova—then I realized they were naming a Pokemon region that—then Sun, then Dawn. Dawn the Gate had existed since the Mabel concept noodled into my brain, but the name I finally settled on came much later. Prince Dawn of The Visterian Lovers already existed by the time I decided that they would need to share a name. 
After spending almost half my life concerned with Japan, the Japanese naming habits have left an imprint on me. There's something fun about taking a word and then making a name out of it. There's already association before the reader gets to know the character. I had a lot of fun naming characters in The Visterian Lovers, a romantic fantasy constructed around prompts. But I usually have a lot of trouble with names. Embarrassing bit of trivia: Salieri Conti was named after Bill Conti because I was staring at the Rocky poster on my dorm room wall. And, of course, he's Salieri after Antonio Salieri in Amadeus. Lawrence is named after the Lawrence of Arabia. Mabel is named after a cat. (Mabel is such a hillbilly, unfortunate name that it's amusing to craft a character that fits none of those traits.)

There's something called the Circ-Visteria model that I've adapted—one word plus a name—for my fantasy stories. Duane Fox. Magnolia Nemesca. Topaz Ronix. 
I'm writing this entry because I'm struggling to write the final chapter of Mabel, and I feel like I need to write something. I really ought to get back to work.