Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Fallout of Falgout

I know I promised more Owariverse Encyclopedia by now, and it hasn't happened. It's still something in the works, but other things have pushed it back. But even though it's been delayed, I'll tell you a little bit about my process in creating one of the new characters.

One of my passions in creating original characters is giving them distinctive, or at least meaningful, names. I've used my fair share of common names, but there is something fascinating to me to throw in a surname like "Witchell." I've got a few of those in this new batch of OCs, but one in particular stands out to me because his name is part and parcel with his history.

I have happily mined my early years for characters and ideas. But some of them are more easily adaptable than others. I've never shied from whimsy, but you kinda want to ground everyone in the same sort of reality. That was why it had never occurred to me until recently to resurrect General "Nuke" Lee R. Fallout.

As you might gather from his name, General "Nuke" Lee R. Fallout was a war-lovin' character I created when the Cold War was still a very real thing. I never had any designs on using him in even a remotely serious context. He was a parody doodle, nothing more.

For whatever reason, I was thinking about the General as I was brainstorming characters for the Encyclopedia stuff. Why couldn't I create a general based on him? Except, what would his role be? Then I realized he would make an excellent Secretary of Defense, and that led to two more characters in my fictional President's cabinet.

That name, of course, would not do. Well, at least the nickname and surname. I tossed the former, but wanted something that at least alluded to the latter. This is where my point of origin came in handy, because the French name "Falgout" fit remarkably well. It doesn't sound quite the same, but it's close enough and looks a LOT like it. So General Lee R. Falgout is primed to receive an entry, as soon as I write the silly thing.

Oddly enough, I discovered later that the name "Falgout" does indeed have an armed forces connection. How do you like that?

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