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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Musing Mondays: How to deal with hard to pronounce names in fiction

I read and write books that sometimes have names or terms that are difficult for the average reader to pronounce. If I am writing a story set in a particular time period with real people I am using as characters, strange and difficult names cannot be avoided. I realize this can cause some aggravation for readers and for that, I apologize. But I can’t change historical names.
Since I’ve been reading fantasy and historical fiction most of my life, I have come across more than a few names I couldn’t pronounce. This was before you could Google a random name and probably find the correct pronunciation online. Anyway, I came up with a way to make it easier to read the book without driving myself crazy. I came up with my own way to pronounce the name or word and don’t worry if I am using the correct pronunciation. It’s easy to do and doesn’t throw me out of the story.
As an example, here are two names from Daughter of Night:
King Suppiluliuma: This one is a tough name to pronounce so what I did whenever I came across this name in my book was simply pronounce it like this—Sup il luma.
Becuille: This one is a little tricky so I pronounce this name like this—Be keel.
So, the next time you come across a name or word you can’t pronounce in a book, try this technique instead of giving up on the story.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
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Two mortals are caught in the midst of the battle between the Titans and Olympian gods.
Daughter_of_Night
http://kelleyheckart.com/daughter_of_night.html
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