Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Naming a Character
Sidney Zion has died. I knew him because he was very close to a relative of mine.
For a variety of reasons, I borrowed his last name for the Ruth Zion character in Triangle.
Like Sidney Zion, Ruth Zion is relentless, dogged in her pursuit of material in support of her agenda. Like Sidney, she is obsessed with her issues. Unlike Sidney, she is overly literal and essentially humorless. I used his name for her because she is something of a ruthless zionist for her cause. Also because I liked the oddness and specificity of the name. I considered making the connection in the novel, which referenced various other real people, perhaps by naming him as a cousin of Ruth's. But the relative who was close to him was very agitated about the name being used at all, and she urged me to change it, which I didn't, so I opted to remain silent about the Sidney Zion connection.