Why Kris?


So a friend of mine was reading my story, The Long Way Home, and he kinda rolled his eyes in his funny little "Why? Why oh why?" sort of way. When I confronted him about it (that makes me sound defensive over my story...I wasn't like "You have a problem with my story?" or anything like that, I just wanted to know what had amused him so much) he asked me why I picked strange names for the two main characters while everyone else (well...except for the kids) has near normal names.

My first reaction was "typical non-reader!", but then the more I thought about it, the more I thought that there may be others thinking the same thing on here, so here I am, about to explain my rigid and methodical mind when it came to naming my characters.

First of all let's start with Kris, short for Kristos. This came about from the original spelling: Christos. Christos means 'Christ' - surprise surprise. Because Kris is gay, not all types of Christians would be accepting of him, so I chose to change the spelling of Christos to suit this. I guess it was also my feeble attempt in giving the message that although the character is gay, he is still entitled to his beliefs/religion - he's hardly the devil just because he's gay after all. As the Bible says, "Love thy neighbour as thyself", as well as passages in the Old Testament book Leviticus prohibiting "lying with mankind as with womankind". The name Kristos was supposed to take these things into account...though I guess I've kinda failed there, haha!

Okay, Bea is quite a simple one. The name Bea means 'bringer of joy'. Bea is the one that Kris has always turned to for advice, as well as being the first to realise that her brother was gay. She has always been there for him, trying to bring him happiness, so I thought it only right for her name to reflect that.

The name Daniel also has a meaning to me, though my friend didn't pick up on this since it's a "normal" name; Daniel means 'worshipper of God'. In using this name I don't mean the character actually believes in God or anything - it has more to do with the fact that if he thinks something is bad, he will avoid it, like he is doing with Kris. He's obviously been brought up learning that to be gay is wrong, and he feels peer pressure from the bullies at school that to hang out with a gay person is wrong, so he rejects Kris so that he can stay on what he considers the "right path". He's not a bad guy, just misguided in trying to do what is right.

So I hope you guys understand what I was trying to explain to you (seriously, whenever I get an 'Explain...' question in exams, I fall apart!). If not, I do apologize; feel free to comment and tell me you haven't a clue what the hell I'm waffling on about. I will try again at explaining in English.

In the meantime, keep smiling. Smiling's good for you. Although you might get crow's feet, it's much more attractive than that frown line that could form between your eyebrows!

Claire

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