|Deirdre of the Sorrows|
This explanation is sheer invention. Very little of my character-naming process was a matter of decision. As I wrote, synapses fired and connected and I went with them. That is what we call inspiration, or creativity or the Muse. It became fiction when I superimposed the sequence and grammar necessary for explaining how I came up with the name.
Inventive thought is interior, full of words and images. We make sense of the mental melange and are able to communicate it only when we add structure. The explanation above contains elements that are true, but are only one version of what happened in my brain when I was writing. To me, the interesting thing is that ideas will never come to anything unless you translate them -- in jotted notes, word maps, outlines, conversation -- by adding some kind of grammar. If we didn't need to tell anyone anything we wouldn't need grammar. Interior thought would be sufficient. James Britton, who called this inventive phenomenon "shaping at the point of utterance," encouraged teachers to allow and support the inventiveness that arises out of articulating semi-formed ideas in both numerous drafts and in conversations about them; this, as opposed to lock-step manner of "first draft-only draft-done" so many of us suffered in our schooling. I might also add, that if we must teach formal grammar, a focus on how its structural components help us communicate would not go amiss.