Nicknames in Prophecy Girl
"So, Prophecy Girl, what are we going to do first?"
"Oh great, I've got a name now?"
Prophecy Girl. Red. Big Hair. Wife. Samantha Winthrop has many names, but she prefers just Sam. That doesn't stop people from calling her all sorts of things, however, and throughout Prophecy Girl she acquires quite a few different names. She's not the only one, actually. The characters in Prophecy Girl have more nicknames than you can shake a stick at. (Don't ask me why that's a popular saying. Why are you shaking sticks at things? So violent.)
So, why the nicknames?
Nicknames tell you a lot about a person, their relationship to another person, and the situation they are in. That's a whole lot of things to tell you in something as simple as a nickname, but it's true!
When Sam is bullied on the bus and they call her Big Hair (kids are so uncreative with their insults) and she just lets them do that—that tells you a lot about who Sam is, the situation she is in on the bus, and who the jerk kids are.
Nicknames can mark changes in a characters life. We go by all sorts of names when we're kids that fade away, for example.
There is this moment later in the story where there is a big change in Sam. I can't tell you about it because it's full of spoilers for anyone who might want to read Prophecy Girl, but suffice to say the nickname marks that change in her and you sort of feel things shift when she gets it. Big Hair Sam is a very different person from the one who gets this new name.
Of course, as an author, I could just tell you things like' "Sam doesn't want to have dreams that happen, and doesn't accept it at all. Nick thinks that's funny and definitely believes her dreams do happen and accepts them all as ultimate truth."
But isn't the exchange at the beginning of this post a much shorter (and funnier!) way to point that out?
Which of course leads to me asking you, Jagged Edge readers, what do your nicknames say about you? :)
Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.
Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don't like her because she laughs too much. It's also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She's a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.
If you'd like to know more about Prophecy Girl or Faith McKay, visit her website at FaithMcKay.net
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