Writing Heroes

Something that a lot of writers talk about being hard for them, is coming up with the perfect names for their characters and often for places within their yarns as well. And writers have devised numerous ways for creating (or finding) names, like browsing through various books or web sites of baby names.

A long time ago I decided that since I was writing tales of heroes and heroic adventure (not always, but often enough), that I would “find” the names for my characters from sources of true heroes. Men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifices in service to their community or country.

There are resources, which keep lists of the men and women who, while serving others as soldiers or members of law enforcement, have given their lives.

It is from these lists that I “find inspiration” and “create” the names for the characters or fictional places in my stories. It is a small way for me to give a tiny tip-of-the-hat to the true heroes who have walked among us.

I don’t just grab and use names wholesale. That would be too easy, and could lead to possible issues with families, or God forbid lawyers.

Instead, I’ll find a surname from someone on these lists that works for the character I’m writing, then I’ll find a first name from another person on the list, so that basically each of my characters are a small, personal tribute to two true heroes.

This isn’t a political thing. It doesn’t represent either pro nor anti feelings or positions towards any policies or military actions. It’s not about that.

This is about honoring, in my own very small way, individuals who put service to others above their own safety.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how writers come up with names for people and places, now you know my method.

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