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Posted on September 30, 2011

So, having told you how important names are, where can you get them from? I find making them up is almost impossible, I suspect for the same reasons I discussed in the previous post ; if we can think of a name then it will have connotations for us, and these will colour the character – in effect we will write the character in a different, and perhaps counterproductive, way. We need names that are, to us writers,’clean’.

Because I’m a doctor, I tend to use names from the medical world – operations, syndromes, pathological stains, pieces of surgical equipment. In fact John Eisenmenger, the main protagonist of most of my novels is named a syndrome congenital cardiac anomalies. For my Lance Elliot novels, I tend to raid passenger and crew lists from the Titanic . Others use the telephone book, or the surnames football or cricket or ice hockey players.

A word of warning. Make sure that if you use the full name of someone they are dead, lest you be sued for libel.

Tags: Eisenmenger, lance elliot, libel, Names