Placeholder Names in Reign & Revolution

It was supposed to be a placeholder name. But then I decided I liked it.

This happened TWICE in the writing of Reign & Revolution (The Hive Queen Saga #3).

Let’s talk about this goddess I made up. Saberhawen. Here’s what I knew about her before she got a name:

  1. she’s a goddess of machines, and
  2. she’s in the welsh Druidic goddess tradition.

To easily fit the goddess naming style, her name had to end with -wen. A quick and easy placeholder name would have been Machinewen. But oh no. I’m too geeky for that.

See, there’s this book series by Fred Saberhagen about machines versus humans. The machines are called Berserkers, and they’re super powerful. It takes a special human to outsmart them.

So… Berserkerwen? No.

Oh. Saberhagen. Saberhawen. It’s perfect. Let me put it in all caps so I’ll remember to change it later.

On second thought, why all caps? I love it. I’m keeping it. And so, the machine goddess Saberhawen was named.

…What was the second placeholder name that I kept? DSDF.

Like many other people in the ’90s, I watched a lot of subtitled anime. And whenever there was a space fleet, it was inevitably called “the Japan Space Defense Force” or JSDF. (Probably, it got named that so often because Japan already has a “Self-Defense Force”, JSDF.)

So, in Reign & Revolution, when I had a space fleet, I half-jokingly called it the Dyfed Space Defense Force. Which word goes in which order? Is it just “defense force” or “space force”? Nope. It’s the DSDF. Always the same. It was easy for me to remember. Easy to change out when I change my mind. Check.

But I kinda like it. Almost as much as Saberhawen.

One Response to Placeholder Names in Reign & Revolution
  1. Autumn
    November 5, 2015 | 9:24 pm

    I often wonder how authors come up with the names they use. Thanks for this insight. I, too, love Saberhawen!

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Janine A. Southard is a Writer & Editor for narrative projects. She's a proven talent when it comes to mimicking voices and crafting content for videogames, articles, & fiction.