Veterans Day offers writing reminders


As the nation celebrates its veterans on this Veterans Day holiday, it’s important to remember the sacrifice of the men and women who have and are serving in our armed services.


(Flickr: Mike Mozart)

So much can be learned from the veterans’ dedication to the country.

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And since writers are in the business of learning, let’s consider just a few of the tenets of military service and how the concepts can enrich your writing.

Veteran inspiration

Bravery: It’s the first quality that comes to mind when one considers the courage required of veterans who have braved hostile forces in foreign countries. Think of the steeled nerves of the men who penetrated the shores of Normandy or the unwavering resolve of a special forces unit who have pursued a mission in the deepest part of the night.

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For your writing: How do your characters exhibit bravery? Where can you infuse a steely spirit into the narrative?  Or perhaps you are penning a memoir or a non-fiction self-help piece that requires you to share some secret part of yourself. Are you a courageous writer? Are you willing to be bold with your words?

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Brotherhood: The men and women who serve must rely on one another in some of the most dire circumstances. Without that absolute trust that your comrade has your back, there is the possibility of disaster. There can be no doubt that your team will come through.

For your writing: Does your protagonist have a bond with anyone that can be used for better storytelling? Maybe the villain in your novel is acting out in ways that exploit the trust of his friends and family. As a writer, are you doing enough to build a network of reliable, qualified fellow writers who can help you as you advance your writing goals?

Dedication: Veterans can tell you, there is an unbending loyalty that they feel for their country. Many have gone to their graves protecting those they have sworn to keep defend. Such dedication is a rare commodity in modern society, but it’s a revered code of honor among our military.

For your writing: To what causes are your characters devoted? What is it that they most wish to achieve? If you haven’t determined this, it’s a good idea to give some thought to how committed your characters are to each other and to their dreams. Perhaps the plot involves your heroine finding her way to this goal? As a writer, how dedicated are you to your craft? Do you work daily and diligently to grow your skills and build your writing network?

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

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