Can’t name your protagonist? Just cook dinner.

In an ongoing series of tips for writers, One Pot Meal illustrates how characters’ names can come to a writer organically:

“Hm,” she said, “maybe I should have washed this cookie cutter before cutting the biscuits.”

“Are we going to have dusty biscuits?” I asked.

“We might.”

“That sounds like a cowboy’s name.”

“We might?”

“Dusty Biscuits. Dusty Biscuits and the Laramie Trail. I’m going to write a western.”

“And his horse, Buttermilk,” she offered.

“If it’s a pulp western, I’ll need a stereotypical villain,” I said. “Can we have Mexican tomorrow night?”


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