Muffin-top Writers, Unite!

Writers are a peculiar lot, as the longsuffering priest pointed out to Miss Crankypants. In particular, we seem to have the strangest habits when it comes to naming our characters. The other day on Facebook, Miss CP saw one novelist’s plea: “Help me name a character. Name must NOT begin with N, P, L, K or W.”
Well that certainly narrows it down. Reminds Miss CP of a diet ad: “Eat anything you wish and still lose weight! Except, of course, any food containing calories.”
Read her lips! Miss Crankypants is NOT eating cabbage soup all day just so she can fit into skinny jeans. Sure, her muffin-top only makes her REALLY want a Costco muffin. Did you know those things contain enough calories to keep an African village alive for a month? But of course, muffins aren’t allowed on the diet, either. Miss Cranky is desperate to get back into a pair of panty hose that don’t make her look like a boa constrictor who just swallowed one of those giant rodents from South America. She’s willing to do just about anything to slim down, in case, you know, she has to stand in for Kate Middleton or Kim Kardashian, take your pick.
Maybe she could try deep-frying her cabbage soup– in the South deep-frying is practically a religion. And it would make even a no-calorie dish a little more palatable.
But back to naming. When writers invent their characters, they often crawl out of the writer’s mind, all sporting that same initials. Plus, they rhyme! You get Sam, Pam, Cam and Thank-you-ma’am. Remember when your 3rd grade class had six Bobbys and fourteen Susans? You ended up with Bobby G. H., L M N O P, Susan F B. V. C. W. X. Y. and sometimes I. before E. and some squinty-eyed kid named Ignatius Leadbottom. Unfortunately, a lot of writers’ characters seem to be in that same class.
Miss CP’s own work-in-progress features five different characters whose names begin with the letter M. She probably ought to set them to music like the Banana-fanna tune. Martin, Martin, bo-bartin, banana-fanna-fo-fartin. Oops! She could make up a GANGNAM STYLE dance to it and get famous. Or simply go down in history as the most famous muffin-topped writer you’ve never heard of.
So Miss CP is begging for your help.
Please help her get off the letter M so all her characters don’t sound like a mom who isn’t really listening (Mmhmm, Mmhmm). If you think up some awesome handles for her make-believe people, she’ll invite you over for some deep-fried cabbage soup. Don’t worry, you can eat as much as you want and still lose that muffin-top.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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