Naming characters in a story is tricky business. Names need to be unique and descriptive enough to help the reader visualize your characters. At the same time, names can’t be too weird. One of the characters in my newest story is the boy who draws the pictures. I named the boy Hudson because the explorer Henry Hudson was an explorer and the story would be about adventure. I struggled to name the other primary characters, I decided to plot the story out and then start writing. What do you know, the names came once I got into character. There names came as I wrote this scene.

Dot and Scribble were born.

Hudson looked at the picture and then at the pencil in his hand. “Come on, do your thing,” he commanded the pencil.

He knew all he could draw were stick figures. Who was he trying to fool? He drew a stick boy, frowned, and crossed him out. The boy wasn’t quite right. Maybe if he tried another.

He drew another stick person and smiled. “Better—some pretty hair and a nice dress,” he said to himself. The stick girl stood tall with straight legs, a polka dot dress, and wavy hair.

Hudson finished the picture of the stick girl, smiled, and added some dots for eyes. He looked at the stick boy and shook his head. “You’re Scribble, ‘cause you’re a mess.”

Scribble looked reckless in a fun kind of way, but he was no knight in shining armor. And the stick girl was hardly a princess.

He looked at the stick girl. “You’re Dot.”

Dot and Scribble smiled back at him.