N is for Names, Characters and Otherwise

Hey guys! For today's A to Z challenge post, I thought I'd talk to you guys about something that I find really, really important in both my own writing and in reading others': character names. 

For me, at least, characters play a really big part in stories. If I don't like a book's character, no way am I going to finish the book. (Actually, if I'm being really harsh and/or I picked up the book because I thought it would be amazing but then it turned out the characters sucked and as a result I'm pissed off at the universe, I probably won't get further than 30 pages in.) Pathetic, I know. :P

Within the characters themselves, I can be really picky when it comes to names. Sometimes I'm a bit biased - for example, currently I'm reading Anna Dressed in Blood (which is AMAZING so far, by the way!), and the main character's name is Cas... which happens to be the same nickname of a certain character on a television show I tend to fangirl over a lot. ;) So that name, of course, is pretty awesome. But if there's a character with an absolutely ridiculous name that I can hardly say without bursting into laugher and/or tears, you can bet I'm not reading a page further. I mean,  I'm going to be spending 300 pages with them, give or take. If the character has a name that I absolutely hate, then I have other books with awesome character names I could be reading instead! ;)

I'm probably even choosier when it comes to writing. Ever noticed that in almost all of my short stories, the main characters are unnamed? Yep, there's a reason for that. :P I tend to spend hours scouring baby name sites (which, just to clear up any confusion, were made solely for the use of writers, not expecting couples!), and even then I can hardly ever find a name that I believe perfectly fits the characters in the story. So I've just stuck with leaving them nameless! ;) With Frozen Hearts, both Rose and Chase are named for very specific reasons - which you will, of course, find out once you read the book! - and Rose's little brother's name was changed a few times before I settled on Benjamin.

Actually, I think it runs in the family. True story: me, my parents, and my little sister were still trying to decide on what to name our new puppy in the first five minutes after he got home and was contentedly snoring away, unaware of our turmoil. :P It was ridiculous, especially considering that we'd known he was coming for the past three weeks! (We eventually decided on Hachii, by the way... although sometimes we wonder if it should have been Beethoven, considering how much he loves to sit by the piano and listen to me play!)

So what about you guys? How picky are you in choosing your characters' names - both in your writing and in books? What's your dream name - character or otherwise? ;) I'd love to hear what you think!

love, Topaz