If the comments, emails and tweets I've received since Sunday are anything to go by it seems that picking names is a tricky thing for us writerly types. So, this is the way it works for me.
Usually this little voice starts up in my head and introduces him or herself to me. With the others, I try to make sure that the names are regionally accurate, I'll do a meaning search and if I like it I keep it. Or, I just make it up, but in the end the name could be anything, it doesn't really matter. The name isn't inhabited until I start to write it. It's like the character slips it on like a coat and if it suits, it sticks.
Up until last week I thought this was me being careful about the name choice. In a way I was - not as careful as when choosing my child's name - but there was thought involved. But now I can see where I went wrong. Despite the care and the planning, when this story was still a seed growing roots in my head I saw this: Ella and Morgane were friends. Will, Miranda and Ella were a family. There's no problem there is there? The problem is that I wasn't hearing the story. I wasn't seeing that there were two plots that met and up until that point the characters were Leo and Ella and Morgane and Miranda. OK, I did see this, I even planned it, this is what I wrote:
But oh, the winner. Well, according to your vote the winner is Cari but,uh hum, well, eh... I think I'm going for Assanna. I'll call her Anna for short and when the full name is revealed I may drop a 's' as really I'm a big kid and I'm not sure I can have ass as part of her name.
Mostly, I'd like to say a big thank you to those of you who took the time to vote. Oh yes, of course I could have done it all myself, but seeing your choices did make me think about whether I liked the names or not and whether it worked for my character. I hope you're not disappointed that I didn't go with the majority vote, but you know. Anyway, now that I've worked out how to do this poll thing, I may have to do it again... but this time for something where your vote counts hey!