My finger has been pulled out and, after enjoying a week (*cough* little bit more than *cough*) 'off' from writing, I have started planning my next book. I won't actually start writing it until Book 2 is finished and being submitted to agents but I may as well plan this one while Book 2 is in its virtual drawer for a month.
I love this stage of writing; inventing new people and lives, discovering what is going to happen to them. In Book 3 I have a main character, Ruth, and her two love interests, Billy and Jared, plus a couple of minor characters. Their names came to me really easily but sometimes it can be difficult to find names for characters.
Sometimes I have a character name and build the person up from that but other times I only have a character and have to find a name that 'fits'. There are loads of different ways I 'find' names, from popular names of the year a character was born (looked up online), name generators (also online), television credits, songs that happen to be on the radio while I'm trying to think of a name or newspapers/magazines.
But the simplest way is using a Baby Name book, like the one at the top of this blog post. I've had that book since I was about 12/13. I bought it for the bargain price of 50p when a bookshop was closing down in town and I've used it for my stories ever since. Funny that it never helped when I had my first daughter. We looked through that book (and another I got free with a baby magazine) and couldn't find a name we both liked. Her name isn't even in the book so my poor Jellyfish was called Baby Girl for a couple of days.
Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. Do you find it easy to name your characters? Or do you have ways of hunting them down?