I play this game with every manuscript. There is a lot of thought that goes into the names of not only the characters (which most of my friends who’ve ever helped me brainstorm a story can attest that I spend a lot of time doing this), but also into names that are used in world building.
For example, in my soon to be released story Blood & Moonlight, I wanted it to have a Celtic foundation of sorts. So when it came time to name the key players I scoured baby name books to find Gaelic and Celtic names that would suit my characters. However it went a step further than that for me. In the book there is a wolf pack. That means there has to be a hierarchy. Using names for the positions within the pack proved a little challenging, but once I settled on names, they just clicked.
Let us examine the name Cadeyrn, which I use for the pack leader in my hierarchy. When I was researching, I came across this name, which is an ancient Celtic name with Welsh roots. It means battle king, which I found befitting of a leader of shapeshifters.
I for one, find names to be incredibly important. Then again, I’m fascinated by names. How much thought do you give to a name as a writer? As a reader, once you are into the story, do names that are out of the ordinary throw you are build the world and pull you in?