Next up, we have what for some people can be the toughest part of the entire process: coming up with character names!
For names, it all really depends on what you're intending your book to be. If you want it to be some garbage tween-lit book, you have to use names that sound exotic but also safe, like Bella or Sebastian or Magrad the Impaler, Mistress of the Nightrealm. Names that really mean very little and can be glossed over within the text.
For a more serious, actual readable-quality book, this can be trickier. Many people get hung up on this and for good reason. If you're going to write a 200-page exploration of the human condition told by a schizophrenic heroin addict with pyromaniacal tendencies, you don't want to call that character Suzy Blaze or Mikey Starts-Fires-For-Sexual-Pleasure. Those are just a bit too silly to really connect with readers. On the other hand, if you're writing a light romantic novel about a meet-cute at a New York deli, names like Blood Darkfang and Silencio Magnifico also probably aren't appropriate monikers.
(By the way, all these names are now copyrighted so...hands off.)
The fact is, names can make or break a book. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to start writing the characters and letting them go. The names can often come organically.
Well, Stambleputz McGrudy was organic too so...maybe not that.
Next Entry: Characters