I was browsing author blogs and found something on Kaye Dacus's blog that caught my attention. She recently went through a CBD fiction catalog and noted the character names used and which ones seem to be most popular. This is just the sort of thing I've done with a spare hour of time. LOL
So, I went through our recent full length novel releases to see how many popular hits we have. We have a Beth, Annie, and Grace. I also found 2 Isabelle/Isabel in our lineup. For the guys, we hit on a couple Daniels as well as a Will and a Luke. It's an interesting exercise. And I'm absolutely sure I'd find more common names used in our Heartsong Presents line.Kaye's Name ListAnna/Anne/Annie—6 times
Because there are more women’s names mentioned in blurbs than men’s (probably about 2/3 the number of female names), there are fewer to compare, but there are still some obvious overusages:
We do need to be careful to choose character names wisely. Picking an overused name can make readers feel like the author was too lazy to search for another name. Using one that sounds unique but doesn't really fit the character is another danger. As a reader, I really hate not being able to figure out the pronunciation of a name and stumbling over it every time I see it.
Readers can have all sorts of preconceived ideas about what a certain name represents in a person. I used to dislike the name Crystal because of a girl in my grade school, and I was upset when my sister-in-law had that picked for a girl baby name. (Thankfully they only had 2 boys.)
When picking a name, consider it's given meaning. Also look at what were popular names during the year or decade when the character would have been born. But in the end, your name choice needs to match your vision for who your character is as a whole person.
For more fun with character naming, read Kaye Dacus's blog here.