Photo by Kusakabe Kimbei,
Names are important.
A kind of clumsy, social, snapshot DNA.
Writers hunt names, anguish over them, change them, re-spell them.
Writers search telephone directories, baby books, genealogical sites and spam for perfect names.
Whole websites are devoted to assist writers in their search.
Naturally, we want the creatures of our imagination to stand out from the crowd.
But, while some names look very pretty on the page, we should also give some thought to how they sound.
Some readers, routinely and automatically, verbalize all names in reading material.
And then there's the increasing popularity of audio books.
A name might appear visually attractive in print and sound totally ridiculous out loud, and the aural effect may dramatically contradict the mental associations we hope to suggest.
Break-teeth names may also cause difficulties for a narrator. Imagine the effect on the flow of the story should the speaker have to halt and take a deep breath before launching into a string of consonants and apostrophes.
We must be careful also with our choice of short-form nics and diminutives.
If you name your hero Clifford and shorten it to Cliff, don't -- forgawdssake -- give your heroine a lisp.
And consider the situations in your story where the names will be uttered, especially if you write hot, hot erotica -- so as not to elicit a confusion of giggles.
Particularly in scenes of passion.
Rip, oh Rip, she cried...
Or, since names like these seem to be ubiquitous in some sub-genres:
Hawk, oh Hawk, she cried...
Well, spit it out, lady.
There's more than one good reason for giving your WIP an audition.