Have you ever sat down and named the entire cast of characters for an entire book in one sitting? It’s exhausting. It’s worse than when you’re sitting down with a bunch of guys to play D&D and no one can decide on a friggin name for their character, so you waste three hours. Besides, you have to have some idea of what kind of appearance, personality, and what role each character will play in the book. This also means more often than not, even though you would like to name everyone in one sitting – you can’t do it. So, even if you’re on a writing rampage, you have to stop, google baby names and come up with a new character on the fly. Who can blame Stephenie Meyer for naming three quarters of her characters after her siblings?
Anyway, naming human beings is a completely different matter than naming a character. For starters, when you’re naming a character, you can choose their last name. First name and last name can exist harmoniously because they were both conjured out of thin air. Not so when you’re naming a person. The last name has already been decided and you have to work with it.
Secondly, there is no taunting. You can name your character something that would obviously result in teasing, alligator bites and wet willies without fear. Those things will only happen to your character if you want them to happen. If only we could obtain that much control in real life.
Thirdly, it doesn’t matter if someone else has the name you picked. There can be 200 guys named Christian in the literary world and no one gets confused. It’s not like all our imaginary guys go to the same school and the teacher can’t keep the names straight.
Naming real people is a serious headache. You don’t know what they’re going to look like when they’re grown up, or what they’ll be like, or anything. The only thing you know is that the little person contains some of your genetic material and some of its daddy’s. That’s it. So, you have to agonize about spelling. Do you want the spelling to be something that everyone is going to understand easily or do you want to make the spelling unique? Are you going to name it after someone? Is that someone likely to annoy you in the future? Name it after someone dead. Do you know anyone else who coincidentally has the same name? Is there likely to be confusion?