Selecting appropriate character names is as important as developing well-rounded characters. (1) Names must be appropriate for the time and the culture in which the story is set. Even people from different regions of the United States will have different common names. Do your research. (2) Don't pick names that are so unusual that they are a distraction to the reader. (3) Avoid names that are hard to pronounce, causing readers to stumble over them. (4) Avoid using names that are so much alike that the readers will have a problem keeping the characters straight. (5) You'll want the names to fit the characters. Romeo and Juliette would never be quite as memorable if they had been called Butch and Gertrude. A name-your-baby book is a good source of names for your characters. Look for one that gives the country of origin, if you have characters with roots in foreign countries. For another list of rules for naming characters, go to: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-7-rules-of-picking-names-for-fictional-characters.