By Dan Schmidt
"We give names to most everything around us: our pets, our kids, our cars, the products we use, the food we eat (it’s not ‘frozen dairy-like substance’, but Frosty), the games we play. And, as writers, we name our characters, too. In fact, next to the physical characteristics we try to describe, the names of our heroes, villains, band leaders, and shopkeepers are about the most important tool we have for identifying and tracking who is doing what. Good names help both writers and readers move through a story smoothly; bad names put us in a stagecoach on a washed out dirt road."