How do you choose names for your characters? Do you keep a list? Do you use names of family, friends and co-workers--or your dreaded former boyfriends?!!
Lately, I've noticed when writing in a hurry I "grab" the same character names too often, namely (pun intended) "Jenny" and "Sylvia." I don't know why but I do. Actually, my parents almost named me Jennifer but didn't like "Jenny" so they chose Beth. I happen to like the name Jenny so maybe that's why I use her as a character. I also tend to use "S" names quite a bit like Sarah and, yes, Sylvia.
When we're all spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter, I say we keep a running list of interesting names that we see online. At least we'll feel halfway productive while socializing. I often check the phone book (the real, heavy one--old school) for last names. Last names are particularly hard for me.
Of course, if you have an ethnic character from a country you're not that familiar with, you'll want to Google possible names so they are realistic.
Last but not least, I bought a baby book of about 5,000 names. That should keep me from tiring out poor Jenny and Sylvia! How about you? How do you choose names for your characters?