I read a very nice blog about character names the other day on Market My Words and that got me thinking... I find it hard to name my characters. I had no trouble at all naming my children, but characters are tougher. (and titles, forget about altogether!) In my first and only published picture book, Hop Plop, I went with Mouse and Elephant. I wasn't copping out. The story takes place at a playground and is very dependent on the differences in the two character's sizes. Giving them names would have only served as a distraction.
But when I do need a name, I can never seem to find one that feels like a perfect fit. In a new manuscript that is still untitled (See? I wasn't kidding!), my co-author and I chose "Scooter" for the little scurrying critter who gets bullied, "Mack" for the bigger bustling badger who bullies him, and "Tank" for the even bigger brute who bulldozes Mack. I was so proud at my cleverness for selecting three vehicle names until I discovered that not a single reader caught the metaphor.