"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a quotation by William Shakespeare from his play Romeo and Juliet meant to say that the names of things do not matter. In the play, the line is said by Juliet in reference to Romeo's house, Montague, which would imply that his name means nothing and they should be together.
Well, does a name really not matter? I remember in college when I played Dungeons and Dragons, a friend of mine (his name was Buhl) introduced a character (he was the Dungeon Master) and stated her name was "Brunhilda".
My friend Leroy got upset. "Dude," he said. "How could she be so beautiful and have a name like Brunhilda?"
Buhl replied, "Brunhilda is considered a beautiful name in Germany and I think of her as being a woman of German descent."
Leroy's response was classic American, "We're not playing in Germany and I think that name is butt-ugly."
So, how much thought do you put into your character's names? Stephanie Meyer said that the name "Bella" was one she had been holding onto for quite a while and decided to use it when her heroine really needed a good name. I know I've agonized over naming characters. Searching for the ones that sound unique to the voice in your head can be a real chore.
Do you use name generators? Name books? Online resources?
How do you decide on spelling between Dylan or Dillon? Amy, Amie, or Aymie? Jason or Jayson?
The friend Leroy that I mentioned above...well he said something funny one day about a villain in a book named Tyranthraxis (villains have the best names). He said, "Hey Mike, imagine how fun it would have been to see that villain's mother saying, 'Come here little Tyranthraxis. You're in trouble now.'" I think I woulda LMAO.