Procrastinating, I looked to see what Meg Ryan's done lately. It was interesting to see how practically all her characters' names say "spunky." You can even tell when she became a star, because previously she had Character names, and after that she had Meg Ryan names:
And then she did "When Harry met Sally":
Captain Karen Emma Walden
Anastasia (Disney movie; lead voice role)
Maggie (the third Maggie she's played!)
Bonnie (from Hurlyburly, the play)
Wow, hear all those "K's"! Kay, Karen, Kate, Catherine, Katharine, Kathleen, Kate again...
Practically no one in the movie audience remembers character's names, unless the names are in the title. I remember Sally from When Harry Met Sally...
, but I didn't remember Annie from Sleepless in Seattle
. But names are important to the "read," so be careful naming characters. I even find if I don't get a character's name right, I can't write them. The name reminds me who they are.
People do remember character names in tv shows. Partly I think that's because you see them over more time. Partly it's because TV dialog is more talky, so characters get called by
their names more often. So names are even more important there. Especially when the network decides it doesn't like your original series title and you need to change it to something with the character's name in it...
Yours very truly,
Kalexander Maxim Kepstein
POSTSCRIPT: Lisa points out that the names before When Harry Met Sally
are names common among women born in the '60s, while the names after it are names common among women born in the '70's... ahem.