The other girls have talked about the trends in publishing--especially romance--so I'm going to talk about names.
You know what made the top ten list this year? Isabella and Jacob? Depending on which list you read, they both were in the top five. On one list they were both number one.I was glad to see that Edward didn't crack the top 100. I don't care how hot the glittering vampire is, I still see an old man when I think of Edward.
It's funny how a popular book or movie can inspire a generation of names. I'm sure the Dorothy's of the forties and fifties came from The Wizard of Oz. The eighties saw Luke and Laura's named after General Hospital's beloved couple.
My youngest daughter was named after Elizabeth Shue's character in Cocktail. I'd never heard of Jordan for a girl before that movie and I LOVED it. That was a naming trend in the early in Nineties--the feminization of male names for girls. My daughter grew up with Taylers, Sydneys, and more Jordans. It's a trend that continues in YA publishing to this day. Girls with boys names are stronger that other girls. Or our perception of them is. My daughter was born early and weighed under three pounds and to this day, I am sure part of her survival is due to the strong name I gave her.
Names are important--not only in life but in character. My main character wouldn't be the same kid if his name was Mark. Mark does not equal Bixby. A Mark is solid, stoic, but a little bland. (right now, really glad my cousin Mark doesn't read my blog). Bix is a blast.
So, when you go to name your characters. Think long and hard. You could be starting your own trend.