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Writing Meme Day Three

How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

I've always said my characters name themselves. David has always been a favorite name of mine. It seemed like when I was growing up I always had crushes on boys named David. And then I married one ;) The first true "love of my life" was named Chris, and with the lens of hindsight I realize that "love" would have never worked out.

Usually as I'm thinking of a character, the name just manifests itself in my head. That really only works for contemporary fiction though. When coming up with names for The King's Tale I had to search Medieval English and Welsh names. In all likelihood Christopher is not a Medieval name, but the name was stuck so I used it anyway.

As for place names, I used actual names from Cornish history. Lysnowydh (currently called Lesnweth) is the area around Tintagel Castle. I had a rough idea of where I wanted Warin's "kingdom" to be, so I studied a map and settled on Strasnedh (currently called Stratton). I'm not really sure how I would have gone about making names up if it were a true historical fantasy.

I feel very attached to names, and when I was growing up reading historical romances I always loved the wonderful names...like Snowdonia for example.