Writers know that finding the perfect names for their characters is critical. Personally, I have to find the right name for my characters at the start, as their name helps me drive their narrative. I like to start with names that were popular during the time period in which my story takes place. My favorite resource for finding the perfect name is the Social Security Administration's web site. Here, you can pull up lists of the most popular names for boys and girls by year (it goes back to the 1880's!). You can also search by state or by decade. There are other fun tools on this web site, including one that will show you the change in popularity of any given name.
Here is the link for the Social Security Administration's web site page on popular names:
Great tip, Alexandra! I've used the SSA website for names a few times but never thought to share it here. Thank you!