It's funny because of the different stories I've read of his, they all have good to great names. His worry and concern are probably more a mark of a perfectionist, hoping for the very best, than anything else. But it also made me think about the topic of names. Part of my reply is below. Go check out the full post and I (and I'm sure Patrick) would be interested in hearing what you think.
"Names are up there for me too. But it’s all artificial. I think it comes out of a need to feel like you’ve made the perfect character. Who is not only so real they almost breathe–in all their imperfections and convictions but in their name fitting them like a “T”. However, especially in this age, this is just a hole of wasted time we create for ourselves. Call the bloke Sam the Man and then when a great name comes to you eventually through the interactions within the story: “Find and Replace” comes in very handy.So in other words, like many aspects of world-building. Don't worry. Make a silly, or normal name. Make it quick and move on. You need to finish that story and getting mired in the world won't help your story-arc...usually. If you write compelling characters, have an interesting plot and weave a good story it will sell your character names, your place names and everything else. How about Google? What a goofy name. Yet it is now part of the language and almost synomous with cool intelligence.
As to your question, sometimes I get a fun character name, but a lot of the time I do as you said, and think of the rest of my names in the MS, pick a letter that hasn’t been used much, sound out some variants and then grab one and go with it. A lot of what goes into a name is not the name but how we build the character. I mean, how boring of a name is Harry Potter? (Sorry to anybody out there actually named Harry Potter, but it’s not like I’m named Xavier MacFillion or anything.) It’s all about marketing, and I think you know a thing or two about that..."
I'll take a couple steps backward in my conviction by noting that it might all depend on how you work. Perhaps you have story elements tied into the name and it needs to be perfect because many other things play off of it. Now looking at it that way I will agree that many elements in a story get tied to and back to many other things. If not, you aren't being very cohesive and your story might seem to lack flow. However, don't forget: You can revise. So if you find something holding you up from creating your Opus, make a quick fix and move on. Writing a novel is not easy, it isn't done in a day, and it certainly isn't done in one pass. I'm on the third draft of Hestea Hammerblood, more like the fourth and I can still see a lot to finish up. 'Course I'm not a professional. I haven't gotten paid yet for any of this foolishness, so what do I know?
What do you think?