When I started to formulate an idea I could use for NaNoWriMo, I decided to go with a sixteen or seventeen year old heroine. Her name came to me out of nowhere: Feather Everett. And for a week or two, I wondered if I could name a girl Feather (and what it would do to her), and why on earth I'd come up with that name. I tried thinking of her as Faith for a while, but I decided that a different name would add to her personality.
Slowly, Feather's family situation started to come together. She lived with her mom, they had just moved from the big city to a small village... and after a few days I gave mom a boyfriend who had a daugther of his own. Her name had to be Paige. Because no matter what other names I came up with, Paige was the one that kept overriding them all.
When you decide that your story falls into the Young Adult category, you know - you just know - that there also needs to be A Guy. Someone who falls for your heroine, or she for him, or maybe, just maybe, they end up liking each other. Or do so right away. Who knows?
And the way I saw it was this: I'd have one guy with a name that had the blackest and darkest connotations possible - but who, in the end, turned out to be the Good Guy. And there would be an adversary with blond hair, blue eyes, dimples, the whole package, including an innocent-sounding name who would be pure evil.
I enjoyed that prospect, but it didn't last. My good guy happened to be aloof, but a good guy from the start. My bad guy turned out not to be so bad at all, although that took me longer to discover. And the whole evil versus good, possible supernatural vibe that wasn't going to be supernatural after all (and I wondered how on earth to do that)... it vanished.
What I thought I wanted was a girl who'd be confronted with something that would appear to be supernatural, but who was simply too grounded to go that way until all other options had been exhausted. I wanted to poke fun at television series with supernatural forces and evil entities and all those people who need to save the entire friggin' world in the space of one day or one week. I wanted to do that. I didn't. The story veered away from that path and went somewhere else instead.
Then again, that's not a bad thing. Who knows what a second attempt at writing might result in?