This becomes even more important of course if you are aiming at writing a series of stories or novels around a central character.
The more original your name, the better, so long as it is not too outlandish – unless of course your intent is humorous.
Like Walt Disney, I've always been interested in characters with alliterative names: Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Horace Horsecollar, etc.
I am particularly drawn to Mickey Mouse. I find the M-M combination most appealing. I employed it for Micaela Morris in my book, "Micaela Morris in Jo's Heaven".
Therefore it was a little disappointing to discover there were actually two or three well-known people bearing the Michaela Morris name. And this was in the U.S.A. alone!
So for my detective, I determined to use a name that was not in any way outlandish, but that seemed reasonably common, and indeed almost as normal as Butler and Greene.
Yet I required a name that also initiated a pleasingly virile association.
And even importantly, of course, a name that embodied all the above qualities, yet was absolutely unique.
After many tries, I finally came up with Merryll Manning. I Googled the name. There was no Merryll Manning in the entire world.
Now of course there is "Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island", "Merryll Manning: The Health Farm Murders" and "Merryll Manning: Beachfront Holiday".
My own Merryll Manning website can be found at http://merryllmanning.exactpages.com
(Incidentally Goodreads are conducting a Giveaway for "Merryll Manning: Beachfront Holiday". To enter, you can click the prominently displayed Goodreads box located close to the top of the above Merryll Manning website).