I am TERRIBLE with names. Not just remembering the names people introduce themselves with but also coming up with character names and titles for stories.
In general I like to use Finnish names because they’re at least somewhat different from the norm in the field. But that doesn’t really work for titles. I mean I could try to come up with a story title in Finnish but 99% of my target audience wouldn’t understand it. But that would present the other bit of trouble which is that the title needs to be cool or at least somewhat cool and fit into the story without revealing too much. This is why I always end up with working titles like “Space opera about sisters” and “Urban fantasy succubus detective” which are not only unwieldy to use in my word count spreadsheets but also awkward to talk about on the blog and in my writing group and pretty much everywhere.
As for introductions, the best trick I’ve managed to come up so far is to repeat the person’s name back to them which works very nicely for that particular conversation but if I’m like at a convention, I’ll have forgotten the name by the next morning. Which means that I need to come up with a name retention trick at some point in the future, preferably before WorldCon in August.
How do you deal with names?