I started writing a fun story about my best friend, her husband, and me in a fantasy world with a connection to a prophecy which people didn't understand the true meaning of. I called my story Liberator and Chain, and I liked my daydream story so much that I decided to expand it into one of my books. Megan and Allie were the original names of the sisters with Allie's husband, Jon, and the rebels: Abby, her husband Jerold, and her brother Ric.
As I started expanding the story idea with my Prophecy Series, I realized that I wanted to include Ruccis in the rebel group of Najos. But then I had to start changing names because one of the members in Ruccis was named Jon, and that was Allie's husband's name. My friend Savanah came up with the name Tobin, and I really liked it. Then I realized I had to change Ric's name because Rickie is the leader of Ruccis, and Ric and Rickie would be too confusing. So, his name became Alaric.
As I started writing, I realized I had Alaric, Allie, and Abby, and I knew my readers would start to get Allie and Abby confused, especially since they're both sisters of main characters. Then I changed Allie's name to Laura, and I changed Alaric's name to Derek. As I looked through Persona, my character building software, I decided that only two characters could have a name with the same letter, thus Jerold became Fred because of Jeff and Jon.
Daydreaming and writing down fun stories about yourself and your friends is a great exercise for a writer. I never would have expanded Child of Destiny into a full-length novel if I hadn't been writing Liberator and Chain. It's incredible to see how what you write for fun morphs into something worth reading, and something which is more incredible to write. Your imagination needs something to begin with, and your imagination can take a short story meant only for you and turn it into a full-length novel meant to be read by all.