As those of you who’ve seen my updates on Twitter and Facebook will know, I’m currently trying to name two new secondary characters. I got some great feedback, so I thought I would extend the discussion here. As I’ve blogged about before, I find naming characters both fun and at times frustrating, because the right name has so much to do with making the character come to life. And of course the same name conjures up different images for different readers, which is why I love getting different people’s reactions.

The characters in question are an estranged married couple. She’s aristocratic but a bit of a scandal now thanks to the public disaster of her marriage. Impetuous, clever, witty, a once heedless, romantic girl turned cynical. Sort of a combination of Ellen Olenska, Barbara Childe, and Kitty Fane with a bit of Caroline Lamb thrown in for good measure. He’s also very well born (wealthier than she was), a classical scholar turned soldier. A serious young man who fell desperately in love and had it all blow up in his face. A bit of Jack Bristow from Alias, a bit of Lord Damerel (though he hasn’t become a rake), a bit of William Lamb.

Possible names for her:

Amy
Amanda
Emily
Jane
Harriet
Cordelia
Cressida
Serena
Helena
Annabel

Possible names for him:

Nicholas
Jasper
Gideon
Harry
Edmund
Andrew
Cyril

Possible surnames:

Drummond
Ashton
Hampton
Bowen
Wyndham
Brabourne

Any favorite names? Any names not on the list you think would be good for one or both characters? (I’m very open to new suggestions).

Do names have a lot to do with the image you form of a character when reading? Writers, how do you go about naming your characters?

Be sure to check out the new Fraser Correspondence letter I’ve just posted from Charles to David.