Christening Characters

Русский: Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из ...

Русский: Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из Тарквинии, ок. 480 до н. э., Бостонский Музей Искусства (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had no difficulty naming my main protagonist. She has always been Cassandra Hardman. I like the abbreviated form, Cassie, which I know she, and her family and friends would use. The name comes from a princess in Greek mythology, who had the power of prophecy but was never believed.  I believe that fits with the role of the advocate, predicting the future for a defendant, and the disbelief that could engender. For her surname I wanted something which would identify her as a Lancastrian and  ‘Hardman’ is common in parts of the County.

My novel also has a second protagonist and I have found naming her more difficult. She is a female Detective Constable about six years younger than Cassie. She is very loosely based on someone I met, who was the daughter of a successful business man. She had decided to join the police force against her fathers wishes. She was a tall glamorous blonde, who loved motorbikes. I originally called my character, Carol Beaumont-Smith, but I didn’t feel happy with that. The hyphenated surname seemed to be a cliché for wealthy, rather upper-crust characters, and using a name beginning with the same initial as my main protagonist, I thought, might be confusing for a reader. I changed the name to Vivienne James, Viv for short, but didn’t like that either. I know two Viv’s, one a small dumpy girl and the other tall and elegant but not reallyas  glamorous as my policewoman is. I have now decided on Alexis Seymour which feels right. Of course there is a bit of a twist is that as another name for Cassandra in Greek mythology is Alexandra of which Alexis is a variation.  Anyway Alexis Seymour feels right and I think I will stick with that.

I did wonder if anyone had any interesting ways of christening their characters. Let me know if you have.

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About scribblingadvocate

Born in Lancashire, Law degree from Sheffield University and MA in Creative Writing from Exeter. A barrister for twenty five years, who appeared in the Crown Courts in and around London. When I retired we moved to live in Devon, first on Dartmoor, more recently overlooking the Exe Estuary. After twenty years I still feel an exile from London. Married, no children but own an affable Springer Spaniel. I love reading, walking and travel. I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University and have written three books, Crucial Evidence, Reluctant Consent and Legal Privilege, all set in London. You can email me

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