Later this week, I will finish the final pages of the first draft of Three Husbands and a Lover. While I will then walk away from it for a few to several weeks before starting on revisions, there is one change I already know I have to make: changing the name of the hero’s sister. Percival (Percy) Carlyle, Captain Lord Granville, is an earl with three younger sisters. The younger two are sixteen-year-old twins named Lily and Iris. The oldest is eighteen and is named Priscilla, Prissy for short.
You can see the problem. Percy and Prissy. As much as the sister just felt like a Prissy, as much as the name suited the character, even I started getting confused and typing one name when I meant the other. Now this character, who plays an important secondary role in this story and who might get a story of her own someday, needs a new name.
This oldest sister is chatty, bubbly, and hopelessly romantic. She is has fallen head over heels for her first earnest suitor, who doesn’t really deserve her affections. And she welcomes her brother’s new wife with open arms, thrilled to have an older sister to balance out the two younger ones. She is tallish for a woman, and has pale freckled skin and light reddish-blonde hair like her brother, and unlike her mother and sisters who are petite, dark-haired, and dark-eyed.
The two younger sisters are named after flowers, obviously. Flower names became very popular in the 19th century, and it wouldn’t be too big a stretch to imagine a family naming all their daughters after symbols of prettiness and sweetness. So, like her sisters, the character formerly known as Prissy will be named after a flower. I’ve narrowed down the list to the following three, with their meanings, and the pros and cons of each from my perspective.
Daisy – This name is associated innocence and purity. It is also signifies childbirth, motherhood, and new beginnings. I like the whimsy and optimism of this name, both of which fit the soon-to-be-named sister. But it might come off as too innocent to carry a full historical romance as its heroine, though. And there’s no real nickname for it.
Rose – This name symbolizes love and beauty, and is sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. It’s a pretty name, and the familial nickname could be Rosie. But it seems like the obvious choice for a girl’s flower name. Also, I feel like it belongs to a quiet and serious person. This sister has a serious side (sometimes), but not a quiet one.
Violet – Violet is associated with the color purple and symbolizes the future, imagination, and dreams. This character is a dreamer in the sense of being a hopeless romantic, and I like the short nickname Vi. But something about this dark, saturated color seems in conflict with the peaches-and-cream complected, strawberry-blonde girl.
Now I need your help. Do any of these names speak to you? Seem to match up with this brief description of the captain/earl’s younger sister? Sound like a good name for a future heroine?