Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day #28, 2015

Reading Owl by Marc Potts
Who? Who?

So many characters...
So little memory.

Plot may drive the action of your story, but characters are what really hook your readers and make them care about what happens to whom in your fictional world.

With that in mind, the more characters, the better—right? 'Fraid not.

The number of characters you introduce will yield a diminishing return on reading enjoyment, should you introduce too darn many of them—especially if you name them all. While minor characters and cameo appearances by colorful personalities can add humor, depth and intrigue to your tale, not every single person mentioned requires a backstory.

Does a waiter approach your protagonist's table and take his order? Wonderful! Let the waiter do just that—without giving us his first and last name, social security number, place and date of birth, psychological makeup, and so on.

If you've created a character you absolutely adore, but who, frankly, is superfluous to the story you're working on, simply set them aside and plan to give them a more prominent role in your next project.