Yesterday on Carrie’s blog she talked about a writer worry that happens a lot, which is figuring out when your novel has too many characters.
You should check that out at carriejonesbooks.blog if it’s one of your worries, but here’s a bit more information about making that deadly decision (deadly for your character, not you).
ANOTHER WAY TO DETERMINE IF THE CHARACTER NEEDS TO BE THERE IS TO THINK ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS’ ROLES IN THE STORY.
Protagonist – The main character. It’s the character that the reader likes, loves, roots for, worries about, the character that moves the plot forward and has emotional development.
Antagonist – The naughty one who keeps our protagonist from quickly achieving their goals.
Sidekick – The bestie. The support system for the protagonist.
Orbital – They tend to get the protagonist in trouble even if that’s not their intent. Think Hermione in Harry Potter. She’s the coolest, but her insistence on doing the right thing and being heroic sometimes pulls Harry into a path of uh-oh. The orbital is basically an instigator.
Love Interest – I don’t have to explain this one, right?
Confidante – This is the person the protagonist tells their secrets to. It can be a trusted friend, a mentor.
Foil – They aren’t the villain, but they are the protagonist’s opposite. Think Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter.
Red Shirts – These are the extras. They are hanging out in the background and encountered, but not super important. The Patils in Harry Potter
If you have a ton of one type of character, you can probably delete or combine one.
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
Diversify your characters’ roles and consolidate. Don’t have too many characters doing the same thing/serving the same role.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Keep your crew tight. Don’t think the red shirts are the sidekicks.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!
LINKS WE MENTION