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Thread: # of Characters

  1. #11
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Refer to Coleman's Number of Characters Algorithm. Answer the 12 questions about your plot and plug the resulting values into the formula. Then write a story enriched with wonderful characters who all serve a dramatic purpose without cluttering up the reader's experience.
    km



  2. #12
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Also, perhaps the best way to develop all of them would be if they were in sets. What I mean by that is that I once wrote a novel (I use "novel" hesitantly) where there were three couples and when each of the couples were up, I was able to focus in on his/her particular story...within the coupledom. That way, it didn't seem so stretchy.

    But

    Thinking about, there is one couple that took over and became THE stars. if you're unsure, then just look deep within and ask yourself: "Who would get the last word?" Not always an indicator, but it could help you if you're having issues choosing.

  3. #13
    Tara Allen
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Patrick - thank you. That really makes sense. In my book I have a military team and a couple that is rescued by the team. But I am thinking that one character on the team is who I really see standing out.

    Keith - I tried to google Coleman's Number of Characters Algorithm but couldn't find it. Any suggestions?

  4. #14
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    *giggles*

    I'm so bad ...

  5. #15
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    !!!

  6. #16
    Tara Allen
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Okay - you got the newbie. So you are saying there is no perfect answer? I guess what I was trying to ask is can you have too many characters with too many perspectives mucking up the reader's ability to follow the story? Is it better to stick to one or two perspectives?

  7. #17
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    You got it right, Tara. There's no perfect answer. It all depends on your ability to pull it off. If you can, readers will love you. If you can't, it'll be a hard sell. Something you might try is to visit your local library or bookstore and ask someone knowledgable to suggest books that incorporate multiple characters well. Then, read them and see if you feel capable of managing it. Trying (whether or not you succeed) is the only way to know for sure.

  8. #18
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Then write a story enriched with wonderful characters who all serve a dramatic purpose without cluttering up the reader's experience.

    Only the 1st part of my response was for giggles. Try this one.

    BTW, after 4 months of rewrites I just axed a major character and used his traits to create a dark side for my MC. Less cluttered, more interesting and better story. Hopefully I can sell the mother.
    km

  9. #19
    Kate B.
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    I just finished a book with an antagonist, a protagonist, five important chums, and an equally important child. As I got going into this book, I realized what a task it would be to have so many crucial, almost main, characters. I would have cut one or more if the plot of the book hadn't dictated a larger cast.

    I think in my next book, I'm limiting myself to the MC and two friends.

  10. #20
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: # of Characters

    Tara, I'm not sure if you're into urban (read: black books !), but if you are, Eric Jerome Dickey is awesome at incorporating a number of characters into his tales. And, actually, he carries them over into his following books.

    Not only can you learn from him, but you'll get a good story out of it!

    P.S. I'd suggest his earlier books (start at the beginning)

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