Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Choosing the Characters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor
Now we're looned at all the things characters shouldn't do, the time has come to look at which characters will tell the story you want to tell. According to Karen Wiesner in From First Draft To Finished Novel there are main characters, secondary characters and minor characters. She also thinks in most books two main characters hero and heroine with perhaps a villain are all that's needed.
I sometimes agree with her and sometimes not since I write what I call as ensemble books where there can be a number of characters telling the stories. This can make life confusing but hopefully not the story.
So how do you choose the characters to make your story sing. Characters for me follow the plot. I have the story idea and know where I'm going. Then I devise my characters. I use Astrology for their traits. Their inner self, their outer self and their emotional self. I also look at something else. Who has the most to win? and Who has the most to lose? This brings two characters into conflict. When I look at the secondary characters I make them choose sides and also to have their own agenda. Often this gives me a villain, one whose agenda is very different from the hero and heroine.
With secondary and minor characters, the writer must give them a role. Minor characters may be there for a single scene but what they contribute must be vital to the story. Secondary characters have a larger role and need more development. If the character isn't needed, leave them out.
The story I'm currently working on is a fantasy and there are two main characters but they aren't the romantic hero and heroine. They're twins. She is a Healer, he has been a shepherd and thought to have no talents. The other major minor characters are a Sensitive, a Singer, an Elder and a young man named as a Teacher but he has no talents. He becomes the villain.
So while two or three characters can make a story, Sometimes more are needed.