Monday, December 10, 2018

Novel Quest #3: How Many Characters?

How Many Characters Before Chaos?

Here's the problem all writers face. Often when we are creating our tales, we create great characters which we love. You adore them (or love to hate them) and formulate their looks, history, loves, food choices, fashion, and everything important. But you can have too much of a good thing. One caution I would share is to define your story early on and determine if you have too many characters to keep track of. Sometimes it can be confusing for the reader. 

I will admit I have been guilty of this in the past. I love my characters, but they can get lost in the story of you have so many in a tale. When I was a novice writer, and especially for those of us who create epic fantasy series, it so tempting to have a cast of multiple characters in the novel. That is fine, but you need to review if you have too many. I have learned over my years of writing sometimes you need to step back and seriously consider if you need to take out some characters or merge them with another. A great character never dies, so do not fear. If they do not fit in one novel, you can do another one for them. 

More to come. In the meantime, read more fantasy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Novel Quest Post! Character, character, character!

Novel Quest: The Importance of Characters!

When creating any story, the most important thing to me are my characters. Great dialogue is key too, but that is another post. A great character can pull you into a story, making the journey a wonderful experience. They drive the story. You can write tons of battle scenes, create an elaborate plot, and threaten the world, but without wonderful characters, you're screwed.

The creation of great characters is an individual thing for most writers. My characters, like my tales, are fully developed entities with a soundtrack and wardrobe detail.  Often when writing a scene after doing painstaking outlines and chapter setups, a minor character will spring to life and demand to be in the tale. This happened to me with  my Familiar's Tale series. Both Darcus and Princess Opaline were drafted as minor characters, but they became integral to the story. It worked.

With my new novel in progress, The Bastard Sorceress, Sabine Fable grew to full life once I had her name. I struggled a bit with a new original story and the challenge of doing a novel  from her point of view-until I had her name. I love names. I have been complimented on the names I have given my characters. Names shout volumes about a character. For this lead heroine, I wanted an individual, someone scrappy, knocked down by life but still proud and fighting. Once I had this, she blossomed into a fully formed character with a vibrant personality and her dialogue flies off the page. I imagined how she looked, what she liked to eat, her hair, eyes, all of it.When creating, play with names, research the net and name books, imagine their faces, how they dress, and write down their background. A good character has a full bio. 

So pay attention to developing your characters. They are the core of your tale.