Sunday, September 05, 2010

Combining minor characters

C'mon, if The Hills can do it, you can too. Like we're supposed to believe that Stacy the bartender/homewrecker of Speidi all the sudden was Kristin's best friend with absolutely no explanation.

And that Spencer's sister Stephenie was conveniently in Lauren's class and served as Heidi's replacement of sorts. And then Roxy who was Stephenie's sidekick in some blatantly Lauren-hating drama become Whitney's sidekick and business partner in New York.

And then both Kristin and Audrina fell for both Justin and Brody? Well...we can believe that. All The Hills girls love bad boys, with the exception of Lo.

Anyways. MTV is brilliant. Because they listen to fourteen year olds? .......NO!! Because they combine minor characters! You can do it too.

I had to do it. During the climax of my book, I killed off a recently introduced character. Later on, it occurred to me that not only was it trite and unconvincing but also bereft of emotional impact. I need someone to die for the climax to work, so I decided to kill off somebody else, who was in the story earlier on. Somebody I like. I don't want to kill him, but it's gonna happen. Making this change pulls his family members into the story even more, and since they were already featured, it makes a lot of sense.

Do you have a minor character that you can do away with? Is there a character who plays some necesarry part in your story, but whose action could be given to someone else, thus eliminanting him? How do you shorten your cast list?

Why is this even important? I guess because it gives the reader less people to remember, thus ensuring they can be more acquainted with who's left. Maybe also because it highlights the little-worldness of the story, that all these characters are orbiting around the main one, affecting things time and time again.

p.s. don't hate because I watched the hills. its over alright? its over.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of times combining minor characters not only makes the reader's job easier, but makes those characters so much richer. Great post.