marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

more important than he looks

The complication that arises when you plop in a character to be rescued is that you then have to do something with him afterward.  In the worst case, they can sit there saying that they're too developed to make only a cameo, that the reader will expect more of them, and not tell what else they will do.

Or if  a character is insufferably drab even for a cameo, so you assign a trait.  He's bad-tempered, he's mischievous, he's lazy -- and the next thing you know, he's looking for new locations in the book to be bad-tempered, mischievous, lazy. . . .

Once I realized that a character had taken on too much importance in the first chapter.  So I killed him in the second.  Didn't get rid of him.  Dead as he was -- and stayed -- he came up again and again during the novel.

Tags: characters, orchestrating characters, set-up, unity of theme
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