My Passion's Pen

Helping to polish what your passion pens.

Lining up your characters for the guillotine

Does your novel have too many characters?

I always marvel at how some writers can craft sweeping stories with a large cast (and keep track of them). I have a hard time remembering the names of people I see every week.

The very first bit of fiction I wrote when I reignited my love for writing had nearly twenty characters make an appearance in the first three chapters. They each had a role to play which had an effect on the MCs’ lives. I made myself dizzy by bopping between my spreadsheet and my doc. I wish I had this article two years ago.  In my defense, I anticipated the story being an epic tale, spanning multiple lifetimes.

I had tried a flow chart and ran out of space, spending more time moving boxes than writing. I love my first story, it won’t leave me alone. One day, as my confidence and skills grow, I’ll come back and finish it.

Does your novel have too many characters?


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