Thursday, June 21, 2012

Checklist for Minor Characters

Credit for picture

I'm finally getting back to my normal blogging schedule which means a creature post on Monday, a progress report on Tuesday, a Question on Wednesday, a Checklist on Thursday, and a review on Friday (although I might have guest blogs or interviews or other book news on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday)

So it's back to a checklist. Today's checklist is specifically for minor characters.

1. Are your minor characters well developed?
2. Are your minor characters essential to the plot?
3. Would the story work if the minor character was deleted? (Note: you should then delete said character or change the story so that this is not the case.)
4. Does the minor character have an important (albeit small) role to play?
5. Does the minor character show up in more than one scene?
6. Is your minor character flat or 2-dimensional?
7. Is your minor character a caricature?
8. Does your minor character steal the scene away from the main characters? (This is not good, although it can help to create spin offs or sequels.)
9. Is your minor character's action and speech consistent throughout the story?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good checklist! I try to avoid naming a character if he only appears in one brief scene. One less name to remember.

Charity Bradford said...

I agree with Alex, great checklist! It's also a great idea not to name every single person that walks across your stage. I read (tried to read) a book like that and got frustrated with all the names of people who appeared once and then got killed. I never knew who I was supposed to be focused on.

Cherie Reich said...

Great checklist! I agree with Alex too about not naming every character if not necessary. :)

Becky Mahoney said...

A great list indeed! And always important for me to remember, as I have a tendency to pile on the characters...

Hannah said...

I like check lists, and yours is great. I especially like #6. Rounding out minor characters in their own way is so important.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I like the checklist too, although, I'm having a little trouble with numbers 2-4. In that my minor character is introduced in book two, but doesn't seem to be "important" to the story until we get to book three where she is more of a major character... So I'll have to see how she can be more important to the plot... fantasy quests always need guides, right? :)

by the way, I love the way your blog looks.

Christine Rains said...

Excellent list! The minor characters are just as important as the protagonist. Sometimes when I dislike a protagonist, it's the other characters that keep me reading.

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