There are so many parts to writing a story, especially if you want to do it well. The more I do this, the more things I find that I have to keep straight. Plot and pacing. Dialogue and descriptions to help move your story along. And then there are the characters, without whom none of the rest would work.
Memorable characters take a lot of work, or so it seems to me, especially if you're working on a continuing series. It would be bad to write that your protagonist has green eyes in the first story and then they show up with brown ones in the second. Hopefully authors don't make THAT big a gaffe with their main characters, but how much detail should you go into when it comes to your secondary and tertiary characters? You know, not the best friend of the protagonist, but another friend. Or maybe the spouse or sibling(s) of the not-best-friend?
|How many defense points do I give my characters?|
I've also got character write ups for the people that are a level behind my main players. For example, the parents of the villain in this first book will be showing up at least once more, especially since my villain will be the Moriarty to my protagonist's Holmes. So I feel it's necessary to know a bit more about them, for in knowing their parenting styles, it might help me to know my villain better.
I've even written up small histories for people that are featured in this first book, but might not show up again until further down the road. Their roles are critical enough in this one that I needed to know what motivated them to react the ways they did, and something about them might be useful in future books. I don't know if they'll even show up again, but at least I'll be prepared for it if they do.
|First time I ever heard a character address |
What's your take on that, WWK readers? How much backstory do you give your characters that aren’t written for the spotlight? Do you write up just one or two sentences? Do you fill out the whole character study? I know each author is different, but I'm interested to hear the consensus, if there is one.