Sunday, March 12, 2017

Giving every character a purpose - CAMP NANO is HAPPENING


Katie Grace reminded me yesterday on her blog that Camp Nano starts in 20 days (well actually 19 days now) AND I'M TOTALLY NOT READY, I've got a bunch of messy notes and a genre that I've never written before BUT I'M TOTALLY EXCITED TO BE STARTING THIS NEW STORY.
(I haven't written since November...*shivers*) 

Somehow, I ended up with 5 main characters in my new novel. Not all of which I have an established role for or goals or backstory or anything.

I do, however, have an aesthetic Pinterest storyboard that I've been adding to since January so obviously I have my priorities in check. XD


^^^
This is always important, but it's especially a key to managing a lot of main characters, when you just have characters wandering around not really knowing what they're supposed to be doing because for some reason you felt like they had to be the story and you find yourself trying to cram them into scenes, that's when you end up with problems and possibly end up cutting people out which complicates things.

So yes, GIVE EVERY CHARACTER A REASON TO BE IN THE STORY. What are their goals? How do they contribute to the plot? Are they a main character or a supporting character? Would the story be any different without them?

This is what I'm working through with some of my characters, although I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing with most of them and where they fit into the plot, it's still important to make sure all your characters exist for a reason, no matter how small the reason.

Have you ever struggled with this in any of your stories? 
Are you doing Camp Nano next month? 

~Hannah~

14 comments:

  1. YAY! It will be lots of fun! Looking forward to hearing about how it goes for you!

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    1. YES! I'm so excited! are you doing it?

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  2. totally - this is actually the next thing I have to work on with my characters xD

    andd whaaa? november?? ugh ikr - it's been since december for me :P

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    1. Totally - it can get pretty hectic and confusing. XD

      And ugh yesss, XP like I'm totally looking forward to a whole month of writing like crazy again.

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  3. dude do you know how hard it is to give every single person a reason?! LIKE WHAT ABOUT THE RANDOM KID WHO JUST COUGHED IN THE CHURCH SERVICE? like.

    srsly tho I just remembered how much I love your new blog template. *smiles*

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    1. Then perhaps we'll just have to move on with our lives not knowing who that kid was or why he was coughing in church. XD As long as your main characters all exist for a reason.

      eeep! <3 I love it too.

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  4. Hey Hannah, as a writer myself, I can totally relate to this post. One of my latest novels featured a lot of characters and it definitely was a problem. But it's so easy to put them in there just because you feel the need, like you said. Thanks for the reminder :)
    -Sarah
    foreverchanged13.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Sarah! Yesss totally, like sometimes I don't even stop to think about WHY this character is here, and then I'm stuck not knowing how to fit them into the story. I'm glad you can relate. :)

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  5. *waves* I'm doing Camp Nano!! And I totally feel this post XP The book I'm working on for Camp actually started out with 6 main characters. After I started plotting the story though, I realized the oldest grumpy boy charrie was just an older grumpy boy. In the story ... and being a grump. But he wasn't working into the plot at all, and I had a moment of, "Why are you even here again?" That's when I realized he wasn't working and I cut him (thankfully before I started the book). It was kind of sad, but I'm so glad I did it now.

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    1. Ohmygoodness that's almost exactly what's gone down with some of the characters I've cut out, like, 'if you only exist to be the nasty twin sister...then why do you even exist?' and yeah, cutting people out is kinda sad but it's usually for the best, I've learned. Good luck with Camp Nano!

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  6. I can't do Camp NaNo next month because I'm having fifty new things being hurled at me and I'm already a sprawling heap on the floor... and it's only Spring Break! I feel your pain about multiple characters, for sure. I've literally spent years hammering out my quartet's personalities and it's only been less than a year since any of my secondary characters make any sense. When you have ten other characters besides your quartet you need to establish down, it gets hard really fast.

    One of the things I do to help me balance my novel is make timelines. There would be the timeline with the central plot, and then small timelines on the side which line up as to what happens and how the characters react. The only downside is if you're a perfectionist spacing out everything (like me), the struggle of lining it up will soon get to you. Hopefully this helps!

    xoxo abigail lennah

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    1. Oh gosh...that sounds stressful, dude, years? TEN OTHER CHARACTERS BESIDES YOUR QUARTET. That's seriously crazy.

      Oooh timelines sound good, I tend to have trouble with those, I think that'd probably help me out a lot though, thanks!

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  7. Oh gracious, do I struggle with this. You'd think, being someone who LOVES character-oriented stories, that I would have figured this out by now but NOPE xD. Hey, nobody's perfect ;). And YES, I'm definitely doing Camp NaNo this April! I'm MAJORLY excited for another month of writing like mad, it's going to be so much fun! (and my cabin still has spots for more campers, if you're not in one already ;))

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha, how is one even supposed to figure it out though? Sometimes I feel like I have almost no control over my characters AND EVERYTHING IS SO CONFUSING. XD. Eeeep yes! I haven't written in months and I'm sooo excited to plunge back into the craziness of a new story. (Thanks, but I've already joined one. :)

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Your comments make me sooo happy, I'd love to chat with you!