Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Dealing With A Large Cast
One of the things I have always found challenging is dealing with a large cast of characters. Unfortunately, all my books tend to have a large cast of characters. Even after eliminating several, there are still plenty of people. They are not necessary. Each one is supposed to add something important to the story. Each one is supposed to contribute to the growth of major character(s). The key words here are: supposed to. When I think of the plot, I have some clear scenes in mind where these characters are important. Those are the scenes that go in the outline. The difficulty then is to tie these characters all around the story, and not just have them disappear after the first scene. I always get confused about where to set the scene? If there are several characters, and if they are just sitting around, talking, that would drag the story. And yet, what kind of action scenes can I possibly create with these characters? The importance of these characters often comes from the things they say to the main characters, or the things they do to the main characters, and this is more often emotional rather than physical. So all the more difficult to show with action scenes. Having too many people in one scene is a common problem for me. Unfortunately, I am still figuring out how to fix it, and how to handle a large cast of characters without turning the scene into a circus or a set of a soap opera. How about your cast of characters? Are they small, medium, big? How do you deal with LCS (large cast syndrome)?