Multiple Characters

I like stories with multiple characters. How about you? The more characters included, the easier it is to weave a decent, believable story. And when I read, I like a real story about real life. I believe having only the interaction between two people does limit the scope of the plot. I sometimes question if I like writing romances or are my stories something else, with a romance element. But I’m pretty sure they belong in the romance genre.

I remember when I began writing, one of the “criteria” suggested by a then Mills & Boon editor was that the two principal characters must not be apart for more than two pages at a time. Whoa? How does one write a comprehensive story with such narrow parameters? Maybe if the setting is an isolated cabin in the mountains or a deserted island? But surely the environment must then take on the role that multiple characters would play in a different setting. Writing sixty thousand words involving only two characters without boring your reader must be the true indication of a really good writer. That’s not something I’m willing to try to do.

I have noticed in reviews my multiple characters are sometimes commented upon. Thankfully always in a good light.

In my latest release “Devon’s Secret” I initially set out to only have one other “main” character, Devon’s daughter, Trix. My idea had been for her to actively cause the turmoil between her parents. But as the story unfolded she took on other dimensions. Her role as sister, granddaughter, and niece emerged all by themselves. So I needed to include a brother, grandparents, and an aunt to make the story well-rounded.

As writers, we’re told to write what we personally like to read. That our enthusiasm for a story will come through if we do this. I’m sticking to that advice. I like a story with a decent cast, so I’m pretty sure you’ll never see a book of mine with only two characters, however exciting they might be.

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