Last week, we looked at killing off characters. So it seems only fitting to follow it up by talking about introducing new characters into your story! This is your quick cheat sheet to helping ease your readers into getting to know the new players in your world.
Try to introduce new characters one at time. Failing that, if you need to add more than one, don’t let them compete with each other for the spotlight at once. Have one stand out more than the other for a time to allow the reader to get to know them before moving on to the next this way they are less likely to get confused and thus not care.
At first, highlight their differences. Maybe they don’t make the best first impression or they could take time to really ingratiate themselves with the group. They might even slip easily in but soon the others begin to notice how they are different, but still add value to their lives and stories. This helps differentiate them from the rest of the group and keep them interesting as the readers get to know them.
Consider how they speak. Everyone has their own unique mannerisms and method of speaking. This can be a great way to endear a character to a reader and make them memorable.
Have them doing something when they make their entrance. Exposition dumps aren’t as fashionable as they might have been at one time or another. Instead show, don’t tell, them character. It will offer more insight into who they are whilst giving you time to explore who they are.
Ensure that the character actually has a place in the story. Extraneous characters are just a narrative drag so try to avoid having a new character for the sake of keeping the story fresh. It might be that the story just needs a shake up or maybe a beach episode. The new character has to have an impact for them to memorable, so keep that in mind before you go ahead and introduce them to the world.
How did you introduce a new character to your story? Did it go over well? Let us know in the comments below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST) where we’ll be talking about this topic!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Aug. 24, 2018
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