Handling a Cast of Thousands - Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters
by Will Greenway Few writing challenges are greater than doing justice to a large cast of characters in a novel or story. In fact, the difference between simply doing them justice and handling them well is a significant level of effort in itself. Sadly, this is one of those writer conundrums that is often best resolved with a "Don't do that if it hurts" solution. If having too many characters is causing a headache -- then don't have so many characters! For the obstinate and stalwart ready to strike into turbulent seas, however, read on! Getting a grip on your cast Cast members are reoccurring characters who are pivotal to your story. Aside from your main cast, there will be supporting roles, and often dozens of walk-on or cameo characters. Least significant, but always necessary, are walk-ons and cameos. Because of the limited time these characters spend in the frame, writers tend to make them more exotic, giving them odd quirks or ticks in order to make them interesting. Unique names.
Related: Character Development