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I have always wondered that. could a book have to many charters in it. i really wonder. What do you think.

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I think that a book can never have to many characters! There can be however many that you want. I mean, it doesn't hurt to mention a few names of side characters once in a while. For example:

"I know," Sara said. She had been talking to her boyfriend, Jake. She felt sort of uncomfortable mentioning it in school considering everyone who wanted to could hear her. She knew several people who would love to humiliate her. Kasey, Marrie, Lara...

You don't even have to put them in the story, but just mention a few names. Now, you shouldn't mention every detail of their lives, 'cause then it'll get boring. For example"

"I know," Sara, a blond, strait A student, with beautiful features, said. She had been talking to her red-headed, c plus, annoying boyfriend. She felt sort of uncomfortable mentioning it in school considering everyone who wanted could hear her. She knew several people who would love to humiliate her. Kasey, a black haired, b minus, demon, Marrie, a brunette with green highlights, a minus, popular, cheerleading monster, Lara, a blond cheerleader with grades so low that everyone called her a z student, and many more blonds, blacks, reds, and brunettes.


Wasn't that sort of boring? But that doesn't mean you can't just mention a lot of characters. Just dont' mention every aspect of their being. Hope that helps!
Great Advice!
As for me, when i decide to write, i already have in mind the main ones. As my story goes on, if i feel the need to add anothers, i do. And this ones can also become main ones at some point! :)

Callie Leah said:
I think that a book can never have to many characters! There can be however many that you want. I mean, it doesn't hurt to mention a few names of side characters once in a while. For example:

"I know," Sara said. She had been talking to her boyfriend, Jake. She felt sort of uncomfortable mentioning it in school considering everyone who wanted to could hear her. She knew several people who would love to humiliate her. Kasey, Marrie, Lara...

You don't even have to put them in the story, but just mention a few names. Now, you shouldn't mention every detail of their lives, 'cause then it'll get boring. For example"

"I know," Sara, a blond, strait A student, with beautiful features, said. She had been talking to her red-headed, c plus, annoying boyfriend. She felt sort of uncomfortable mentioning it in school considering everyone who wanted could hear her. She knew several people who would love to humiliate her. Kasey, a black haired, b minus, demon, Marrie, a brunette with green highlights, a minus, popular, cheerleading monster, Lara, a blond cheerleader with grades so low that everyone called her a z student, and many more blonds, blacks, reds, and brunettes.


Wasn't that sort of boring? But that doesn't mean you can't just mention a lot of characters. Just dont' mention every aspect of their being. Hope that helps!
That's a good question, crystal! Here's my yardstick for a book having too many characters. If I have to go back and find a part I've already read to clarify who someone is or something they did, then there's too many.

Don't confuse your reader by having too many. There will always be smaller, less significant characters that help the progression of the book or have the equivalent of movie extra roles, like a shopkeeper the main character buys something from, for example. We don't need to know the shopkeeper's life history just because they sold your hero a gallon of milk. ;)

See if this article helps at all. It discusses how to get that balance. Minor Characters. Are They Really Necessary?
I thought of something. You can also disguise huge characters as meaningless nobodys. Someone like a girl who gives the main character an idea that changes the entire book. Like if the main character needed to find a plant that could cure an infection, then someone sat by them at school or a restuarant or something, and said something like, "Hey, did you know that there's a plant that cures such and such disiese? It's called so and so." And you could make it where that happens in the beginning before the main character even knows they need to know that. I know it has nothing to do with the subject, but I just thought it might be helpful.
Callie, that's what the article I mentioned earlier talks about. Keeping less important characters faceless means the reader doesn't waste time attaching too much significance to them and doesn't miss what's really going on with the story.

Your descriptions for example of Kasey, Marrie and Lara would make my head spin trying to remember which one was the z student in case it was significant later on in the book. I'd surmise that because you mentioned it, I'd need to remember it when the reality is you may never refer to them again. Make sense?

Callie Leah said:
I thought of something. You can also disguise huge characters as meaningless nobodys. Someone like a girl who gives the main character an idea that changes the entire book. Like if the main character needed to find a plant that could cure an infection, then someone sat by them at school or a restuarant or something, and said something like, "Hey, did you know that there's a plant that cures such and such disiese? It's called so and so." And you could make it where that happens in the beginning before the main character even knows they need to know that. I know it has nothing to do with the subject, but I just thought it might be helpful.
I usually have 2 to 3 main characters and then sub characters for each one.
And if you do chose to have more you do have to keep them organized.
Like the writer for the Blue Blood series she has soo many characters but she seems to keep them all straight which is awesome.
I dont think I can do that, I'm a messy person... =D
The descriptions of those characters were just an example of what NOT to do in your book. And you see what I mean, I'm sure. If you tried to do that, most of the people who bought or checked out the book, wouldn't finish it.

Kay Elizabeth said:
Callie, that's what the article I mentioned earlier talks about. Keeping less important characters faceless means the reader doesn't waste time attaching too much significance to them and doesn't miss what's really going on with the story.

Your descriptions for example of Kasey, Marrie and Lara would make my head spin trying to remember which one was the z student in case it was significant later on in the book. I'd surmise that because you mentioned it, I'd need to remember it when the reality is you may never refer to them again. Make sense?

Callie Leah said:
I thought of something. You can also disguise huge characters as meaningless nobodys. Someone like a girl who gives the main character an idea that changes the entire book. Like if the main character needed to find a plant that could cure an infection, then someone sat by them at school or a restuarant or something, and said something like, "Hey, did you know that there's a plant that cures such and such disiese? It's called so and so." And you could make it where that happens in the beginning before the main character even knows they need to know that. I know it has nothing to do with the subject, but I just thought it might be helpful.
So am I Vivi. I'm too lazy to have that many running around in my brain. I'm not fond of books with a multitude of characters. It's better to have two strong characters than six weak ones.

Viviana Arteaga said:
I usually have 2 to 3 main characters and then sub characters for each one.
And if you do chose to have more you do have to keep them organized.
Like the writer for the Blue Blood series she has soo many characters but she seems to keep them all straight which is awesome.
I dont think I can do that, I'm a messy person... =D
too many charcters could easily kill the entire book.
just the fact creating the characters wil eventually confuse the reader...
As..the charactrs pile up, so do all the 'different' personalities.
that must cooperate with each person.
..as well as their looks and signature presence.
Hw the heck can the reader keep up with that? lol
I say...the highest shall be up to .....
...hmmm...shall I say 10? sound fair?
Errr, I know. I was agreeing with you. LOL. :) Glad we're on the same page there! (No pun intended.)

Callie Leah said:
The descriptions of those characters were just an example of what NOT to do in your book. And you see what I mean, I'm sure. If you tried to do that, most of the people who bought or checked out the book, wouldn't finish it.

Kay Elizabeth said:
Callie, that's what the article I mentioned earlier talks about. Keeping less important characters faceless means the reader doesn't waste time attaching too much significance to them and doesn't miss what's really going on with the story.

Your descriptions for example of Kasey, Marrie and Lara would make my head spin trying to remember which one was the z student in case it was significant later on in the book. I'd surmise that because you mentioned it, I'd need to remember it when the reality is you may never refer to them again. Make sense?

Callie Leah said:
I thought of something. You can also disguise huge characters as meaningless nobodys. Someone like a girl who gives the main character an idea that changes the entire book. Like if the main character needed to find a plant that could cure an infection, then someone sat by them at school or a restuarant or something, and said something like, "Hey, did you know that there's a plant that cures such and such disiese? It's called so and so." And you could make it where that happens in the beginning before the main character even knows they need to know that. I know it has nothing to do with the subject, but I just thought it might be helpful.
Ten? I don't know, ten is a high number to me. Then again, when you take into account all the minor ones perhaps not. I need to go look at the novel I'm reading and see how many have appeared so far just for the sake of research. It's Shimmer by David Morrell (creator of Rambo).

Betty Damil said:
too many charcters could easily kill the entire book.
just the fact creating the characters wil eventually confuse the reader...
As..the charactrs pile up, so do all the 'different' personalities.
that must cooperate with each person.
..as well as their looks and signature presence.
Hw the heck can the reader keep up with that? lol
I say...the highest shall be up to .....
...hmmm...shall I say 10? sound fair?
LOL! :) Good!

Kay Elizabeth said:
Errr, I know. I was agreeing with you. LOL. :) Glad we're on the same page there! (No pun intended.)

Callie Leah said:
The descriptions of those characters were just an example of what NOT to do in your book. And you see what I mean, I'm sure. If you tried to do that, most of the people who bought or checked out the book, wouldn't finish it.

Kay Elizabeth said:
Callie, that's what the article I mentioned earlier talks about. Keeping less important characters faceless means the reader doesn't waste time attaching too much significance to them and doesn't miss what's really going on with the story.

Your descriptions for example of Kasey, Marrie and Lara would make my head spin trying to remember which one was the z student in case it was significant later on in the book. I'd surmise that because you mentioned it, I'd need to remember it when the reality is you may never refer to them again. Make sense?

Callie Leah said:
I thought of something. You can also disguise huge characters as meaningless nobodys. Someone like a girl who gives the main character an idea that changes the entire book. Like if the main character needed to find a plant that could cure an infection, then someone sat by them at school or a restuarant or something, and said something like, "Hey, did you know that there's a plant that cures such and such disiese? It's called so and so." And you could make it where that happens in the beginning before the main character even knows they need to know that. I know it has nothing to do with the subject, but I just thought it might be helpful.

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