Friday, July 31, 2009

Holy Reappearance Batman!

One day, whilst I was writing the beginning of The Thief Book, my MC decided to run off and join six people under a bridge for a few nights. Me, I wanted to beat my notebook against my head. I now had six characters I rather liked, each of whom I'd put some detail into, for whom I had no other plans for the rest of the book. (What can I say? They seemed like a good idea while the pen was on the paper.)

What was I to do with them? I mean, having spent all that time with them, it seemed rather wrong to abandon them entirely. It seemed to me that I'd created a situation in which the reader would expect them to come back. And then goodness knows what I ought to do with that. **mimes stabbing self with cheap, plastic pen**

After some reflection, I concluded that these new minor characters could be my sporadic pop-up characters. It seems to me that sometimes there are characters who show up from nowhere to deliver information or create momentary conflict, and then they disappear into nowhere. Now, I had six people I could use to fill those roles. And once they'd passed on the info or helped instigate trouble, they can go back to living "comfortably" under the bridge.

So, a happy praise to the reappearing, now useful character. I'm not sure what my psyche meant them for in the first place, but they seem to have a use now, anyway.

What do you do with randomly appearing characters? Are such characters better written out of the story altogether?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good plan for those characters. I had some characters in my first novel that I thought didn't really belong. They didn't seem necessary at all. I almost cut them out, but they made me laugh and I let them stay. Then someone pointed out they were the comic relief, and a whole lot of people list them as their favorite characters. Who knew?