Working from a printed copy of Irish Firebrands, I made a list of its unique fictional characters. There are at least fifty-five (55) of them in the book. Some characters have a forename and a surname. Others also have nicknames. Some are referred to by first initial and surname. A few have a title and a surname. Some are referred to only by forename or only by surname. Unique, named fictional characters sometimes have active or speaking roles, and sometimes they’re only referred to by the narrator or other characters.
Somebody (I can’t remember who) once told me that playwrights should give even bit parts their own names. The rationale for that belief could be to help an actor assume a role. That may not be possible if you have a “cast of thousands,” and it’s probably not necessary to name every person who is mentioned in a novel. A name seems to connote significance, and not every character has a deeply meaningful role to play: some (even with speaking parts) may serve only to help move a scene along. They certainly don’t all need to be point-of-view characters. But it’s also the crowd in the background, going about their daily lives, that can lend a sense of realism to a story.
How many people have you met in your neighborhood of the Parallel Universe? Have you a list of your story’s cast of characters, at your blog? You can provide the shortlink to that page when you comment, below. We’ll enjoy meeting them!
Seeking Visually Disabled Beta Readers for Irish Firebrands text-to-speech (TTS) audiobook testing. Click HERE for Details.