Characters Part 5 – Stage Direction Characters

They came, they saw, the did nothing else. They're stage direction.

The last character to define is the one who only comes on stage once, isn’t really acknowledged by any other character and never shows up again. That’s a stage direction character.

Do they show up once and never again?

 
The children pulled back when Tommy picked up the…”
Most readers who read the above want to know what Tommy picked up. The reason some of you want to know Tommy picked up is because “The children pulled back” and humans, because of the way we’re designed, want to know what’s causing defensive reactions (pulling back is a defensive, flight based reaction).
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Characters Part 3 – Secondary Characters

Do they get a name? Are they uniquely described or identified?

 
Does a character provide focus but not often? Do other characters in the story know them by name or by some unique attribute or description?

Any character that gets a name or is unique description/identification is at least secondary and perhaps primary.

Naming Names
Any named character becomes important due to human psychology; describe someone as “a waiter” and we’ve described their function, describe someone as “Bobbie the waiter” and we’ve given them an identity.
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Characters Part 2 – Primary Characters

What these people doing on these pages?

This is the third installment in a series I’m doing on StoryCrafting. We started with Revision and followed that with Characters Part 1 – Main, Principal, Central.

One of the comments I often get regarding my novel Empty Sky is the number of primary characters it contains.

Primary characters?

Yes! You know those characters that are neither main protagonist nor main antagonist yet without whom your story wouldn’t exist? Those are what I call primary characters. A working story with only two characters (and those two characters better be your protagonist and antagonist) is going to be either brilliant or short and perhaps both. Often those two characters needs to be complex to make the story interesting. A story with only one or two characters of only one- or two-dimensions that’s interesting…well, I haven’t read one (and am open to suggestion).
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Characters Part 1 – Main, Principal, Central

Who is that person and what are they doing in your story?

This is the second installment in a series I’m doing on StoryCrafting (this series began with Revision). This time we start investigating characters. Readers tell me I do great characters and my character development and growth are outstanding (one publisher wrote me that my characters are “spot on”).

Yippee for me because I work at it. It’s nice when one’s work is recognized and appreciated.

Part of my working at character resulted in my breaking down characters into categories based on their purpose in a story; Main, Primary, Secondary, Minor and Stage Direction. Character categories are different from character types; hero, villain, love interest, sidekick, comic relief, et cetera.
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