Monday 23 January 2012

The importance of less important characters

I’ve now completed another edit of Potatoes in Spring. I was generally looking to see that there was enough tension and that the story rattled along at an acceptable pace.  Generally, I think it did. I’m actually going to put one extra scene in about two thirds of the way through and that is it.
I also noticed, however, that two of significant minor characters seemed indistinct, even to me. I went through the whole text and found that I had made them different, except in one scene when I’d confused the two of them. I have to admit I tend to think of them as pair – B & C. One of the main characters has a group of friends.  A is the gang leader and tends to boss people about. B & C are two other girls in the circle of friends.  D is C’s brother and I suspect a romantic connection between him and A after my particular story has finished.
Now that I have corrected the misleading scene, I have a much clearer idea of the two girls.  B is leaning towards feminism and tends to offer slightly shocking opinions. C is very caring and a little old fashioned. Now that I understand their personalities better I have a much clearer picture of how they look. B has strong straight blond hair and a roundish face. She will have to make efforts to curl or wave her hair. C has naturally curly dark hair. I see A as also having dark hair but not as curly as D’s. I don’t mention this explicitly anywhere in the book. It will be interesting to see whether my readers pick up the same images.
Perhaps I’d ignored these medium strength characters somewhat. Hopefully my further examination of them and the corrections to that one scene will create a clearer picture for the reader.     

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