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Post Reply How many main characters should you have your story?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/11/14
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.

Explain your opinion in detail.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I'm only asking because I have five main characters and plan on adding one more character. Would that be too much for readers to handle? Is having only one or two main characters more sensible? Does it depend on the story itself?

Bonus Questions:

1. How many long should each chapter be?

2. Are you currently writing a novel?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Enjoy!!!
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23 / M / Beyond The Wall
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Posted 6/11/14
I personally think 3 main characters are enough. Unless youre writing something as epic as the lord of the rings trilogy.

-20 pages is my rule of thumb
-its on hiatus
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/11/14

dragontackle wrote:

I personally think 3 main characters are enough. Unless youre writing something as epic as the lord of the rings trilogy.

-20 pages is my rule of thumb
-its on hiatus



I had three main characters before....before...I'm going stop now.
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M / Baka Zone
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Posted 6/11/14
Unless it's something like Bacanno or Durarara, I don't know how it's going to turn out.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/11/14

EatsRainbows wrote:

Unless it's something like Bacanno or Durarara, I don't know how it's going to turn out.


I'm not so sure myself but I feel like six would be good. Then again I should start off slow instead.
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Posted 6/11/14

qualeshia3 wrote:

Does it depend on the story itself?


Definitely. If you can maintain a clear, structured narrative featuring 100 main characters then you should feel free to do so. The question shouldn't be "How many characters can I include?", it should be "How many characters do I need?" The answer to that question depends largely on your objectives for the story.


1. How many long should each chapter be?


As long as it needs to be. The purpose of dividing a narrative into chapters is to keep track of events and time as the narrative progresses, to give it a structure which is easy to follow. It's sort of like dividing a play into acts and scenes.


2. Are you currently writing a novel?


No, but I've considered doing so. I've a lot of learning to do myself before I take a crack at that in earnest.

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Posted 6/11/14
5's good but you got to make sure they each have their "time to shine" otherwise they'll just turn into dull side characters
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/11/14


If I start off with a short story inside, then two or three main characters sounds more reasonable.
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23 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 6/11/14
I would say 5 is fine as long as the story and their roles in the story work. I will say though it might be hard to focus on 5 main characters because they all need the appropriate amount of attention, but if you can do that i see no problem with it.
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Posted 6/11/14

imbrreezzy wrote:

5's good but you got to make sure they each have their "time to shine" otherwise they'll just turn into dull side characters



*gasp* This is true.

There is something I would worry about a bit.
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Posted 6/11/14

qualeshia3 wrote:


imbrreezzy wrote:

5's good but you got to make sure they each have their "time to shine" otherwise they'll just turn into dull side characters



*gasp* This is true.

There is something I would worry about a bit.


yep in all honesty its hard enough to deal with one depending on what route you want him or her to take the route where they gradually change throughout the story or the route where they remain the same but their characteristics still shine
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Posted 6/11/14
I think it depends on how you present the characters. I once tried to read And Then there was One, but there were so many main characters, and it was so hard to decipher between all of them. I couldn't name even one. However, there have been stories with many main characters where the writer introduces them slowly and easily to the reader/watcher, and makes each character very different and memorable in their own way. As long as each character is very different and you make them noticeable in their own unique way, I think 5 characters is fine.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/11/14

imbrreezzy wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


imbrreezzy wrote:

5's good but you got to make sure they each have their "time to shine" otherwise they'll just turn into dull side characters



*gasp* This is true.

There is something I would worry about a bit.


yep in all honesty its hard enough to deal with one depending on what route you want him or her to take the route where they gradually change throughout the story or the route where they remain the same but their characteristics still shine



Indeed.
Posted 6/11/14
I thought maximum of 2-3 main characters
And then another random anonymous side characters... is good enough o.O
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17 / M / Salt Lake City, Utah
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Posted 6/11/14 , edited 6/11/14
I'd like to think that any amount of main characters are fine as long as the writing is excellent and the story-line is good, with deep characters and descriptions.

Since, I can't do a lot of the things I just said, I typically have 2-3 main characters and 4-6 supporting characters. I don't introduce the supporting characters all at once, but gradually, so I can build on what I already have. It also depends on the genre that you're writing for, like mystery and action stories usually don't work so well with a lot of main characters, because they become shallow and undeveloped.
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