This is the first post in my Weekly Writing Update series. Every Saturday, I will be posting a summary of my writing progress for the week. It is a good way to help keep me accountable and on track for my 2021 writing goals.
This week, I continued developing my minor characters. I started with my secondary characters, or the characters who make the biggest impact aside from the main protagonists. For these characters, I wrote biographies along with a little write up about what they do in each Act. Mostly, however, I focused on giving them the following : problem, personality, and purpose. (I wrote more about this process in my post “How to Develop Minor Characters“).
After finishing my work on the secondary characters, I combed through the second draft of my manuscript and wrote down the names of every single character, even the ones that make a brief appearance. This was a tedious process because I have a LOT of characters! But, I actually found it very helpful. By listing the characters, I was able to eliminate ones that no longer had a purpose and categorize the others based on their importance in the story: the secondary characters are the ones with a greater impact, the tertiary characters appear several times, but don’t have a huge bearing on the plot, and the walk on characters or “extras” who just fill space and specific roles.
My goal for this upcoming week is to give each of the secondary and tertiary characters a problem, personality, and purpose. The walk on characters will be given a mere description since they are more place holders than actual people. I am hoping that by next weekend, I can start creating a list of settings and developing them.
Having all of this information at my disposal will make writing my third draft a lot easier. If I need a character’s description or purpose in a particular scene, I can just open my Scrivner doc, browse the file, and lift what details I need.
I hope everyone else is having a great writing week. Remember, kill your darlings, slay your dragons, and keep writing!