1. ashurbanipal
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    ashurbanipal Member

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    Introducing a new character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ashurbanipal, Sep 26, 2016.

    Hello,

    In my half-formed idea for a story, I have two sets of characters who more or less play an equal role. However, these two sets do not interact a lot in the first part of the story. Let's say I start the first few chapters with character A, how would you go about introducing character B? Would you simply begin a new chapter from B's perspective? I am finding it difficult to think of a way to transition which is not too blunt, but also doesn't involve both characters meeting.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to do this really depends on how you want to use this new character. If you're talking about a new character who is a point of view character and does notbunteract with your main character, I would just pick up their point of view as if you're starting a new story and sort of rebuild the world from their perspective so that we sink into their voice.

    Personally I write multi-POV but all my characters interact, so my rule is that you don't get a scene from a new character's POV until after that person has aready been seen through the main character's POV
     
  3. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    You could do that. You just want to make sure the audience is aware of the switch. In It, Stephen King introduces new characters by switching to a new chapters, so I don't see why it couldn't be done here.

    If it was up to me though if you want to focus on two separate characters you could do this by switching between POVs each chapter. That could work fairly well.
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    You could do the chapter switch. A label switch. Your first MC bumps into second character in their travels.
    You could do a page break/time break switch (careful with this one as it could get confusing if you don't do it right).

    Your best bet is like @theoriginalmonsterman & @Commandante Lemming have already said: Chapter Switch. :)
     
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  5. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    In my current WIP, I introduce new POV characters with their own chapter and by the end of that chapter they run into the MC and become a part of the main story. I think it works well with the novel as its a long journey type story so he's meeting people along his travels. Some stick around, some don't. But if the character is important enough to the story I like to introduce them with their own story that leads into the main plot to build depth of character as well as some world building. I think it works for this novel but its not necessarily something I'll do for all my novels.
     
  6. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I introduce characters when they are needed for the story. You don't need a whole new chapter or to write from the POV of every new character. You can, but you don't have to. You might want to try to think of why you are introducing the new character at this point. What is his role at this point in the story and what does it do for the story? I don't know how much sense that makes because maybe I don't really understand the problem.
     
  7. ashurbanipal
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    ashurbanipal Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    To clarify, the two main characters have more or less separate stories for the first half and do not interact. They are then increasingly brought together as the plot continues.

    I had originally wanted to start with one character for a few chapters, then switch to the second main character's story but I felt this might be a bit jarring.

    I was thinking of perhaps having them both in a scene with one as a 'spectator' or background character which would provide a nice link to introduce the second character in a fresh chapter.

    Thanks.
     

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