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  1. T.V.Ebanks

    T.V.Ebanks New Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Cayman Islands

    Introducing a New Character Without Naming Them HELP!!

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by T.V.Ebanks, Jun 22, 2010.


    If you guys read my other posts already I've been working on this book, Ben Cooper, and I'm at a part where Kimberly (Supporting Main Character) introduces Ben (Main Character) to her friends, but Ben doesn't know their names yet, [until Kimberly introduces them to him].
    Here's dialogue from the book that could give an example:

    "Hey guys," Kimberly said.
    "Kimberly," [one of the girls said. She had brunette hair with golden blonde streaks]. <---- Kimberly has 5 friends with her right now, and it's confusing to explain each of them while trying to write dialogue and introduce them all.

    So any help please??

    I forgot to mention that it's in Third Person Perspective.
  2. Mantha Hendrix

    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

    May 10, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Northern Ireland... the place I've taken for grant
    Your MC (Ben) could give them nicknames. People would often do something similar to this the first time they met them. It could also be character building.

    You could also describe each character to the sum of one feature. Ideally a noticeable feature. You could describe the first character as something to the effect of " the one with the streaky hair"

    Obviously not in those words. That's all I got right now. What you're doing does seem quite awkward. If push come to shove try and have so that he has their names before hand... but I'm sure it won't come to that.
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You should be introducing one character at a time, two at most. So Kimberly has five friends with her, she can "introduce" them by name, but the focus on the scene should be on only one of them. Let the reader, and Ben, find out a little about that character, while the others are part of the background.

    Introduce the others later, one at a time, and refer back to the initial meeting.
  4. w176

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    LuleƄ, Sweden
    1. Is it relevant for the story to give them an individual identity for the overall story? If not, dont.

    2. Is the introduction scene necessity to have as a scene? If it boring skip it.

    "As the headed out for lunch Kimberley had introduced him to her frineds, A, b, c, d and e. At he sat down at the lunch table he quietly repeted which one was which. A was the redhead, B was the funny one, ..."

    3. When you dont know someones name you pick out something about them you identify them with. The Redhead, The Funny guy at the party etc. "Said the one of Kimberleys friends that seem ad bit shy." And call her Shy girl.
  5. miricale

    miricale Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    agreed give them nicknames like blonde streaks or something like that but also if they aren't important dont... yeah but I agree with everyone
  6. Show

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Jul 25, 2008
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    I end up doing that sometimes. Wish I could give specific advice but I can't really. I sort of just do it without applying any specific logic.
  7. LaPetitePierrot

    LaPetitePierrot Member

    Jun 26, 2010
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    Add a small bit of description after she introduces them.
    For example.

    "That's Amy," Kimberley said, pointing to a friendly looking brunette with her hair tied in a ponytail. Amy smiled at me and shook my hand with a firm grip...

    Repeat with other characters, albeit with minor changes.


    "and that there's Thomas," she said, motioning towards an bored-looking guy with a goatee, and then, pointing at a rather thin and sickly looking girl, "and last but not least, Joan."
  8. Thanshin

    Thanshin Active Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    Likes Received:
    First, if you introduce multiple characters together, take into account they'll be hard to separate on the reader's mind.

    On the introduction of a nameless characters, I'll just put here an excerpt from a writer I love and many people here will undoubtedly recognize:

    Observe how, even if he used "leather" only twice in the description, "leather woman" becomes a perfect name with the masterful use of "honey", "tawny", "caramel" and "brown".

    If you create a vivid imagery around a character, you won't need a name for him, a mere reference will recall the image.

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