1. Man in the Box

    Man in the Box Active Member

    Jun 21, 2011
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    Reusing a character which was supposed to be unimportant

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Man in the Box, Nov 27, 2011.

    I tried my best to give this thread a title that would accurately reflect my problem, hopefully I did it... :D

    Basically, it goes like this: in the very beginning of my novel, two girls are playing in the grass and, for a reason, one girl becomes pissed off at the other (who is the protagonist) and lets out a fierce dog at the other girl, leaving her with wounds. Then the protagonist miraculously regenerates all wounds, and stuff happens, but very few mentions of the girl who let out the dog are made, because I didn't think about developing her character back then (she wasn't even named). But now, I want to reuse her as an antagonist of relative importance. However, I'm like 25,000 words in, and there are hardly any mentions of the girl after the incident. What would be the best course of action in this situation? Should I keep the idea of reusing the character or drop it? If I reuse the character, which would be the best way to integrate her into the story?

    Sorry if I posted in the wrong section, this thread is in a grey area IMO...
  2. RW James

    RW James New Member

    Aug 21, 2011
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    I think reusing the character would be a very elegant solution. It's one of the things that makes fiction so much better than reality. But you are correct in assuming that the character should be integrated into the story (I hate when writers assume you can remember someone that was only briefly mentioned 200 pages ago.) I would look for the stress points throughout the protagonist's story and look for opportunities to weave her presence into the scene - even if it's only in the background. And if you can, make the protagonist just a little uncomfortable with her presence. Just a thought...
  3. TheSecretKeeper

    TheSecretKeeper New Member

    Nov 27, 2011
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    Over There ——>
    If you are writing this on a computer, you can just go put a few new paragraphs in, and edit the surounding ones to fit them. Although, it would become tedious, and you can't do this when writing on paper. If you introduce a new character then the girl could be an acompless of that character. If you do this, however, then you have to make a whole new character, which is tedious aswell.

    I would go with recycling the old one: it would make the story seem more... planed, I guess. Anyway, it's your choice.
  4. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    It's not exactly resusing, it's just using an existing character for another (or continued) purpose.

    If the would be antagonist had no place in the 1st 25,000 words other than releasing the dog at the beginning, that's fine. She can return...a simple remender of her original action would be all that's needed. Sometimes it is better to utilize characters already integrated into the story rather than creating/adding additional ones.
  5. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributor Contributor

    Jul 27, 2011
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    I would agree - I don't think it's always necessary to have a character 'pop up' continually to have them play a significant part in the book.

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