But another thing that bothers me is too many characters to keep track of.
Have any of you ever had a moment where you're reading a book, come across a character's name, and for the life of you can't recall who that character is, or why they're important? I have. And it drives me nuts.
It's for this reason that I try to keep my cast of characters compact. My female mc's usually have only one or two close friends, and it's not because no one likes them. It's because I get all sorts of flustered when I have to remember more than a handful of secondary characters in a novel, and I don't want to inflict that torture on anyone else.
Of course, if the characters are all unique, and all serve a purpose, and the author has made them all stand out in my mind, it isn't a problem.
But the sad fact is this: I may write about teenagers, but me and my brain cells aren't getting any younger. If you're going to introduce me to a clique of folks who all act and sound the same, I'm only going to wind up confused and annoyed by the end of the story.
For example, I have a huge Italian family, with 7 female first cousins. And two of those 7 are twins. So if I introduced you to all of them, wouldn't your brain start to glaze over somewhere around the fourth brown-eyed, brown-haired twenty-something girl? Exactly. Which is why if I ever write a story about them, I'm going to pretend there are only 3 or 4.
|Would you want to remember all our names? What's that you say?|
You have no idea which one is even me? Yeah, that's what I thought.
What about you, peeps? Do you get irritated when you need a roll call to keep track of the characters in a book? Or am I just old and forgetful?