Day two! Whew! I can do this!
2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?
In all my stories I have tons and tons of characters. Since I answered the last question about my WIP Heir of Illuminations I’ll answer based on that book as well. It only makes sense, right?
I honestly don’t know how many characters I have. Which means, OCD that I am, I’ll go check. *scurries off for a moment* Right now I have around 30 characters, and I think they are multiplying and not by traditional means. Right now I have four important characters, with the MC being Áhron Vazladus.
In terms of male/female characters, I tend to have marginalized characters—in other words not straight males. That may not make sense, but as a marginalized person myself, it’s difficult to write any other characters. Áhron is a gay character. I have straight people, two of which are important, and one is a woman. So really I only have one character that would be considered unmarginalized. A heterosexual male. And he’s important too.
With characters I try to be true to who they are. And I try to be true to the story. This story started with my heterosexual male as the MC, but that didn’t work. I couldn’t get into the story, it felt like something was wrong. When I switched to Áhron, the story took off—as in I wrote 80 pages of it!
I’ll go back now to have I have a lot of minor characters. I’m trying to integrate subplots and for those, I need more characters. In addition, my four important ones split up and it would be strange to have them talk to themselves and only interact with the environment, so I have to add characters for them to talk to, etc. But these extra characters aren’t just paper cut outs, they are people in and of themselves.
In all I think a balance of sexualities and genders are vital for a story. If a story is overly male driven or overly female driven a writer can isolate the audience of their work. Of course, if it makes sense then by all means. Like a world where there are only women. Or men.