A large cast of characters is just as great as a small cast, but let’s face it: the fewer the better.
Smaller casts allow you to keep a tight focus on the thread of your story, the main theme, the main plot, it’s all more manageable with fewer characters.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. It depends on your story. A High Fantasy or Hard Science Fiction work would be very hard to manage with one or two characters, although not impossible. In the case of most epic fantasies, you would need a large cast just to convey the weight of the story’s events.
It’s important to have a handful of active characters so they can represent the larger events happening in the background. It’s hard to tell a war story if you don’t have any soldiers or survivors.
Always consider the smallest number of characters possible to tell your story. Any more than your smallest number of main and secondary characters and you risk cluttering your story and chasing plot bunnies that offer no real substance to your story.
Originally published on September 22, 2021 @ 12:00 pm