Lots of Main Heroes

by eve shay

Question: I have ten main heroes and I love them all! I want to keep them all in the main plot but it's so hard to focus on all of them and really get into them. How do I get them all into the story without just having them bumble along the way?

Answer: Sadly, many a great character must often be cut between first draft and finished manuscript. It's a fact of a writer's life that's always painful. But a writer has to be able to make tough decisions.

Remember that what matters above all is the story. If you have too many characters who are unnecessary because they add little to the story, or they're redundant, or they have no dramatic purpose, some may just have to go, no matter how deeply you love them. (Tip: sometimes you can resurrect a great character in a different story or in a sequel.)

But just before you start deleting people, you might see if there is a way they can be made to fulfill a dramatic purpose that is currently unfulfilled. For instance, make sure you have characters to fulfill all the essential dramatic functions. (See the following article...)


See if any character who is currently underused can be used to make a useful contribution to the plot or to the development of your main character (the one who brings about success/failure in the end).

Also, consider if some characters might be useful in a subplot rather than the main plot - perhaps where they can help illustrate another facet of the theme or show why certain characters behave the way they do.

Just remember, in the end you sometimes must be ruthless.

Best of luck.

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