Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Creating Characters #9 - Truly Minor Characters

After the major and somewhat minor characters, then there are others who are truly minor characters, people who touch only briefly on the story. I find it necessary to record their names if, for no other reason, when I refer to them the next time I must use the same name. By keeping an on-going list I save myself hours of searching back through the manuscript for the name of the baker, the cousin, the private detective... These characters were not in my plot outline, but they were required by the story as it unfolded.  I simply list and identify these as I first need them when writing. Ever after I can refer back to my list.

Where Lemons Bloom, a romantic suspense novelIn Italy there are: Gino Abruzzo (the thug), Ruffio (the baker)  Rosa (the sister of Rafaello who works at the restaurant) Adamo’s aunt and uncle, Zia Graziella, Zio Valerio, His cousins, Pietro, Enzio, Gianni, and Gianni’s wife, Alicia.

Then in New York we have Michael O’Brien, private detective, James Conroy, Mark Conti’s Assistant and Yasim, the Conti chauffer.

A warning:

There is a final reason for keeping a list of your characters close to hand. Often we, as writers, are working on more than one book at a time. This week I am working with three books, three sets of characters, and three settings. Where Lemons Bloom is now out, available both in print and e-book format. But I am still involved in its marketing. I am writing blogs about it.

At the same time I am working on the final edits for my newly completed book, Fatal Charm, to be released sometime later this year. Another whole set of characters to remember.

Meanwhile I am deep into writing my next book, as yet unnamed, to be set in Scotland. My character list is already long and I’m only on page sixty in the story.

Keeping all those characters straight is an unending job, but a crucially important one. In a final draft of one of my books I found I had inadvertently use the heroine’s name from a previous book! It had been read by me innumerable times, vetted by a friend who does preliminary edits for all my books, and gone through two round of professional editing by my publisher. We caught it in time, but just barely.

Keep a character list for each of your books at hand at all times!

Watch for Blair's newest thriller, Fatal Charm 
Coming in 2017

Fatal Charm by Blair McDowell

Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell
Blair McDowell's latest tale of Suspense  takes the reader to Italy's  beautiful Amalfi Coast.

"Adamo and Eve are two people who have both been through their own versions of hell. They are both certain that they are not ready to enter into a relationship, but love finds them anyway. Then it takes them on the non-stop thrill ride of their lives."
-   Marlene Harris,


When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent 5 years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned?

Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.

Books of Blair McDowell
To review and purchase any of Blair McDowell's books, Click Here.


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Blair McDowell