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The characters in a book are the most essential part of the world an author builds. Because a story relies so heavily on its cast, it’s vital that writers are clear in descriptions of characters. They also need to be careful in their character choices. Elaine Ash, author, editor, and book coach, gives advice on the best ways to choose and introduce characters. In her practice, she’s seen many books that contain too many characters in the first chapters. She broke down her favorite bestselling books, even the longest ones, and discovered that only a small percentage of the large cast of characters were introduced in the first quarter of the story. As discussed in her book Bestseller Metrics, the first quarter of your story should be dedicated to world building and the primary cast. Ash encourages writers to choose their characters carefully and name them only when necessary. Listen to the clip below to learn more from Elaine Ash about how to choose characters and when to introduce them.
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