Friday, September 7

Those Nameless Faceless Characters

   Do you like horror movies? How about comedies, or cartoons? As a matter a fact, pick a movie or television show. Any one you want.

     Now, imagine if there were no background noise, no music, sound affects, or extra characters
milling in the background. Just the main and secondary characters. There's nothing different about their acting abilities, but no one else is ever in the room. Does the movie lose some of it's appeal?

     I saw a movie called Twelve Angry Men. Loved it. For most of the movie, the only characters involved were twelve male jurors. But there was still background noise. Rain falling, suspenseful music when appropriate.

     This got me to thinking about the nameless, faceless characters in our books. You know who I mean. Patrons in a crowded restaurant, people passing by our characters on the street, maybe even a waiter or housekeeper. Even though these characters aren't important enough to give a name, their roles in our stories are very important,unless your h/h are on a deserted island or planet. Even in those situations, there's some background noise that we weave in.

     Those nameless, faceless characters. How important are they to your story?


  1. Way important to me, anyway. I especially love when an author is able to make those nameless people special. A store clerk with tired eyes or a waitress with killer legs and a worried frown between her eyes.

    Good subject, Shawn!

  2. Very important! In my current WIP, there are a million of them, and they all play an important part. Good reminder, Liz, to make them distinct!

  3. I like the nameless, faceless...a lot. But I do need to make them more appealing, I think.

  4. I agree. Even if they're place holders, so that the mail coach won't be empty. It's important to make them real people.