Q&A: Two characters

Roxo said...

I was wondering lately if a two character book would seem boring.
The story is about a girl who wanders in the forest with this boy. I have other characters but they appear sporadically even if they contribute to the way the story goes.
Should I add someone with them just to make the plot less centered on just two characters?

Camy here: I’m afraid there’s no really good answer for this. It all depends on how you envision the story.

It’s good that you have other characters who appear sporadically, because they can serve to add more conflict and obstacles to the characters’ goals. If it were purely the two characters, I would say you definitely need more characters, if only to keep the conflict from becoming too much of the same kind of interactions.

I’m not sure how far along you are on the manuscript, or if you’ve already plotted the entire thing out or if you’re discovering the story as it unfolds. If you’ve plotted it all out already, look and see if you actually like just having the two main characters, or if you feel they need someone else to spice up the interactions. If you haven’t plotted it out, then just continue writing the manuscript, and again look to see if you like having only two main characters.

In this instance, you should go with your gut. What prospect gives you more interest or excitement about the book—only two characters, or adding a third? Follow your own instincts about your story.

I hope that helps!

If any of you guys have any other questions for my Q&A series, just leave a comment and I'll be sure to get to it!


  1. Roxo,
    I would recommend reading "The Wild Girls" by Pat Murphy, it's a story revolving mainly around two girls, but with the addition of other characters. While the setting may not be a finite as yours, though the girls do play in the forest, your description reminded me of it. The other uses the girls imagination as a means of creating action. Similarly, there is also "Bridge to Terabithia."

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the recommendations, Emily!


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