On pacing and introducing main characters

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Post Reply
musicgirl
Posts: 9
Joined: January 9th, 2010, 2:26 pm
Contact:

On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by musicgirl » March 2nd, 2010, 1:26 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm working on tightening my novel...so my question is this: is 60 pages into the 400-page novel too late to introduce the third party of a love triangle?

Thanks!

User avatar
charlotte49ers
Posts: 281
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 7:35 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by charlotte49ers » March 2nd, 2010, 1:34 pm

I don't think so, unless your main plot point IS the love triangle. Then you might want to introduce them earlier, I'd think.

musicgirl
Posts: 9
Joined: January 9th, 2010, 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by musicgirl » March 2nd, 2010, 1:48 pm

Thanks for your input. It's not the main plot, but I think I'm just at the point where I'm overanalyzing things now...

tameson
Posts: 66
Joined: January 19th, 2010, 7:34 pm
Contact:

Re: On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by tameson » March 2nd, 2010, 4:43 pm

I have a POV character that is introduced 100 pages in (novel is about 85-90k- not sure cause for me editing makes longer). His love interest is introduced 12k words later (so like 50 pages later). I justify this because that POV character is not really a main character, even though he gets his own POV chapters. He is really just a subplot. The main story and main character are introduced in chapter one (there is the real plot and there is what everyone thinks is the plot and the real plot is in chapter one, what everyone thinks is the plot is introduced in chapter 3). But as long as I find the first 50 pages interesting, I won't be too upset about waiting that long for the third character. If I am bored and he is the only interesting thing to happen, then yeah, introduce him sooner.

User avatar
gonzo2802
Posts: 105
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 5:33 pm
Contact:

Re: On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by gonzo2802 » March 8th, 2010, 7:18 pm

I know I'm a few days behind on giving my two cents, but I don't think that's too far into the novel to bring the third member of the triangle in, depending on the story. And I say this as someone who has a third member who comes in further along in the way as well. In my story, I had to make sure that the readers were invested in the relationship between the main character and the love of her life, first. Once I was sure that they were a couple readers were going to want to see succeed, then I was comfortable bringing in the third party and adding the biggest obstacle to stand in their way.

craig
Posts: 118
Joined: February 13th, 2010, 11:33 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: On pacing and introducing main characters

Post by craig » March 8th, 2010, 11:24 pm

I think it all depends on your story.

In my current work, one of the major main characters is killed off 1/3 of the way through the book. Another main character is introduced in about the last 1/3.

I am ruthless with my characters. I like it when a book surprises me with the unexpected -- after all, what writer kills off a compelling character less than halfway through? And if that character is killed, then is anybody safe? It adds a level of unpredictability for your readers.

The only caution I would have is that if you introduce a main character late in the book, you probably don't want that character to be the one that solves the crisis and saves the day. That late-coming main character can certainly play a major role in the conclusion of the crisis, but it could come across as cheap writing if that late-comer is the one who saves the day.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest