Lovereading.co.uk once wrote that they love epic books with swathes of characters creating a wonderfully complex plot, but asked rather plaintively:
“Sometimes is it all too much?”
They produced a wonderful infographic about books like Shogun, Bleak House, The Stand, Game of Thrones.
You can see the infographics at the link below, but first I decided to look at a few of my own books as to number of characters.
The Secrets of Jin-shei:
Eight protagonists, or nine if you count the ghost, and several times that number of named characters. When asked about the writing of it, I sometimes suggest that if I ever have a similar idea for another book with so many major characters, I plan to go lay down until the impulse passes.
Embers of Heaven:
The sequel-that-is-not-a sequel to the The Secrets of Jin -shei — it takes place in the same world but hundreds of years later — has only two major protagonists, but more than twenty named characters.
On the other hand, my science-fiction romp has an entire SF/fantasy con of named characters and ensemble protagonists, at least half a dozen other important named
characters and four time-traveling androids.
My newest book has two main protagonists, at least four secondary “important” characters with agency on the plot, and more than twenty named characters
The Were Chronicles:
It is a series and thus tougher to count. There are three MAIN protags, one per book, but each one also features as characters in each other’s books, so it’s hard to know if you’re counting them twice. And numerous other named characters, of course
There is only one main protagonist in this four-part series, unless you want to count Coyote The Trickster and other characters from Native American mythology — along with 25+named characters, some of them from other worlds.
Midnight at Spanish Gardens:
There are five protagonists, or perhaps six counting the enigmatic bartender named Ariel, and several other named characters, although they are less importance in the scheme of things.
You can find ALL my books HERE
Check out the Lovereading infographic HERE
Children of a Different Sky
The fantasy anthology, “Children of a Different Sky”, is a collection of stories which illuminate the lot of the lost, bewildered and abandoned refugees and immigrants of our time.
If you wish to help, and don’t know how, pick up a copy of this book, both for the inspiration and insight the stories will give you, and the material aid you will offer by your purchase. All profits go to aid groups.
To pre-order “Children of a Different Sky”, click on the book cover HERE
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