Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 2

front coverOkay, at the start of this week I’d hit a brick wall and was struggling with whether or not to have a “supporter” character in my story.

I’ve been playing around with this all week, shuffling between various scenarios.

  • Could my supporter also be my opponent? Could Marcie’s mom be both cheer-girl and devil’s advocate? (Of course, the answer to this is “yes”, but would it work for Marcie? Probably not.)
  • Could I use her dad?
  • Should it be the sidekick character?
  • Should I change one of Marcie’s characteristics and give her a female bezzie friend?
  • Could it turn out to be Ivy the phantom curtain-twitcher, her next-door neighbour?
  • Was there anyone else anywhere in either the first book or in the plan for this book who could step up?

My answer, in the end, to all of this was a resounding NO. I couldn’t seen any of it working.

This left me with two choices:

  1. Abandon the idea of a supporter character
  2. Bring in a totally new character

Again, I thought about this, and I really wanted to give it a go – after all, I can still change my mind at any time in the creation process. And so I set about bringing in a totally new character – or new to the Marcie Craig stories at least.

Enter Police Constable Falak “Fal” Bashir.

Fal isn’t strictly a new character. I created him on the spot at a crime writing seminar led by Stephen Booth and Stuart Gibbon. Fal’s a disgraced vice cop knocked back down to uniform – or he is in the future. And that’s how he’s gone down in the story bible.

However, I haven’t decided yet whether he’s already disgraced at this time or if it’s before the events leading up to his suspension and subsequent demotion.

Before the metamorphosis, he’s still a young, cocky PC. Afterwards, he’s more humble and respectful, and suffering from PTSD. During it all, he might be at his most interesting.

Whichever way I go with this, I’m also setting him up to appear in Snowblind, the next Marcie Craig mystery. He’s a vice cop and might prove most useful in book 3 in the series.

I had some fun playing around with the Fal character, and he had 240 words written about him, bringing the total so far to 3,779.

Have a great weekend!