Nano Twenty – Character Pads

Lp7hAiMToday we talk about padding. Not THAT kind of padding. Not that kind either. Jeez you people are perverted.

I like it!

Anyway, instead of the normal nonsense, this is something that will increase word count, add depth to the story, and possibly make every author insane at the same time:

Add more characters.

Try it. Add a new one now. Give them the name of your best friend and make them have a personality completely opposite to the main protagonist. Instant conflict. Don’t worry, this is still first draft happiness, you can always go back and move people around like a giant chess board where only you play your evil alter-ego.

When the new character comes in, have them immediately piss off the main character, however, have the main character see something in the new dude that makes them see something good, something interesting, or something useful, so that they need them to want to stick around or follow them for a bit. This adds a new facet to the story late in the game, yes, however, bringing in a relief pitcher isn’t anything new. Like I said, you can shuffle players around later during super-edit phases.

If you liked the way that worked out and felt it add some excellent depth and well needed structure, great! Keep going and roll with it. Otherwise, keep reading.


Name them after your friends, family members, neighbors, pets, favorite stuffed animals in cos-play outfits – whatever suits your needs. Each one you add, make more eclectic and oddball than the next. This adds more insanity and if all else fails, you can drop them later.

Remember, no deleting during nanowrimo..

And, if you want to run with some George R.R. Martin-type madness – KILL EVERYONE and bring in new people DURING the story! Why? WHY NOT? It spices things up! Adds flavor and pisses off Gordon Ramsey and that’s the real reason we’re all here, right?

(Also, the picture attached shows all the deaths in all the “Game of Thrones” series of books, in case you are wondering why I chose that specific picture…)

The point of this sleep-deprived article is simple: adding conflict and more points of focus creates more tension and different viewpoints to build the finale to the story. The journey to the end is the good part of the story, with the ending being the icing…Right now, this is all build up, the foreplay – if you will, to the ending.

Make it spectacular.



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