bookAt one point, I remember creating a cast of characters for my book, Upside Down Kingdom, and realizing that I had 57 different characters. In Writer School, they teach you not to give a character a name unless that person is important to the plot. They teach that readers latch onto characters with names, and it gets confusing to have too many.

Well, I blew that rule out of the water. I gave them all names, right down to Larry, the man who washed the dishes at the restaurant.

Some of you will remember my blog Hostile Territory, and my character Bill who breaks the rules and trespasses in the woods without knowing it. Unlike Bill, I knew what I was getting into. While I agree that you don’t need to go name-dropping all over the place (it’s a lot to track and it gets distracting), I also knew these were memorable characters, characters of distinction by their own right. Certainly there was not a wallflower among them. I felt strongly that they deserved names and I believed my readers could not only handle that but would agree with me on this.

The story is relayed in first person by our main character Amy, who happens to be a waitress. Waiting tables, people, characters, customers, tend to come and go quickly. One minute, the guests you’re waiting on are the most important in the room, and the next, they settle up and leave and are gone from your restaurant world, sometimes never to be seen again.

And, plain and simple: When you wait tables, you serve others. From Amy’s point of view, there are no lowly jobs. Each person is important, and especially Larry, the one keeping you in clean dishes.

In UDK, 57 characters deserved names. I broke a rule, and they got them.

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Find UDK on Amazon.

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