9 thoughts on “Guest post: The Three Rs of Book Series Characters: Recycle, Reuse, Resurrect by Jerry Last

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

    Good food for thought. I think that if secondary characters will have a reason to interact with a main characters in a series they ought to be carried over. If they are so minor that we don;t really take note of them the first time around I’d leave them out. There will be enough new ones to play minor roles. I think the line that decides is whether they were important enough in the previous story for readers to care what happens to them.

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  2. Pagadan says:

    Medical school students have a lot of potential, as does rat plinking, especially if the rat is carrying a clue in its mouth that looks intriguing. I want to know what it found!

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  3. Nanci Rathbun says:

    I’m glad to read your validation of my “decision” to bring a secondary character from my first novel into my WIP. I use the quotes because I didn’t really plan it – Bobbie just wanted to be in the second book. (I don’t think I’m looney, but my characters often do things I didn’t expect, and that usually makes the book better.) I’m going back now to be sure I’ve advanced his character – yes, Bobbie is a man – in book two. Thanks for the tips!

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  4. Susan Holmes says:

    Perfect timing, Jerry. I’ve been sorting through the secondary characters in my series and while trying to decide who goes and who stays, I realized I’ve become quite attached to some of them! So while I’ve made room for a few newcomers, I hope readers will be happy when they see some familiar (secondary) faces in the upcoming books. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Jerold Last says:

      Susan: As I thought about this post I realized some of the characters sort of told me they wanted to be better developed and play a larger role in a subsequent book (Eduardo Gomez, eg) when they first appeared, while others sneaked into the bigger repeat role unexpectedly (Vincent Romero, Bernardo Colletti, eg). It can be hard to predict but the combination of skill set and back story seems to determine whether a new or recycled character is better for the new book, at least for me.

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