Sometimes, the subtle sneaks up on you.

So I’m closing in on 20k words on “From Whence You Came” and I realize that – unlike all the other characters – there are two who have no names, who are only referred to by their job description/titles.  And they’re important minor characters, with dialogue and roles to play in the action.  So they should have names, right?

But once I thought about it I realized that no, they shouldn’t.  Not yet, anyway.  Because they are seen by and interact with a character who –despite other positives – is somewhat…blindered.  And that character sees them only in terms of the roles they play, not as people in and of themselves.

By not giving them personal names, I show more about the main character, and hir interactions with the world, than if I’d had someone comment on it directly.

As lovely as it would be to say Look how clever I am!” the truth is that I didn’t sit down and think this out – “oh, I know how to show hir behavior!”  It just arose out of the writing, wherein these characters are seen only in relation to the services they offer.  Surprised the hell out of me, when I looked back and realized what I’d been doing.  I’d thought better of hir… or maybe I hadn’t.

So these brave secondaries get names?  Does the main character learn better interactions?   I… don’t know yet.  Ask me again in another 10,000 words….


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