In every work, there is a setting. The place where the characters are, whether they are in an endless void or the main coffee shop in their town. In many cases, there is more than one setting that the characters go through and in many of them, there are “extras”. These are characters that are a part of the setting: the characters that are normally dismissed.
When you, the creator, make a character walk into a busy restaurant, how are they told to wait in line? Who is waiting in line in front of them, or behind them? Who brings them their meals and drinks? Who sits around them but aren’t interacting with them? These people are placed in the settings to create the full effect of the place — because you can’t have a busy restaurant without the busyness that the people make.
When creating a world for your story or novel, you have to think about the people within the background that we take for granted most days. The people that your character, at some point, has to interact with so they may follow the rest of your plot-line.
These characters are a part of the setting, so you don’t have to build them in the same way you would for your main characters, but you should describe them to some extent. What are they wearing? What are they doing there?
This extra look at the setting and the people within it will help you have more of a sense of what to describe when your main characters first come into contact with the place.
On the other hand, you don’t have to describe every character in the setting, but it is your choice on how far you want to go. I would suggest focusing on the extras that will interact with your main characters in some way, such as waiters, bartenders or porters.
Overall, creating a setting is not limited to objects and backgrounds incorporated in the environment, it also includes the people within it. Those that are a part of the place. Those that are just there, never really part of the plot.
The Forgotten Characters.
Marli is an aspiring writer in the Professional Writing Program. On the off chance that she isn’t writing, she is playing card games, reading, or hanging out at the nearest Tim Horton’s with her friends.