How to Write a Large cast of characters

Ghost Writer
4 min readFeb 14, 2024

I’m currently throwing around ideas for a contemporary novel and I want to make it easier on myself and have a small cast, because let’s face it, a smaller cast is easier to write, even though a large cast can be very fun. Over the years there have been good ‘perfect numbers’ if you will of character members.

We’ve got the classic-

Trio: Main character, and two best friends

  • Like Nancy Drew, and her friends Bess and George
  • Or for a more modern example, Percy Jackson with Annabeth and Grover

The Five Man Band (who exist everywhere if you look at it): Leader, Lancer (foil to the hero), The heart, The smart guy, The muscle

  • Superhero groups fall right into this, and a lot of fantasy stories

But that aside from the acceptable number of characters, when we start stepping into large numbers like seven, ten, etc., how do we handle it? I had no idea, so I started researching, how to do it in a way that wasn’t overwhelming, because as we’ve talked about, characters aren’t 2d, they are just like us and have fears, goals, and obstacles to face, so that can be a lot when you have a large cast.

Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

What I’ve started doing is first pin down these things:



Ghost Writer

Just tryin to figure out writing and here's what I've learned so far.