Hi Laura, thanks for asking me on the blog today, and best of luck to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo!
Writing recurring characters is a bit like visiting an old friend. Of course you love her, but you also know all about her flaws. And so do your fans.
Plus: You already know the character. This makes it easy to put her into a new situation and know how she’ll behave.
Minus: You already know the character. It can be difficult to sustain your enthusiasm for the book over 80,000-100,000 words.
Plus: Your fans already know the character. This makes them more likely to give the book a try (assuming they liked her!)
Minus: Your fans already know the character… so as much as you might wish for her to behave differently in the new book, she’s a creature of habit and you’ll need to stay true to her personality. I despaired of Hannah’s behaviour by book three (in the Single in the City series). I wanted to knock some sense into her, but she was a ditz, and it would have been odd if she’d suddenly started making sensible decisions in her love life!
I probably will write a recurring character again. For example, I love the main character in my latest novella, Christmas Carol (think Dickens with better shoes) – she’s sharp and funny and smart yet vulnerable. And I feel like she’s not yet finished with her story.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.