Reply To: Brainstorming, Anyone?

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Brian Stansell

Hi Emily (@emily-waldorf),

Thank you for tagging me! 🙂
we are about to go on a vacation, so I may be late getting to respond.  I hope that is okay.

I have been stuck for a bit.  I have a scene where there are twenty members in a traveling party who are strangers to each other, and only a few of them have given their names.  I am not sure how to bring in more names of the other characters without overwhelming the reader, even if I develop their side characters a little later along the way.  Does anyone have any thoughts on how to do this so that the unnamed characters don’t just seem to blend in?

I think perhaps we’ve all experienced this at some point.  Finding ourselves in a large group where you don’t know anybody.  Kind of like going to a new church for the first time, or a new school.  Finding yourself in a group where you were divided up by random numbers and you had to meet strangers and were a little nervous about it.
I do need some thoughts to help me get at least five or six other names of the group and may have some later introductions come out in the course of the story at another time.  Sometimes so pairing or trios happen naturally, but I need that to happen in a short period of time.
There are a team of manhunters coming after this group as soon as the storm lessens, and it is a tense time for this to be unfolding, because all of them will be on the run together, most of them riding in the equivalent of a covered wagon.

Any thoughts, ideas or personal experiences are appreciated.

I personally tend to be quiet in groups, so I am not really good at this.

Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.

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