Toiling away on my latest NaNoWriMo endeavor, I was beginning to despair. There was an awful lot of recap happening, and not much in the way of new development.
And then…I introduced some new characters.
Joshua Newton’s entire family full of them, to be exact:
Obediah Newton: Joshua’s father, who was a doctor, until he lost an arm in the Civil War. Now he teaches at a college for women who want to become doctors. (Yes, this really existed in Victorian-era Boston!)
Mary Newton: Josh’s mother. So far, she hasn’t told me enough about her character for me to know her. But she seems like a kind soul. I think she will become a surrogate mother-figure for Celia and Lillian.
Adam Newton: Joshua’s uncle; works at the Boston Airship Landing Field. A good sort of fellow.
Jane Newton: Joshua’s aunt; nearly a decade and a half younger than her husband (Adam), she is his second wife (his first having died in childbirth). She is a bit of a troublemaker and a gossip.
Amanda Newton: Joshua’s sister (two years younger), she is studying to become a doctor. I think she and Eudora are going to become friends; and I think Jamie Dixon might form a bit of a tendre for her, much to the annoyance of both Celia and Lillian.
Lucas Newton: Joshua’s brother (four years younger, and the same age as Celia). Not quite sure where he’s going yet; Lillian may start to flirt with him to make Jamie Dixon jealous.
Lucinda Newton: Joshua’s niece, and Adam and Jane’s daughter. Age 12. I think she’s going to end up hero-worshipping Lillian Fletcher.
And voila, just like that, magic! A couple of plot points in my story are laid out, a couple of others have changed direction slightly, and while I was at it, the ultimate fate of one of my characters has completely changed. (Nope, not going to tell you which one, or from what to what, but the new fate is right, so darned right, I wonder how on earth I never saw it before.)
I don’t think I’ve ever had an entire batch of characters just fall into a story so completely formed before. It’s a little unnerving, but on the other hand, it’s very much the “shot in the arm” that this story needed!
Have other folks out there ever introduced new characters into a story before, only to have them change the story’s direction?