How do you continuously add characters to a story that originally started with a small cast? Is there a way to do this organically while making sure their presence in the story feels natural and not forced? Is it something that needs to be inside the beat sheet when you plan out the story? Because there are a lot of characters introduced, and my beat sheet doesn't cover any character, so it's hard to plan out in advance and making sure that their presence is both natural and not forced. Also, I don't understand what "forced" means and what are the criteria for their presence to feel forced.

2 Answers 2


Depends on the genre. For example, fantasy you could visit a village or on the journey or rising action. Anything else you could make up one of the secondary characters has a certain family member or friend. If you are into manga/anime you could look at some examples from them.

  • The "example" in my answer is inspired by a popular anime actually. But I won't say which to avoid spoiling it for others.
    – jtb
    Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 21:19

To address your final comment first:

I don't understand what "forced" means and what are the criteria for their presence to feel forced

You don't want your audience to feel like they should have known about the new character before they appeared. For example, if your initial cast of characters includes two brothers, and you show many scenes of their childhood together, it may feel "forced" to introduce a third brother later on. In this case, the audience would feel like the third brother was added as an after-thought.

There are many ways to do this well, but many stories seem to broaden the story as they add new characters. If the narrative leads your characters to new places, it is natural that they will meet new people.

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