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Guest Post by Vanessa Finaughty – How to Introduce and Write About Nameless Characters

Blog Tour Vanessa Finaughty

She’s back! Vanessa’s blog tour for her Wizard of Ends-series is almost over, but she stops by here today for another guest post before it ends tomorrow. During the tour she has released not just one, but the two first books in the series! That’s 1 book for every… word I have written this month. 

…Let’s not mention that. 

Hastily moving on: Vanessa is going to talk about how to write about nameless characters today. You should read what she has to say and then you should go read the first Wizard of Ends-book(it’s free!). 

I’ll give the stage over to, you guessed it, Vanessa Finaughty. I’ll just go do… whatever I do when I should be writing. Enjoy!

In most stories, the majority of the characters are minor characters, and many of them may be so insignificant or appear so briefly that there’s no need to name them. I advise against naming characters who only appear once or who have no relevance to the overall story, as that may serve to confuse readers, especially if your story has lots of characters. Rather, only name those characters who appear frequently, who will appear again in the story or a future book (if it’s a series), or without whom the story cannot progress.

Sometimes these minor characters do drive the plot forward, but they may still appear only once in the story. If your main character is having a conversation with the minor character, it may be necessary to name that minor character to avoid confusing the reader, particularly if it’s a long or medium-length conversation and the characters are the same gender. However, if it’s an action scene, it’s not usually necessary. For example, it’s unnecessary to name the attacker if your MC is attacked by the minor character and the attack itself drives the plot forward, but the attacker isn’t all that important and won’t appear in the story after the attack. How do you write an action scene without naming the attacker?

Here are two examples from Orion’s Harvesters:

Vareck slid the knife from its sheath and spun to face the intruder, thrusting the long blade upwards through his hooded attacker’s ribcage and into his heart. The intruder’s dagger clattered to the ground as he stared wide-eyed at Vareck, then he dropped when Vareck yanked out the knife. He bent and turned the dead man onto his back. Bruises and cuts covered the blonde intruder’s knuckles – a man clearly used to violence.


Liam came up behind the scrawny man and landed an uppercut in his ribs, barely saving Jack from a slit throat. Instead of doubling over like Liam had expected, the black-clothed man went into a short sideways roll, came to his feet next to the kitchen sink and whirled to face them. Jack and Liam closed in on the man from either side. From the glint in Jack’s eyes, Liam could tell their intent was the same – to give the burglar a good bashing before calling the police, if they even opted for that afterwards; it wouldn’t do to be arrested tonight of all nights, just in case…

If the minor character has attributes that make him or her stand out, you could use those attributes to ‘name’ the character. You can also use the character’s clothes to describe him/her, as I’ve done above. Your characters can also mentally name other characters. For example:

The attacker came at him just as Vareck perceived stealthy movement from behind – the man whose throat he had hit earlier clearly wasn’t as incapacitated as Vareck had hoped. Vareck launched himself to the side. The two attackers advanced without pause, keeping him trapped between them. Vareck lashed out with both knives to keep them from getting too close, backing towards their comrade’s corpse. When his heel touched it, he moved to the side and back, hoping Throat Guy would trip over it.

As you can see, not naming a character usually leads to a greater word count when referring to him/her, but, if this adds to the visuals you give readers, the words are not wasted.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful!

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Giveaway on Vanessa Finaughty’s Blog Tour

Got a special treat for you today.

As part of Vanessa Finaughty’s blog tour, I’m doing a special giveaway on her blog. For three days, The Angel’s Voice books 1 and 2 will be FREE on Smashwords if you use the coupon code given.

This is the first(and probably last) time I give book 2, Silent Sound, away for free and the offer is only valid for three days.

Resounding Echo
Coupon code: FH27E

Silent Sound
Coupon code: EN84L

Head over to Vanessa’s blog for more info.

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Guest Post by Vanessa Finaughty – 5 Reasons I Prefer Self-Publishing

Vanessa Finaughty AuthorToday I have a short guest post by fellow fantasy author Vanessa Finaughty. She is doing a blog tour during October to promote her upcoming fantasy adventure series Wizard of Ends.
The two first books will be released during this month and the blog tour will be packed with exciting giveaways from both Vanessa and other fantasy authors(myself included), so it would be well-worth your time to keep an eye out.  

There will be more info on Vanessa and her blog tour at the end of the post. For now, I’ll shut up and let her have the word. 


There are as many reasons to self-publish as there are to go the traditional route. Which route you choose depends largely on your personal needs/wants – just don’t think going the traditional route means you won’t have to market your books. Nowadays, authors are the ones who do most of the marketing regardless of the publishing medium.

Below are five of the main reasons I chose to self-publish my books without sending a single query to an agent or traditional publisher:

  1. I have full control over my books, who edits them, when they are published, how they are priced and everything in between.
  1. I can set my own deadlines in a way that allows me to pace myself, so I can easily fit in writing, publishing and marketing along with work, baby time and life’s myriad other responsibilities.
  1. I retain full copyright of all my books and don’t need to ask anyone for permission to do xyz.
  1. I can discount my books or give them away as I see fit.
  1. Let’s not forget the royalties – self-published authors see a much higher percentage of their royalties.

So, now that you all know I’m a control freak when it comes to my books… I’ll end by saying I’m so happy with my publishing choice that, even if a traditional publisher had to approach me with an offer, I would very likely turn it down. I say ‘very likely’ rather than ‘definitely’ because hey, everyone has a price 😉

I hope this post encourages some aspiring authors to take the leap!

That’s all from Vanessa in this round, but she will be back here the 30th to talk about how to introduce and write about nameless characters! 

If you wish to follow the rest of the blog tour, check out the tour itinerary for dates, links and giveaways! 

You can also follow Vanessa Finaughty to find out more about her books:
Author website
Author blog

Blog Tour Vanessa Finaughty