Your Cast of Characters


Casting characters for your novel is an interesting process. You have your main characters and supporting characters, and each must be unique. It doesn’t work if your heroine and her best friend are carbon copies of each other. Not only is it boring, but also completely unrealistic. People are different, no matter how much you have in common with someone. Everyone has their own quirks and idiosyncrasies that makes them unique.

When catching up on the newest episodes of Downton Abbey this week (thank goodness it’s back), I started thinking about how many different story lines they have had since the beginning of the show. Each one of the characters is different. The story lines have been woven together to tell each person’s story in a way that keeps us invested. They may all live under the same roof, but their personalities are each well developed and one of a kind.

All of the characters are flawed and even the evil Mr. Barrow has had moments where I hoped he would find his HEA. To me, that is good writing. Characters are complex and each will have some measure of good and many flaws, but that’s what makes them relatable and human.

So, when I write I want to make my characters believable. I want to give them grace and flaws. I want them to be relatable and I want each character to be unique. That is my goal. I think trying to weave a cast of characters as large as Downton’s in the average novel would be a mistake, but I do think having a few well developed characters makes for a well rounded story.

The writers of the show have not only tuned into the era, but tuned into the audience. Those of us who love this show are also fans of Austen, any period in which a man was either a gentleman or a rake, and BBC in general. I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long between seasons.

Now if I can just capture that in my writing. I wouldn’t mind hearing “I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long for Jennifer’s next book to release.”

Do you watch Downton Abbey? Who’s your favorite character and why?

You can find me online at

Thanks for reading.

Jennifer Senhaji


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