HH Sivarama Swami uses fictional characters depicted in Krishna Lila as a literary tool. This makes for a very interesting case study. Sivarama Maharaja writes (in Na Paraye 'Ham):
"In the end I settled on the story of Śyāmalatā, the narrator gopī, who speaks to the reader and to Nava-sakhī, a newly arrived recruit to Kṛṣṇa's bhauma-līlā. The first poetic license, therefore, was to introduce the fictional characters Śyāmalatā and Nava-sakhī."
[PADA: Really? Fictional characters are needed for poetic license. Who issues these licenses? ys pd]