Tag Archive - secondary characters

Add a Bit of Romance to Your Novel

There are three basic secondary character role types in novels, and we’ve looked at the first two: the nemesis or antagonist and the ally or reflection character. You may not have one or both types in your novel, but if you can find places for them, it’s likely (with most plots and genres) that your novel will be better for it.

Novels are like slices of real life, and just as we have people in our lives who act as friends or foes, our protagonist should have similar people in her life. What I’ve been emphasizing while exploring these character types is the need to avoid slipping into stereotype. This is a big problem in may stories, whether movies or novels. The ally or nemesis is so predictable and cookie-cutter, we can almost predict what they are going to say and do at every turn. Continue Reading…

Characters in Novels That Are Allies and Reflections

We’ve been looking at secondary characters in novels these past few weeks, and there is so much more to say about them. However, since we have six more key pillars of novel construction to cover the rest of this year, I’m only taking what I feel is a somewhat cursory glance at this very important pillar.

To me, characters are everything, and I put a lot of emphasis on creating complex, believable characters. And this is especially true when it comes to populating a novel with the three main types of secondary characters. Continue Reading…

The Nemesis Character Type in Your Story

Novels need a cast of characters, and developing rich secondary characters is a pillar of novel construction that cannot be ignored.

In this post and my next one, we’re going to take a look at the three basic types of characters in the supporting cast for your novel. You might have many secondary characters that play these roles, but there are three basic types—meaning, these characters serve a specific purpose in relation to your protagonist.

As I’ve said repeatedly, novels are centered on a protagonist pursuing some visible goal, and this group of characters appears in the novel to impact that in some way. But characters, just like real people, aren’t always so simply defined in motive, purpose, or intent. Continue Reading…

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