Tag Archive - secondary characters

The Cast of Characters in a Novel

Last week we started looking at secondary characters in a novel. I often see characters populating a story that seemed to be tossed in for no apparent reason. At least no reason that ties in with the main plot—which is about the protagonist of the novel trying to reach some visible goal.

Sure, life is interesting when you have interesting people around you. But we shouldn’t be writing novels just to showcase fascinating characters. Novels should be keenly focused, and those secondary characters, however colorful or intriguing, play a specific role. Continue Reading…

Secondary Characters with Their Own Needs

We’re now getting into another one of my favorite topics—secondary characters. This pillar in your novel is so important, it could almost be a corner support pillar. In this course exploring the 12 key pillars of novel construction, we’ve spent time looking at your main character—your protagonist—and we’ve dabbled a little into the role secondary characters play in your story. But there is so much more.

Needless to say, I could write an entire book on secondary characters. And I’ve written some very deep, explorative blog posts about them (which I highly encourage you to read here, here, and here). Continue Reading…

Create Key Moments with Secondary Characters

Before we move away from characters for a while, I’d like to get you thinking a bit more about those secondary characters. My aim in this blog is to help you zoom in on the heart of your story, and in last week’s post I gave a scenario that showed how you can make your protagonist and supporting character clash by having their goals, needs, and fears be opposites to some degree. That’s just one way you can not only bring your secondary characters to life but also enhance your overall theme. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m big on themes, and I believe books with well-explored themes can have great impact on the reader. So as you consider your secondary characters and create their lives and personalities, think of a problem they come to face as the book unfolds that will tie in with the theme. Continue Reading…

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