Taking It From the Beginning – Part 5

Secondary Characters – These characters range from brother, mother or grandmother to the wise old friend who gives sagely advise.  They are anyone who has more then a walk on part in your novel.  They can give a little spice to your work.  I love secondary characters and often give them quirks such as incredibly smart, wise guy type of humor, or devastatingly charming.

They can be beloved by the hero and/or heroine.  Which, in my work, oftentimes marks them for death.  In the manuscript I am working on for this blog, Kurt has a friend he has trained and who he trusts with his life.  Joe.  He is almost certainly marked for death.  I say this because they both fight powerful vampires, a dangerous job to begin with, but I also say this because of Kurt.  It would devastate Kurt if he failed again.  It would destroy him if he lost the only person he could depend upon.  Do you see what I mean?  Joe is only marked for death because of what it would do to Kurt, the hero, because of what Kurt would have to overcome. 

Kurt’s Uncle Bob is another secondary characters.  I could make him into someone Kurt looks to for advice.  Or maybe someone Kurt has come to despise because of what he taught him to do.  Keep in mind there can also be bad guy secondary characters. 

Secondary characters can also be hated by the hero and/or heroine.  An adversary in school, maybe.  A co-worker who they compete against for sales.  You get the picture.  Anyone with a more then glancing role in your manuscript falls under the secondary character label.

Take a look at the television shows and movies you’ve seen.  Can you come up with some secondary characters?  Often important to the plot, but not the main character.  Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.  Melanie in Gone with the Wind.  Bobby in the television show Supernatural.  Can you think of anymore?

Next time, we’ll talk about the bad guy!

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