Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday on Secondary Characters

Or: Wednesday (KT) suggested this idea so I don't really have a subtitle.

Alrighty, how about a quick definition so we all know what I mean.

Main characters: The people who are in your books the most. A lot of the time people will use main character and narrator (the person telling the book) interchangeably but I personally believe you can have main characters who don't narrate anything. For me, most of the love interests (that's a weird phrase) in my books are also main characters because they're important. (The romance in my books is kind of a big thing.)

Secondary characters: This one is harder for me to define. I want to go with the lazy way and say, "Everyone else," but I googled and came up with this: Minor or secondary characters are ones that are necessary to populate the story believably. They play a supporting role rather than a central role in the story. Many secondary characters are non-essential - the story could still exist without those characters (although they probably make it more interesting or believable.) Some secondary characters may have a permanent and essential role in the story.

SO. I like that and I'm lazy so I'm going to say that works as a definition.

One of my books would have the narrator and her love interest (or... interests... depending on the book) and those would be my main characters. My secondary characters could be their friends, siblings, parents, and whoever's trying to kill them. (*cough* Not that that's a thing in my books or anything.)

I do struggle with this, though. It's hard for me sometimes to figure out how people act if I'm not in their head telling their story in their voice. (Which is why I suck at third person.) But I'm trying to work on that and to write my secondary characters so they have their own distinct personalities, quirks, and issues.

So how do you guys deal with writing secondary characters? Any tips?

Peace and cookies,