Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked about your protagonist and your antagonist, and why it is important that these be three dimensional, well-developed characters. This week on the podcast, we focus on side characters, and the importance of making them seem “real” to the reader.
Sometimes a babysitter is just a babysitter. But, sometimes, the babysitter shows up later in the book to save your heroine from a burning building. Imagine if we, as a reader, know nothing about the sitter other than her hourly rate until the moment she shows up to the scene of the fire, the actions she takes might seem out of place. Worse, your reader may “catch on,” understanding instinctively that you needed someone to save your character, and since your hero was off battling with the antagonist, you, the writer, panicked, and inserted the “teenager saves the day” plot line.
I’m not saying you can’t have a side character play an important part in your novel, but I am saying it’s important that characters with arc-impacting action seem just as real to your readers as that beloved heroine we are desperate to see spared from the inferno.
So, how does one accomplish the feat of Scribing Superlative Side Characters?
The Secret is in this week’s episode.
See you there,