Silver Dagger Book Tours


I am doing a book tour with Silver Dragon June 14 to July 14.
https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/death-southern-style-tour-sign-ups

Friday, January 18, 2019

Love Those Secondary Characters


Our first Group Blog of the New Year and it’s a great one. How do you develop secondary characters? Do you even have a favorite secondary character?
I thought I’d start with the definition.  The secondary character is more than just a minor character and is responsible for progressing the story in some way. He or she is necessary to the story because this character reveals key details, motivates the protagonist, foils the protagonist, or helps define the story’s setting. The secondary character almost always interacts with the protagonist on some level, be it through dialogue or a memory that the protagonist has of this secondary character. They help us show, not tell.

I develop mine much like I do my main characters but with less detail. I decide who needs a friend or someone to talk to, someone who helps move the story forward. Then I do a little back story, a description, some personality traits and some good and bad points. I may not write about any of it, but it helps get the feel of the secondary character. As with the main characters, I get to know them better as the story progresses, but as secondary characters I write them a little looser and can have fun with them. I was once warned not to like them too much, or they could take over the story.
Hmm, a favorite secondary character… I love Gran in my Hawkins’ Ranch series. She’s the matriarch of the family and a busy body, who moves a lot of the stories forward, especially the romance part. And Betty, who owns the Diner which is gossip center, and she knows everything and loves the townspeople. And from the Foundation, The Fourth Victim, there’s Link Stone, (for entirely different reasons) the security officer and Carly’s semi-bodyguard, but he’s being elevated in the next book. I’m looking forward to reading what other authors have to say. Please join me by checking them out.

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Margaret Fieland
http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Helena Fairfax
http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Dr. Bob Rich
https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1tC
Fiona McGier
http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Judith Copek
http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Rhobin L Courtright
http://www.rhobincourtright.com/

10 comments:

  1. Beverley, I am currently judging a contest, and I wish several of the entrants had read this post from you, particularly about keeping a character's dossier for the author only. Isn't it disruptive when a new person comes on stage, and a voice from outside gives the relevant resume?

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    1. You're so right, Bob. That voice from the outside pulls a reader right out of the story. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Good post. Excellent reminder that even when a character has a detailed backstory only the parts that impact either the plot or the main character should appear to the reader.

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  3. Good advice, Beverley. I like to know a lot about my secondary characters, but it's very true the story can't dwell on them too much.

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    1. Thanks, Rhobin. They are 'secondary' characters but you still have to get to know them.

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  4. My problem is that once I create the secondary characters, they tend to insist on being the star of my next book! I get so fond of them, I can't say no! That's how I keep ending up with a series, when I only meant to write one book!

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    1. :) And I guess that's why so many of them ending up with their own book. Thanks, for dropping by, Fiona.

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  5. I thought your definition of secondary characters was spot on! Busybodies make good secondary characters because they know a lot. . . of secrets. And often they seem harmless.

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    1. I love your comment on busybodies, Judy. They are perfect secondary characters.

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