Minor characters matter, too.

For something more uplifting and useful to fiction writers than anything I’m capable of producing today, read this post by Hannah Givens at Things Matter.

“They [well-developed minor characters] indicate that your world is full of real people pursuing their own lives, rather than just painted backdrops for your heroes to pass through.”

Love and respect your minor characters.  You never know who’ll turn out to be an important character for some other story.  🙂

 

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About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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6 Responses to Minor characters matter, too.

  1. hannahgivens says:

    Thanks for the link! This is probably the first time I’ve ever been called “uplifting.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. awjo1991 says:

    So true!! Sometimes, when I reach a particular point toward the end, I think, I need some character here to do this and that and blah blah blah.

    It’s always easier to bring back a minor character than create a new one sometimes, and if done right, it really works for the reader. At least I think it does. I feel like as I reader, I would think “Oh! I remember this character from earlier. Who knew they would end up here!” Something like that.

    Sometimes, it’s those little things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let’s see … in the prelude historical novel that’s my WIP, two of its POV characters were already long since dead in my first book (how much more minor can you get?), but the things they had done had had great influence on the life of a main character from the first novel. The third POV character is all new, but despite the history of the first two, it looks as if he is the MC.

    In the sequel to the first book, the old main characters assume secondary roles, while an old secondary becomes one of two main characters. The second main character is entirely new, although his back story is that he happens to be the son of a minor character in the first novel.

    Does any of that make sense? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. svrtnsse says:

    I strongly agree with this. Deep and meaningful heroes are all well and good, but to add a sense of depth to the world it needs to be inhabited with real people. They’ll need to have their own issues and agendas and while it’s not necessarily important how those are resolved, it’s important that they’re there.

    One interesting example of this comes from World of Wacraft. Anyone who’s ever played a Horde character will likely have come across Mankrik, who’s looking for his wife. It’s a short quest chain in one of the earlier zones and it has little to no outcome on anything else in the world.
    But, even then, Mankrik managed to become somewhat famous (because his wife was really hard to find) and he started making cameos in other places in the game. He still didn’t do anything important, but he showed up and was a name to be recognized, and it added a little extra something. It’s that feeling of recognition when you go “oh, cool, here’s that guy again, I remember him”

    I’m sure there are other great examples from other stories, and games, as well. The one above was the one that came to mind as it’s the most recent one I encountered.

    Liked by 1 person

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