Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The supporting cast

As engaging individual of society, we unknowingly seek out certain individuals that complete us. There is the practical one, the person that you can count on when you want to listen to reason. There is the trouble maker, the little devil propped on your shoulder that tells you that you can do anything. This is the person that lowers our inhibitions and allows us to take chances. Then there is the needy one of the group. This person needs something and oftentimes you are rewarded by helping him out. There is the counselor. This person is the one everyone goes to for advice. You call this person when you feel down and need a bit of inspiration. Then there is the clown. The person you could always count on to make you laugh. I’m sure throughout your lifespan you will have known at least one person in each category, if not been one yourself to different people. You surround yourself with people like this because it completes you.

When choosing my supporting cast, I make sure they also complete my main character. When choosing your supporting cast, it is important to consider how that person will affect your MC and how your MC will be impacted by that supporting character.

When I write my first draft, I always pause to consider my supporting cast. Some sprout out of nothing and have to be erased, sorry to say. I realize they don’t have a purpose in the story. My MC may not need them. Others sprout out and they are keepers. They are the ones that will impact my MC and keep the story moving forward.

Some of my favorite supporting characters are:

     Han Solo, Star Wars.
     Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings.
     Hermoine and Ron—Harry Potter.

Who are some of your favorite supporting characters?


  1. I don't know if you're familiar with Lois McMaster Bujold's space opera Vorkosigan series -- but the main character Miles Vorkosigan has the most astounding cast of supporting characters imaginable. Miles is pretty much of a hoot himself -- a hyper-active little squirt who get himself killed halfway through the series, but even that doesn't stop him. His supporting cast consists of a handsome and obnoxious cousin, female sidekicks all taller than he is, a fat, tormented clone brother -- and even his enemies are memorable.

  2. I'm not familiar with it. I'm going to look it up. Thanks for sharing. I love stories with characters to remember.

  3. What a wonderful point of view. Supportive characters not only 'support' the story, driving the plot and subplots, but also color and lift up--or put down, whichever the case may be--the MC. ";-)

  4. I love supporting characters; they're fun and they round out the story, make it more real.

    Some of my favorites? Well, don't forget Pippin and Merry, if not for them who knows what Saruman would've got up to. And Lyra's friend, Roger in the Golden Compass, without whom Lyra would never have had an adventure.


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