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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Secondary Characters

Today’s subject is about book characters. We all know how it goes. The main character in a book is the one whose story we follow, and as writers, the one we try to establish and make the reader care about him or her. He/she is the core of the book we are creating or the book we are reading, but our focus should not be on the main character all the time. A story consists of more characters, which are playing an important role too.

It is common for the main one to have a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a sister or a brother, which is the closest person to them and so the reader becomes attached with those characters too. Hence, the reader cares for the same persons that the main character cares. But, what about the new characters that show themselves in the process of a book? How we feel as readers and writers about them?

As a reader, I must admit that I wasn’t cool when a new character appeared in a story that I already knew the faces and their personalities. It was like he was invading in a community that I cared about and I didn’t like that. The first time I felt that way, was with Sydney in the Vampire Academy series, but then, I end up liking her.

Finally I “made my peace” with these type of characters when I started writing my own novels.

While I was creating my first complete work, DAZED, I felt the need to add more characters than the main ones and frankly I had to do it or else I wouldn’t have a story. It was hard doing so because I had to write about unknown characters. That was my first thought about them! The main one and everyone around her, was plain in my mind, but those secondary characters were tough! I felt them like unknown persons that I have to know, care about and make them a piece of my reality for those months I was writing.   

At first I was hesitating on how much info I should write and how long would be the part of the book about them, but slowly I started to care more about them. Now, after those months that I have finished DAZED I can say for sure that I am glad I put those characters in and every one of them is the same to me. There can’t be a book without secondary characters and as the story goes on they might end up playing a key role in the story. They come really handy!

Now, I find it fascinate to write or read about a new character, to see the baby steps as he/she tries to fit in the story and draw attention. My second book has more secondary characters, but since it will have a sequel, who knows…some of them might end up in the center of attention. And that’s another thing that I end up loving with those characters. They have a mystery floating around them, which may or may not, lead you somewhere.

Did you feel that way too about secondary characters? Was it easy to create them or read about them? Please, share with me your experiences and thoughts. 


  1. In series secondary characters are easier for me to begin to like. In stand-alones they are less common & where they are I have to try & remind myself it should annoy me as much as when people walk down the street & I don't know everything about them.

    1. For me it is the opposite. In series I get annoyed in the beginning. :) Until I get used of them.
      Thanks a lot for the comment.

    2. In series I'm only annoyed if they become an antagonist. In which case I'm like... I UNDERESTIMATED THEM! Nooo :'(
      Just gonna leave my blog link incase anyone wants to vote on my poll in the sidebar -->

    3. I voted.:)
      But I haven't read any of them. Just the synopsis of some. Hpe it was helpful.

  2. I used to have problems creating secondary characters, but I discovered that when writing my series, I didn't have much problem again. I realized that these secondary characters, like the main character, have their own life and voice. And like you said, I believe that without them there is no story, or the story will be very boring.

    There are times when I've even loved my secondary characters more than my main character.

    My most loved secondary character in a series is Minho from James Dashner's THE MAZE RUNNER.

    1. You said it perfectly..."they have their own life and voice." It took me a while to get used to it, but when I did...I loved those characters too.
      Thanks for stopping by.