I’ve written a guest post about secondary characters in fiction and why they’re so vital in any story.
Eric J Gates hosts me in his brilliant thriller blog. I picked one of my favourite topic: secondary characters in fiction. In fact, there’s no Batman without Robin, no Harry without Ron & Hermione, no Sherlock without Watson. In fiction, endless examples of minor characters explain why main characters can’t survive without minor ones.
I listed a number of different reasons why readers love so much secondary characters and why authors need to take care about minor characters as much as the main heroes. This is a quick preview of my post on Eric’s blog.
Secondary characters provide tridimensionality.
My mystery stories would lose their genuine nature if I haven’t develop my main character’s neighbourhood, which is populated by typical Italian inhabitants and gives the reader a truly experience of Italy. The world around Chase Williams takes life not only with descriptions and colours, but also thanks to the background characters who talk and interact with him.
The only danger here is to fall into stereotypes, but that’s easily fixable by spending a bit of time defining the minor characters in details – doesn’t matter if you include all their specifications in your stories; once you have sketched the characters, you know what to say about them and what to elude.
In two sentences: background characters hold up the novels and allow readers to explore beyond the main plot. That is basically how spin-offs are created… and I guess I will talk about that very soon.