Is There Importance in Minor Character Development?
320 R Student
In every short story, anecdote, and novel there are characters – both major and minor. In order to have an engaging plot and a story line, characters need to take action, change, and most importantly engage readers.
Characters have potential to make or break a story, and the relatability of the characters is what creates lasting characters. What is it that sets minor characters apart from each other and makes them memorable?
Minor characters can help propel the protagonist into the next part of the story. Whether it is through meeting one of these characters, or dealing with the aftermath of their actions, the protagonist is affected by the actions of others. Minor characters offer the author an opportunity to throw the main character off track. If the main character doesn’t have anything to hinder their behavior, why is there a story? A minor character should never be introduced without a purpose of some kind and each one should be developed enough to be important to the protagonist. Without a purpose the character can literally be considered “fluff” and should be cut from the story.
Minor characters can, in fact, be crucial to the plot line. For example, in the novel Avalon High by Meg Cabot, the main character Ellie is given background and the reader feels a part of her story. Her friend Jennifer however is not as developed but still pushes the plot forward. Her presence in the novel is important for Ellie to become the kind of character she needs to be.
A minor character can influence the story line without actually doing anything. In the novel Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen, Macy is still effected by her father even though he dies before the story begins. Even though he isn’t actively doing anything in the story, his presence propels Macy into different spaces in the novel.
Minor character development is important to the novel, as long as it remains in a supporting role to the main character. This doesn’t mean the minor characters shouldn’t be unique or stand out from other characters. The ultimate role for a minor character is to support the main character.
“Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.” Who said that? One of my favorites–John Steinbeck. Feeling a little like a clown? A trained seal? Are you writing every day? Reaching your goal? What would John think?
I’m afraid John would be disappointed in me. (Sigh)
While I don’t think I will accomplish as much as I had hoped with my specialized NaNo goals, I do think I will get 2/3 of the way done. And that, for me, is good.
My problems? I always allow something to get in the way of my writing. During NaNo week and other times, too.
People always ask me when i get writing done and I always say, “I don’t know.” And I don’t.
One good kiss scene, that’s all we ask. Today’s the day! Write it out. Have fun.
This will inspire emotion for a scene. Beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s a little bit long, but well worth the time.