Monday, 12 September 2016

The Importance of Secondary/Minor Characters - Guest Post by Savannah Grace

Heyo everyone. As you hopefully read from the title, [cue everyone going back and actually reading that monstrosity of a very-long title] today I have a wonderful friend here to do a guest post!!!

Welcome to Savannah! *cheers and applaudations*

Now, I would give you a link to her blog and all because it's such a fun place of epicness, but unfortunately it's also private. So it would kinda be pointless.


Equally unfortunately, that means you don't get to read the guest post I did for her (which was called '20 Fun Facts about Down Under and the Inhabitants Thereof' just in case you were curious). If anyone feels terribly eager to read it, do say so and I might post it here as well.

Now, I say Savannah is a 'friend' but to be honest, I've never met her, or talked to her in person, or anything. Don't worry! I'm fairly sure she's a legit human being--oh sorry. Actually, she tells me she's an orphaned elf from Middle Earth.

That figures, I guess.

She and I 'met' over Camp NaNo and have been great buddies ever since. She's a very epic person. And I am very pleased to welcome her to my blog!

I'd better stop rambling now and hand it over to her, and see what she's got to say about the Importance of Secondary and Minor Characters.

[Enter Savannah]

  Harry Potter. Lord Of The Rings. Star Wars. The Hobbit.

   What character do you think of when you hear those words? Most likely the names Frodo, Harry Potter, Bilbo, and Luke Skywalker came to your mind. The main characters – pretty much the stars of the show.

   But honestly, the stars of those shows would probably be DEAD if it wasn’t for side characters (sorry, sorry, just had to point that out).

   I’m here today to discuss the importance of secondary/minor characters and how to use them + not use them.
 Don't you love the pic Savannah made? It looks so...I dunno...American. :D

1. Without them … well, you have no cast. Whatsoever, really.
   Guess that makes a pretty good first point, doesn’t it?  

   So, um … who else REALLY doesn’t want to read a story with only ONE character? Come on, what fun would that be? Without Secondary and minor characters, you have NO cast of characters! And without a cast of characters, you have a very bland story.

   I don’t think I want to read a bland story, thank you very much.

2. They’re an extra POV/pair of hands
   If you’re writing a very huge novel, there’s a good chance that you won’t be in your main character’s head the ENTIRE time. There will probably be a couple places where the scene is from a different character’s head.

   And that doesn’t work without a side character now, does it?    

   Of course, they’re also useful when you need two things to happen at once in two very different places. Send the side character off to place B and main character to place A.

   Problem solved.

3. They’re help (or company) for the main character
   Could YOU make it through life all on your own? You couldn’t. I’ll just tell you that.

   And your main character can’t either – trust me.

   Your main character will probably need a friend … and maybe mentor-ish kind of character … or siblings and parents … you know, all the works.  Or half the works, whatever works for you *shrugs*.

4. Don’t have the secondary save the day
   YEAH you don’t want to do that. The main character is supposed to save the day, not a secondary character. Sure, we’ll like the secondary a lot (or you’d at least hope we do), but we’re really rooting for the main character.
   For instance, what if Hermione had killed Voldemort instead of Harry (you know, somehow …)? I for one do not think that J. K. Rowling’s fans would have been pleased (she might end up with a bunch of Muggles yelling at her very loudly). Or what if Pippin had destroyed the Ring instead of Frodo?

   Secondary characters can do a lot of great things, but don’t turn them into the main character.

5. Secondary characters can have plots of their own
   Ever heard of this funny little thing called subplots? Well yeah, you need side characters for those (most of the time).

   And what fun is a story without one of two little subplots? I literally can’t think of one story I’ve read that doesn’t have subplots, can you?

   A story definitely become more full when you add subplots (just don’t add too many – then it’s simply overwhelming). Secondarys help with that.

   SO yeah. There’s a peek into my brain.

   *looks over post* *realizes … it wasn’t actually very helpful* *shrugs* *uses it anyways*

   *exits stage*

Don't ask why I put it in Spanish...Random impulse, and it looked cool. :D

So there we are! Thanks again Savannah for the guest post, it was great fun.

I hope you all enjoyed it, and maybe even learnt something. (More use than mine was, unless you wanted to learn about the randomness of me)

(Just wanted to mention, Savannah and I blew our brains up attempting to work out our American/Aussie time zones so we could publish the guest posts at the same time...So I published this at 10am Monday, and she did it at 7pm Sunday. [cue a few more brains exploding at how that even works] It took us a while to work it out. :P)

And...I think that's basically it!

Don't forget, that if you want to read the guest post thing that I did for Savvy, just ask, and if there's enough of you wanting it I'll post it here as well.  

Fair Winds!

|| Jane Maree ||


  1. I want to read you post too! Pleeeeeeeeeeasseeeeee

    And this was a cool post by Savvy too.

    1. Haha okay! :D

      And yeah, I liked it too!

    2. Thank ya, Clare! I had fun writing it :D. And thanks for letting me post here, Jane! It was tons of fun *nods*.

  2. I for one would LOVE to see the guest post you did about Australia!

  3. This was such a good post! It really helped, regardless of if she thought so or not!;D It made me really want to hone in and figure out my secondary characters as well as my MC's!;)

    1. I'm so glad you liked it. I thought it was pretty cool, and really true - without good minor characters you've just got a cliche MC who does absolutely everything. :)


I love getting comments so don't hesitate to tap one out! (doesn't even have to be in Morse Code)

And I always reply to them, so don't forget to check back!