Of course, with any good story, comes the side characters to support it.
Let me put it like this:
Support walls are taken for granted until the ceiling falls in.
Now the image is in your head of your side characters (that you most likely haven’t created yet), are stuck in a wall, I’d just like to say, welcome back to Week Four of Boot Camp.
You seem to be shaping up very nicely.
You’re story is slowly starting to come along, and now we’ve reached a key part.
If you couldn’t tell-it’s our side characters, the important best-friend, but not the main character.
Of course, every story has the following Side character:
The best friend.
However, your story has to hold more then these two bits of information, so let’s explore the world of creating your characters.
1. Start with the supportive role-the Best Friend
Or at the very least, the key influencial person in your main character’s life.
Try to pick out traits that your character doesn’t posses, and add them into the story. Perhaps your main character is a bit more impulsive, however the advice-giving character would most likely be a little bit more thought out, or perhaps it’s the other way around, either way, make sure that there is a chance for conflict, even if the characters lack that later on the story-this gives a few opportunities to help cut back on writer’s block, if need be.
2. Note the Important Characteristics
While you won’t need to know specifically if your Supporting-side-role is a Crest toothpaste fan, or not (unless you have a seen for that, planned, in which case, I chime in to say the whitening tooth paste does not, in fact, work), you will need to have an idea of characteristics that stick out in the character’s personality, such as being an eternal optimist, or having a dog fetish (I NEED TO KNOW, for scientific reasons, of course).
3. Don’t forget the negative traits – Just to sprinkle in the drama….
*spills vat of quarks and qualms into character*
Make certain that the side characters aren’t just very wise, and incredibly in tune with emotions and life itself. (Or in some stories cases, completely ignorant with a splash of annoying). Perhaps you’re character is an eternal optimist, toward everyone else, however, they make self-deprecating jokes. Or they are incredibly confident, and have a tendency to be over baring.The choice is yours, just avoid over-exaggerating.
4. Don’t be afraid to give your side-characters as much depth as your main character. Harry Potter wouldn’t have been as good with Dumbledore, or the Weasley twins. The same concept goes for Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Little Women.
5. Build a back story for your character. It can be easy to let it slip by (or even over build), a back story for your side character. Perhaps their parents are divorced, or they have a good home life, but something is still holding them back? Why is that?
*To avoid over-building, try to get the basics, but don’t go from age one to their current age, as nice as it might be, you’re characters side characters also should not take up ALL or even a majority of the story. This could also be helpful, should you decide that you want to write a book surrounding a side character.
Okay, now this is just a general run-down of how to build your side characters, understand that they aren’t an under-rated main character, they’re just as important.
I expect to see you back next week, ready to take on the next part of this boot camp.