So…I just got back from the airport (my family dropped my cousin off) and I’m running on little sleep. I haven’t done anything today except read manga and drink coffee. Then I realized it was Tuesday. So here’s a post for you guys!

story time with melissa

I have two specific soundtracks that I like to listen to while I write. You know, to help induce the emotions in my words. During the trip to the airport, I blasted my writing music in the car. My family didn’t mind. Most of them were sleepy. Both of my brothers and my big sister took a nap on the way there.

^^^ This is the soundtrack that made me ponder this topic! ^^^

Since I couldn’t sleep, I stared out the window and simply thought. I guess since my music is associated with my writing, I couldn’t stop thinking about my characters. I thought about the problems I’ve run into during this first draft. My main character has a lot of dilemmas to solve, but should my other characters have some as well? I don’t want to overcomplicate the story, but the readers should know that the other characters are human, too.

secondary characters in your novel

Should you give them a spotlight? Do they deserve it? Do the readers even care?

In some of the anime I watch, too much time is given to secondary characters. Sometimes I get annoyed because the spotlight is taken off of the main character for so long. I don’t care much about what happens to the secondary group of people. All that matters to me is the main characters.

I didn’t want the same problem to occur in my novel. I didn’t want readers to think, I don’t care about them. I just want to know what happens to the MC!

So then I got an idea. Instead of focussing on my main character and his problems all the time, I want to incorporate an issue with another character. However, instead of what happens in some anime shows, I want to make sure that the issue directly ties in with my MC’s problem. They have to coordinate together like a team.

my conclusion

Not every character needs a story. If you’re writing a long series, than maybe the important secondary characters can have a segregated issue in their personal lives. However, if you’re writing a lone piece, I believe it’s best to keep the issues tied into one story.

What happened to this secondary character? How does it help the MC? How does it hurt the MC?

Take two friends. Give them both issues that clash and ruin their friendship. I think that’s a little more intense than breaking them up over a silly fight. This adds more complexity to your story, but be sure to use it in moderation.

So, how do you guys deal with secondary characters and their personal issues? Leave me a comment below 😀 I’d love to discover more about this topic.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Journals, Writing Advice

Melissa Torrefranca

Hello writers of the world! I'm Melissa, the founder / designer of Teen Authors Journal. Although I create blog posts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time), I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing! I'd love to learn more about all of you, so please don't hesitate to shoot me a message! 🙂

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  • This is why I’m so insistent on having multiple books in my AaW series. I want every character to mean something to the reader, I want them to recognize the emotion and humanity of others, no matter who they are. Even if the character is a jerk bag, because every villain has a motive.

  • In my case, most secondary characters I have become major characters in later parts of the series, but even if that weren’t the case I would still try to resolve some of their issues. For example, the adopted son of my antagonist (a secondary character that becomes a major character in the second book, so I guess this isn’t the best example, haha) wishes to visit his real parents again after 11 years of being away from them. However, my antagonist reveals that they died several years ago, and this causes them to argue and fight since he hid this fact from him for years and wouldn’t let him see them despite knowing they were dying when they were still alive. It’s a personal issue for him and doesn’t tie into the protagonist’s problem, but I still see it as relevant enough to write about.

    • Hmmm…interesting! I think that’s great as long as you can squeeze it into your story 🙂
      As for my story I’m trying to write it in a very condensed style, so I guess it really depends on what you’re going for. Thanks for telling me about that! Also, that sounds really brutal. Haha 😀

    • This is the same for me. In the first book of my series, I do go into detail about one of my characters, Alex. He’s not really in the first book for a lot of scenes, but he’s a main character in the second and third books. I think that it’s important to lay down the pipes for characters instead of introducing them as major characters without having established that they’re important at all. (I couldn’t think of a better way to word this, so I hope it’s coherent 😉 )

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