A Minor Character Turns Into Major Writing

Writing is something I’ve loved to do for as long as I can remember, but at times it makes the brain hurt and you have to step away and relax.  It’s been two months since I last posted something on the blog and it’s due to needing a break, so that is exactly what I did.  No writing…”Well Almost” No writing!  It’s really hard for a writer not to write at all and completely disconnect.

After a fantastic summer vacation with my family, and some much needed R&R I am finally back in the swing of things and I’m getting my writing schedule back. Coming back from this two month break of writing on my book, I decided to break things down in my handy little notebook and see what notes I had been keeping and little to do’s I had tucked away. One note really stood out as it said “Not all of your characters are created equal”.  Hmmm is really the sound that I made because I couldn’t remember why I had written the note.

Lucky for me as I’m writing I make notations on my pages in the book that point back to the note I just made in my handy little notebook, just for occasions like this!  Meaning I’m forgetful and I know it, so I have to do quirky little things to help myself remember where I left off at.

The Minor Character Role

Today is really a break down of what that note meant and hopefully some good tips when writing in minor characters in a story.

First and foremost these characters make up the heart of your story so it’s also important for the readers to grab a hold of who will be important and who will not.  Major characters are the store setters and people you want to follow along with in the story right?  Well as a writer sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in writing these “Minor” characters and forget they are just placeholders at times.

So where is the dividing line between major and minor characters? There isn’t one. The different levels blend into each other, and as you master those writing techniques, you’ll be able to create and better define each minor character for the importance it holds to the story.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a background character breaking stereotype and having a little light pointed their way.  When this happens, this character is no longer part of that background group and the readers have noticed them.  They are also going to expect this character to have some growing moments in the story.

The readers may not care much about this character as he isn’t expected to play a major role in the story. He might be involved in some of the action, but he also might disappear. Still, his individuality will set a mood, add humor, make the underlying story more interesting and complete. The way to make such characters instantly memorable without leading the audience to expect them to do more is to make them eccentric, exaggerated or obsessive.

As you play around with how these minor characters stand out in the story use the ideas of making them eccentric, or exaggerate their personality or even make them some crazy obsessive compulsive jerk. Don’t be shy when writing these characters in your story!  Make sure you are also keeping track of who and where these minor characters fall in place to the storyline.  Rank them per say from least important background, through the minor characters, major characters, all the way up to the protagonist of the story!

Look at the personalities of your characters, who are they, how do they interact, are they changing as the story grows, and who will end up being a minor and major character?

Have fun, enjoy the writing, and as for myself…. I have a lot of work to do on the minor characters in my book!

Best of luck to all the writers out there!

Until next time


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