…when minor characters loom large in an Author’s narratives…

…there’s no doubt major characters in a novel carry the storyline to the reader-at-large… the confluence of their highs and lows (in the scribblers’ jargon – ‘the crisis – the solution – the next crisis – the subsequent solution, ad inforeverum’) are the meat and drink of most dramas… but, right here, I must ‘fess up… the delight in having lesser lights intrude is important to this ol’ Jurassic writer… it’s more than just the scrivener’s equivalent of wallpaper music in the  elevator, or the colour of the restaurant’s backdrop… the insertion of wee players at pivotal points in my books relieves the main characters from having do everything themselves to move the chapters along… more often as not, they can also provide much needed humorous interludes in an otherwise heavy-duty regimen… Master Billy Shakespeare was an expert in doing so… tragi-comedies are built on such techniques… but I digress… to be credible, the minor players, in my not-so-‘umble opinion, require every bit of fleshing out, and paradoxically, possibly even more so than major characters, because frequently they are in the plot for a specific purpose(s), and their actions must relate to the personality background I create for them… in two of my Jack Calder crime thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and DEADLY IMPASSE, I feature Rico Sanchez, a Mexican undercover operative in South America… although a supposedly minor name in the novels, he has significant impact on the outcome in each of these stories… the danger with minor characters is at least two-fold… first of all, to avoid typecasting… and more importantly p’raps for an author, not falling in LUV with having them in the story… at some stage, I had to devise means of extracting him from the books… not an easy task, I assure yeez… Rico is only one example of many who pop their heads in occasionally, and I generally greet them like friends who only visit at intervals… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!







Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

11 responses to “…when minor characters loom large in an Author’s narratives…

  1. They may not have a lot to do or a lot of backstory, but we (the writer) still need to know everything about them! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree completely, Seumas. These small spear carriers can be so useful. And a good way to bid them farewell after their work is done, is to honor them with heroic deaths.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Seumas’ advice on using minor characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
    Seumas Gallacher shares some of his writing experience. Thank you, Seumas. You’re great. We love to learn how it’s done!

    Liked by 1 person

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