There is usually one main character in a book. However, without minor characters, the true inner feelings and actions of the major character can’t come out and he is only words on a page. Through the interaction of all the characters, the personalities come out. Unlike real people where you can physically see the person, in a book the characters have to be real in the mind of the reader. And not everyone has to see the character in the same light. Most of us will visualize the character based on the description given but also incorporate features and values from people in our own lives.
When developing characters I try to make them opposite yet complementary to each other. That gives more variety to the story and allows me to take the theme in various directions, giving more reality to the characters. In my book, Alex comes from a small rural community in Minnesota where everyone knows each other. Leslie, on the other hand, comes from a wealthy banking family in Connecticut. Two people from different backgrounds yet they come together in perfect unison with each other. Both are strong people yet complement each other.
It is also important not to give away the end of the story before you get there, so the “bad” characters have to appear “good” until the right moment when their other personality comes out, always keeping the reader in suspense.
What are your opinions on minor characters? Who are your favorites whether created or from popular media? Comment them down below to start a discussion. You may also send your thoughts via my Twitter or through my Facebook page.
Author, The Mosquito Bites