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Characters > What about Secondary Characters?

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message 1: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Secondary Characters: "Your Friends and Neighbors"

Using Your Friends: Your secondary characters are often your friends and family, only funnier (blonder, bitchier, dumber, etc). Just don’t make them carbon copies. Even more often, they are a mix of several people. (At least make her unrecognizable to herself)

*Only have a few characters for your Main Star to come into contact with so you can fully develop them. There needs to be REASON for each one's presence. Not just because you know them or they screwed you. *Everyone must relate in some, believable way. What brings you together? What pulls you apart? How did you meet? What do you fight about? Why do some people get you and others never will. Your goal as the author is to "get" your characters.

*Avoid Clichés* I.e. the Bitchy boss; the jerk ex-boyfriend. Make them a little different, your own.

*Use an Edited Version of the Character Sketch*

*Try to create “Nutshell Moments” for each character. What experience quickly defines them on various levels? Ex. The kid who memorized the first 14 digits of Pi who is still able to recite them ten years later.

*Make your characters unique! No two characters should respond to the same event in the same way. Give them their own quirks and identifying trademarks.
*Men and women react very differently in real life. Try not to be stereotypical.
*Don’t make them all sound like children of celebrities. At the same time don’t name them all Mary, Mike, Mark and Mickey.

*Exercise: Make a Family Tree.
- Main character in the middle, surround by secondary characters.
- Make a line connecting each character to the main character and how and why they are connected.
- Draw lines between the secondary characters and explain how and why they know each other and what they think of each other.


message 2: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Some different thoughts on creating characters.....

Create likable characters. While chick lit is edgy and has been called “fiction with attitude,” the main character needs to be likable. Making her too strong may turn off an agent or editor, and you’ll receive a rejection notice.

“As long as the characters live and breathe, not an awful lot need happen. Don’t get too complex.” ~ Freya North

“Dialogue is a great way of showing character — a gushy person might say “darling” a lot, an older person will speak differently from a younger person. When a man doesn’t say much it adds to his mystique.” ~ Fiona Walker

“The trick to making your characters sound different is to bury yourself really deeply in their head. Become them. Think like they would thinks. Speak like they would speak. Use words they would use. Today we're going to focus on using POV to make your characters stand out from each other.” ~ Stephanie Rowe


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