Welcome to the first in a series of mini tips videos and blogs all about side characters. There are just seven days left until the launch of 8 Steps to Side Characters, so I’ll be sharing a mini tip from the book everyday until launch. Today, I’m asking and answering the question, what are side characters?
I love analogies to help clarify and explain concepts. One of my favorites for defining side characters is the comparison of story to body. If your book is a body, then your protagonist is the heart, the theme is the soul and your side characters are the arteries feeding your protagonist-heart.
Side characters are the arteries in a protagonist-heart, they are new perspectives and viewpoints, conflict generators, and subplot fulfillers. When you get to the sticky innards of a story and its characters, all characters are the embodiment of the idea behind your story. In other words, your theme.
They manage this by drawing theme into reality through engaging in conversation, action, and obstacles all based on that theme. Characters are a metaphor that make the idea and concept of theme real to us. It is through the detail of character actions, emotions, and interactions that we come to understand what theme really means.
Look at it like this—if your book and theme were a math equation, the protagonist would be the solution. The antagonist would be the wrong answer and your side characters would be the workings out or alternative solutions you discarded along the way.
If you want to learn more about what side characters are and how to embody your book’s theme in your side characters, then pre-order your copy of 8 Steps to Side Characters today. There’s only 7 days to go until launch…Pre-order today and if you submit your proof, you can get a sneak peek of the first 25 pages of the book before anyone else. AND you’ll also be in with a chance to win a bundle of paperback books and goodies.
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