Welcome to the seventh and final post in my series of mini tips videos and blogs all about side characters. There is just one day left until the launch of 8 Steps to Side Characters. Tomorrow it will be in the hands of readers… mildly terrified! Today’s mini tip is all about the different types of side characters. Specifically, cameos, minor and major side characters. This structure will help you manage your minions going forward no matter how big your cast gets.
The final tip I’m sharing from 8 Steps to Side Characters is all about character arcs. Lots of writers get confused about who needs a character arc—spoiler alert, only your major side characters do. Second, how do you display character arcs when they don’t get as much page time as your protagonist? Easy. You create the illusion of an arc.
The basic requirements for any character arc are:
- A character needing or wanting something
- Not being able to get said thing
- Changing or doing something in order to…
- Get the thing!
With major side characters you can show them early on wanting “the thing”, then perhaps have a scene in the middle where they grapple with changing to get the thing, and then a final scene near the end where they either do or don’t get the thing they wanted. Or perhaps they realise they didn’t want it after all. That’s it. It’s enough to create the illusion of depth.
Bonus points go to writers that can make side character arcs interact with and connect to the protagonist’s arc.
If you would like to dive into more detail about side character arcs as well as how to create them effectively, then you can by pre-ordering 8 Steps to Side Characters.
Pre-order the textbook here:
Pre-order the workbook here:
Want to order signed copies of Side Characters, then use this link:
Submit your pre-order proof here to be in with a chance of winning a bundle of goodies and to get a sneak peek look at the first 25 pages: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1IYhFhlu9vBSwell2J2tSwtIdxXMEYp-MVF-cvzixeNu22Q/viewform?usp=sf_link