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Do your characters go from extras to stars?


JamesSavik

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They stand out and are no longer extras. They become leading roles because of the strength of their personality or because they are compelling.

 

Have you ever created a character that just stepped up and became a star?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well..., I haven't completed many stories, but I have tons of story ideas.  I do have plenty of character who started out as supporting character who I think they're going to steal the thunder of the MC....

 

An unpublished story I wrote (which has twelve chapters), during draft stage, there was one chapter dedicated to one of the supporting characters.  I ended up deleting that chapter because 1) it deviates from the main story line, 2) it has POV shifts issue, 3) the tone is too dark (it was about why this guy is quiet the way he was in the story, and it contains some very iffy topics than the simple love story that the main story is).  But that's one example of one of my "extra" characters ended up having his own chapter.

 

The story I will be writing later on, I think I'll give some characters more chapters than I originally planned for, due to more emotional complexity I am giving them.  They're no longer props to continue the plot....  They're actually pivotal characters.

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I have.  His name is Bryce and he was supposed to be some comedic relief, but he ended up practically taking over the story and almost becoming the main character.  Funny how that works.  :D

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It's sort of happened. I had a secondary character named Priest in A Cook's Tale that only had one real scene and everyone seemed to love him and wanted more. When I thought about it, I realized how much potential he had, so now my next story in the series will make him a major player.

 

Who knew?

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They stand out and are no longer extras. They become leading roles because of the strength of their personality or because they are compelling.

 

Have you ever created a character that just stepped up and became a star?

 

Absolutely.  I suspect that is one of the things that occupies my readers' minds, wondering if this supporting character will bloom into a major player, or if he will remain in a support role. :devil:

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Absolutely.  I suspect that is one of the things that occupies my readers' minds, wondering if this supporting character will bloom into a major player, or if he will remain in a support role. :devil:

  

      Very true. Your biggest example of this has to be Wade Danfield in CAP...he started off as Matt Carrswold's teammate they called Danfield, and then he just kind of bloomed into a major player, and then you turned his family into a CAP core family.

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No, not yet, but I've used the main character from one set of my stories as a sidekick in another series. Does that count ?

In any case I really like it when authors do that, espcially if it's a person I also noticed in the story.

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I had a case where what I thought was a minor character was just there to serve a specific plot reason, and once that was over with, I had the character move away. Much to my surprise, the character came back into the story with a phone call a few chapters later, and wound up being part of the ending. So that was an unexpected surprise. 

 

It's an interesting problem when the characters take on a life of their own and sneak back into the story. That's the only time it's happened to me, out of four novels. (So far.)

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I used to have trouble finishing stories, but a story is something in our mind and if secondary characters begin to become more important, it just means the story can be edited and you can head it in a different direction.  Like they say at writers' conferences, writing is rewriting.  The two most important things in writing are to start and to finish.

 

All the time. It's why I can't finish anything. The supporting characters become more interesting.

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Some readers like it when secondary characters they like start to become more important.  I'm not sure how that fits into mainstream writing, but those who read my stories have made comments about liking a secondary charcter stepping forward into the story.

 

Absolutely.  I suspect that is one of the things that occupies my readers' minds, wondering if this supporting character will bloom into a major player, or if he will remain in a support role. :devil:

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What's funny to me is when I have a secondary character (or even more minor than that, just a background player) that somehow made such an impression on the readers, some of them write me and say, "hey, are you gonna bring so-and-so back?" or "but whatever happened to that other guy?" 

 

I'm sometimes embarrassed, because generally the character was put in the scene just for a specific plot idea, and once that was done, I was done with the character and moved on. But sometimes unexpected things click with readers, and they want more. 

 

Hey, if nothing else, I appreciate the fact that they're paying attention and aren't just noticing the lead characters.

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In Guitars and Crossdressers Conner was supposed to play a passing part, someone forgot to tell him that though, and he's here to stay. In Broken Prince, Luc was really just supposed to be a quiet shadow, but no one told him that either.

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rarely but it has happened to me, in my first story Acceptance which is two chapter in soon to be more. I was planning for another story but the two characters just stuck out and I thought, I will write this story and that story and they just became main characters in there own story.

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What's funny to me is when I have a secondary character (or even more minor than that, just a background player) that somehow made such an impression on the readers, some of them write me and say, "hey, are you gonna bring so-and-so back?" or "but whatever happened to that other guy?" 

 

I'm sometimes embarrassed, because generally the character was put in the scene just for a specific plot idea, and once that was done, I was done with the character and moved on. But sometimes unexpected things click with readers, and they want more. 

 

Hey, if nothing else, I appreciate the fact that they're paying attention and aren't just noticing the lead characters.

 

That happened with Matt from Nemesis. He was never meant to be important at all, just some guy on Dave's football team, a background character with a couple of lines, but my readers liked him so much and asked so many questions about him that I started to wonder who he really was, and thus came this whole backstory and personality and he ended up becoming a rather central supporting character. In the sequel, I think he's probably the third most featured character or something like that.

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  • 2 years later...

No, not yet, but I've used the main character from one set of my stories as a sidekick in another series. Does that count ?

In any case I really like it when authors do that, espcially if it's a person I also noticed in the story.

Well Tim, two years make a huge difference ;) In your Terrible Prompts, Rob was supposed to be a supporting character, but he quickly became a star in his own right, with his own fan club, the "Rob Mob" :D

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Interesting question, and responses. In my first story, Cards on the Table, there was an outcry(almost every reviewer) for one of my side characters(Chet) to have his own story. So I gave him and another side character one of their own, called Song and Dance, and now the same thing is happening with another side character (Jeremy), and I feel obligated to comply. I already have it written in my head, but finding the time is going to be a challenge. It's a great feeling when readers care that much....

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I like for my side characters to really branch out and become important within the context of the story. They may even over shadow the main characters at times, with me, I hate focusing on one or two characters it gets boring and I feel boxed into the story a bit awkwardly. So I do flesh out a lot of the characters and I have wondered.. "What would so and so's story be if I were to make them the main focus..." 

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I like for my side characters to really branch out and become important within the context of the story. They may even over shadow the main characters at times, with me, I hate focusing on one or two characters it gets boring and I feel boxed into the story a bit awkwardly. So I do flesh out a lot of the characters and I have wondered.. "What would so and so's story be if I were to make them the main focus..." 

I totally get that. I feel the same way. Every character in my stories has to have an impact in the overall, and be fleshed out. The fact is, they are real in my head, so I want them to be real to the readers as well.

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I totally get that. I feel the same way. Every character in my stories has to have an impact in the overall, and be fleshed out. The fact is, they are real in my head, so I want them to be real to the readers as well.

 

 

They are real. Their names may be different, but I am sure they are out there somewhere.... :)

Edited by Reader1810
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Interesting question, and responses. In my first story, Cards on the Table, there was an outcry(almost every reviewer) for one of my side characters(Chet) to have his own story. So I gave him and another side character one of their own, called Song and Dance, and now the same thing is happening with another side character (Jeremy), and I feel obligated to comply. I already have it written in my head, but finding the time is going to be a challenge. It's a great feeling when readers care that much....

 

 

They are real. Their names may be different, but I am sure they are out there somewhere.... :)

I ditto what the Empress said :hug:

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