Novel Writing

Minor characters have major impact on story


Artwork of the main characters.
No matter how awesome your main characters are, your minor characters can give you a completely different perspective on the story. | Artwork of the main characters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your story making you angry? Maybe you’ve written several chapters, and each of them alone seem like a great start, but you’re having a hard time getting them to work together as a whole. What do you do when you hit these rough patches that make you feel like you will never be able to make your novel “work?”

One strategy I suggest to help you get over that rough patch is to take yourself out of the “official” story for a while, have a couple of glasses of wine (or a couple of beers,) and sit and do some free writes looking at the story from the point of view of the most minor character in the novel.

Sometimes you need to get a fresh perspective on your story. You spend so much time in the minds of your main characters, you often begin to think about the story just as they would. And just like those flawed main characters, you may be missing the forest for the trees. You’re concentrating too hard on those little details instead of seeing the big picture.

But if you get out the heads of your main characters and look at the story through the eyes of an outsider, you may find yourself looking at the story in a whole new way. These free writes may not end up in your final novel, but the insights you gain from them will likely enrich your story in ways you never imagined.

How much do you consider the perspective of your minor characters when writing your stories? Please share in the comments below.

~Mandy Webster

6 thoughts on “Minor characters have major impact on story”

  1. I did something like that for my NaNo last year. I had little vignettes of every day life in the town, as the novel was concerned with what was an unnatural situation and it focused mainly on the towns ruler. Having the vignettes to write whenever I felt dry helped a lot, not only to boost my word count (always good when NaNoWriting!) but also to take a break from the main action of the town so I could come back to it with new eyes.

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