Have you ever read a book and fallen in love with one or more of the secondary characters? I’m sure we all have.
Just recently someone broached the topic of a possible novella featuring one of the secondary characters in my Demons of Infernum series. I have to admit I hadn’t thought about featuring him in a follow-up to the series. He was created as a sidekick character, meant solely to revolve around my heroes. But now that the topic has been brought up, a whole world of possibilities has opened to me.
It’s no surprise that readers who like your stories will fall in love with the side characters and want to read more about them. It’s a way of keeping your world alive. Just think about the rabid fans of J.R. Ward or Jeaniene Frost (me!). With that in mind, there are some things I’ve resolved to do for every secondary character who might possibly be featured in a future story:
- Find Character Likenesses
I’m a very visual person so this is a big one for me. I need to know what my character will look like before I can begin crafting his personality. In many ways it feels like the physical look of my character will affect the personality. In the past I haven’t always done it with side characters but I will now.
- Prepare Character Sheets
My character sheets contains tons of information: from the physical looks to the personality of my character, as well as their background and childhood. It’s a great way to ‘build’ the personality, and will make the process so much easier if I ever decide to feature that character in their own story.
- Find the Perfect Match
I write romance, so this is a no-brainer for me. If my character is unmatched I will think of who their perfect partner would be (i.e. someone who will drive them absolutely insane). I already unintentionally did this for the secondary character I noted above. He’s an incubus and in my mind I always figured he’d go great with a woman who couldn’t abide promiscuity. They’ll hit a lot of obstacles on the road to their HEA.
For those of you who are writers, have you ever dreamt up a minor character with the intent of featuring them in a story at a later date? If so, did you do any special preparation for your secondary character?