Ever wonder why people are the way they are? I do. Maybe that’s why I enjoy creating backstory for my characters.
This week I started writing a short story about James, who plays a big part in my young adult novella I’m working on. I’m calling the novella The Magic Shoelaces, but I’m not sure that’s what the final title will be.
James leads the heroine of the novella into a world of paranormal abilities and all the way to a parallel universe. But long before his own abilities developed, he had to find his own way in life.
Finding my Way is his story of getting out from under the shadow of his older brothers and his parents’ expectations for how he’d live his life.
Writing this story was a great way to make James come to life in my mind. Now he’s every bit as three dimensional as Sophie, the heroine, and her love interest. I’m beginning to think writing short stories about supporting characters is a great way to breathe life into them so they are more than props or foils of the stars of the book.
Most of my favorite books had memorable supporting characters. I think of Freddy Arbuthnot in the Peter Wimsey detective novels, Merry and Pippin in the Lord of the Rings, and Syl and Pattern in The Way of Kings.
None of them were the main characters, but they all added another layer to the story and depth to the characters they supported. I wouldn’t have loved those books quite as much had these secondary characters been so vividly drawn.
I’ll be publishing Finding my Way in the early part of 2019. I also have quite of bit of other publishing news to share, so be ready. It’s going to be a great year.
In the meantime, who are some of your favorite supporting characters? Tell us about them in the comments!