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"Unleashing the Power of Sidekick: How to Create Memorable Characters"



Hey everyone! I'm back with another blog post. If you're new to my side, welcome again to my readers, bloggers, and authors. This week, I will be writing my thoughts and some real writing techniques to create side characters, particularly sidekick characters. Here are the basic rules to create any sidekick character.


Tips for Creating Side Characters

  1. Give Them Purpose: Every side character should serve a purpose in the story, whether it’s to challenge the protagonist, provide comic relief, or drive the plot forward.

  2. Make Them Distinct: Avoid cookie-cutter side characters. Give them unique traits, quirks, and backgrounds that make them stand out.

  3. Avoid Stereotypes: While archetypes can be useful, steer clear of stereotypes that make characters feel flat and unoriginal.

  4. Develop Their Arcs: Side characters should grow and change, just like protagonists. Their development can be subtler but should still be present.

  5. Loyalty- Must remain loyal to the protagonist and Antagonist in some way

Attributes to Consider

  • Backstory: A well-thought-out history explains their motivations and actions.

  • Personality: Define their temperament, habits, and outlook on life.

  • Relationships: Explore their connections with other characters and how these relationships affect the main narrative.

  • Conflict: What internal or external struggles do they face?

  • They Help- Side characters either help protagonists or antagonists in their conflicts to help drive the plot.

Functions of Side Characters

  • Plot Drivers: They can introduce new storylines or complications.

  • Foils: They can highlight or contrast the protagonist’s traits.

  • World-Building: They can provide insight into the setting and culture of your novel’s world.

  • Thematic Devices: They can embody themes or messages you wish to convey.

  • Assist and Accompany -The side characters always help the main character at all times or most of the time.

 


Books and Some Examples of Side Kicks

Side characters play a significant role in literature, providing depth and enhancing the protagonist’s journey. Here are a few iconic examples:

  • Samwise Gamgee from “The Lord of the Rings”: Samwise is the steadfast companion of Frodo Baggins, exemplifying loyalty and courage. His role extends beyond mere assistance; he embodies the spirit of unwavering friendship and plays a crucial role in the quest’s success.

  • Neville Longbottom from the “Harry Potter” series: Initially portrayed as a timid and clumsy student, Neville’s evolution into a brave and capable wizard mirrors the central themes of courage and self-discovery, highlighting how side characters can reflect broader narrative arcs.

  • Nick Carraway from “The Great Gatsby”: As the narrator and a side character, Nick offers a unique perspective on the tumultuous lives of the story’s more flamboyant characters.


These characters enrich the narrative, offer deeper insights into the protagonists, and sometimes steal the show with their distinctiveness.

What is the Difference Between a side character and a supporting Character

The difference between a side character and a supporting character lies in their roles and impact on the story.


·    Side Characters: They are integral to the narrative’s fabric, offering depth and complexity. They have their backstories, personalities, and motivations, but these are usually less developed than those of the main characters. Side characters may not directly influence the plot’s outcome but add richness to the story’s world.

·       Supporting Characters: They play a more functional role by propelling the main characters towards their goals or contributing significantly to the plot’s development. Supporting characters reinforce the narratives between the protagonist and the antagonist and are often more pivotal to the plot’s resolution.

Both

 


Can The Side Characters Break The Rules?

A side character can sometimes take on more of a main character role while still being considered a side character. This often happens when a side character becomes so compelling and integral to the story that their role expands beyond the initial scope. They may start as a side character but grow in importance through the narrative, sometimes even getting their own storylines or character arcs. However, they typically remain side characters because they don’t become the primary focus of the story; instead, they add richness and depth to the main plot and the protagonist’s journey1.

I don’t follow the rules when I craft a writing project. Still, since I am new I mostly stick to the writing rules and plots of creating side characters.

In literature and other forms of storytelling, there are several instances where side characters have gained prominence as the story progresses. Here are a few examples:

  • Arya Stark from “A Song of Ice and Fire” series: Arya starts as one of the many Stark children but quickly becomes a fan favorite with her complex storyline and significant impact on the overall plot1.

  • Felicity Smoak in “Arrow”: Initially a minor character, Felicity’s intelligence, wit, and chemistry with the main character led to her becoming a lead role and a central figure in the series.

  • Kramer from “Seinfeld”: Kramer began as a quirky neighbor but his unique personality traits and antics made him a standout character who often stole the spotlight1.


These characters show how dynamic and engaging side characters can evolve to capture the audience’s attention and become integral to the narrative.

types of characters are essential for a well-rounded story, providing different layers of interaction with the main characters and the world around them.


 



Charlie Nelson Side Character from “Evenings and Night Openings Available”

So, I wrote a book called Evenings and Night Openings Available which is part two of Them Against Us. The main characters are mainly children. Grayson and Mia from the first horror series go to live with their great aunt in Lagoon Haven, Massachusetts. Grayson meets Charlie who is in the same grade as him and he becomes a side character throughout the novel. However, Charlie also takes over most of the story by building his storyline, bullying issues, and more.

Charlie’s Functions & Attributes:

1)    Charlie helps Grayson deal with Richard Meed and his friends as bullies and then as vampires.

2)    Helps Charlie with fear and dealing with vampire children

3)    Has taught Grayson how to hunt vampires at night and deal with conflict For Example: Grayson believes that his mother came back to get him and his sister. Charlie tells him that it is a trick.

4)    Charlie stands out because he can read people at seven years old. He also is a black semetic jew and likes to make music.

How Charlie Broke the Side Character Rules:

1)    He took over some of the leads in the novel

2)    Charlie’s backstory was connected to the main plot

3)    Charlie had no fear compared to Grayson who is the main character

4)    Charlie has defeated most of the vampire villains alongside Grayson

5)    Has dealt with his conflicts more so than Grayson’s issues

6)    His own life and world are just as big and important as Grayson

7)    Charlie and Grayson go to the same childcare center at night Grayson and have discovered who the vampire children are before Grayson did


 


Kadina Baskins & Susan Coxley Side Characters from “You Have Until Midnight”

In my latest horror novel, You Have Until Midnight, Tulie-Bea’s sidekick character is Kadina because they are best friends who grew up together. Kadina has her issues and life and knows the main character too well. They both talk about their mysterious boss, Mr. Vaunwestler who nobody ever sees. Both ladies work at the same job as accountants too.

Kadina’s Functions & Attributes:

1)    Kadina has her own life and backstory

2)    She is in debt like Tulie-Bea and is also an accountant

3)    Talks with Tulie-Bea on her issues

4)    Knows about Tulie’s childhood trauma

5)    Plays a major plot towards the end of the story





Those are just some examples, but Kadina has not broken any sidekick rules and that is to help Tulie-Bea fight off the antagonist in the novel. Susan Coxley is also a side character, but she is not a sidekick.


Susan The Side Character:

1)    She knows both the main character and sidekick, Kadina

2)    She has the same financial issues as them

3)    Has her own back story and personality

4)    Plays a major part of the novel

5)    Can either help or hinder the main characters


Now if you have not read any of my novels, then I implore you to give them a try and read them. Also, leave me a review on Amazon and Goodreads if you can because that would help me out. Those are some examples of what I learned while developing my side characters for my novel. What do you think about side characters? Do you like them? How would you write them in a story? If you have read any of my books, who was your favorite side character in the novel and why?


That is all for this week, have a good rest of the week. Stay safe and go live life and fulfill your mission on earth. Take care readers and writers @ www.tieteannaroddy.com


Bye!



 

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