Minor Characters, Major Roles:
Developing a Supporting Cast
Dianne Lynne Gardner
Developing a Supporting Cast
Dianne Lynne Gardner
Instructions for the process of creating a main character is drummed home in almost every how-to-write book I’ve ever read. It’s pretty basic. Your MC needs to have some kind of need and a goal, a challenge, and a resolution that shows his character growth.
I haven’t read a lot about developing, or using supporting characters so I want to talk about that today.
Whereas other characters in your story might not show themselves often, they can add detail, action and plot enhancement. These details can make your book unique and colorful.
I like to think of my supporting characters much like the background actor in a movie. They don’t say anything, maybe they’re even in the shadows, but one look, a curve of the lips, a gesture…and the mood is set. I think the reason I’ll watch the same movie over and over again is to catch those background nuances. A good director recognizes their importance. And you as a writer should too.
In Deception Peak I have several supporting characters. I’d like to briefly mention two that are on opposite sides of the fence. One of them is a good guy, Vilfred, the Sage of the Kaempern Village. The other, Mia, Britta’s foster mother, a Menek, is not exactly a bad gal. But then, very few things are really black and white. You don’t see much of either of these characters in the story, but what they do in the progression of the plot is extremely important. They set the mood of the scenes they are in.
The moment he steps into the dimly lit yurt, Ian is awed by the presence of Vilfred. Though the man seldom speaks, his words are careful, wise and filled with a tenderness that melts Ian’s heart. It’s Vilfred’s presence that gives Ian hope at a time when he needs it the most and who becomes the little spark that ignites the flame of fortitude in Ian’s heart.
Mia, Britta’s foster mother appears in only two scenes, but she adds to the plot by confirming the instability of the Menek tribe. First she nurses Ian back to health, leading him to believe he may be among friends, and then later speaks out against him, thus adding to the confusion the night of the dragon attack.
Minor characters, major roles-- I want to encourage you as an author to keep in mind the purpose each and every character in your book has in moving your story forward. If you do, you’ll have an exciting and colorful tale!
I'd like to thank Dianne Lynn Gardner for taking the time out to be on Spellbound By Books! Hope you all enjoy reading her guest post! Please check out more about Dianne below with the "About the Author" and synopsis and review blurbs underneath. Thank you.
About the Author
Dianne Lynne Gardner is both an author and illustrator. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national magazines and newspapers and she is an award winning artist.
Dianne spent many years living out in the desert wilderness of the American Southwest, lived in a hogan made from adobe and cedar for thirteen years, co-owned 25 horses both pure bred and Native American ponies, travelled horseback and by wagon throughout the Navajo reservation, herded sheep and goat, worked in the forest planting trees and piling, farmed on barren soil and even lived in a teepee for a short while. She spent many long years using survival skills as a way of life.
Later she studied pastoral counseling and was a Pastor’s apprentice at a mainline church. She and her husband have been feeding the homeless for over twelve years. Today she draws both her survival experiences and her love for people, especially young people, into her writing seeking not only to give her readers a firm understanding of her stories’ characters, but a rich appreciation of nature.
SOCIAL MEDIA / TRAILER LINKS
Deception Peak by Dianne Lynn Gardner
Genre: YA Fantasy
Teenage Ian Wilson follows his father through a portal into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life.
But separation from his father puts Ian in peril as he’s abducted by a tribe of dragon worshippers and forced to find his courage.
As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search for his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm and learns of a greater purpose for his being in there.
(This is the first novel of the Ian’s Realm Saga)
REVIEW BLURBS -
“DECEPTION PEAK is well-named. Nothing is what it first seems in this lively tale of adventure…You won’t be able to put this book down as you struggle up Deception Peak along with Ian in the perilous quest to save his father from certain death. Will either of them survive the journey? And if they do, will they be stuck forever in the Realm?” ~ Peggy King Anderson
SCBWI-WA Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011
“I really enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good adventure story! ”Author Virginia L. Jennings
“It's descriptive and action packed. ”
Please use the below for the buy links!