On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Secondary Characters -- Redemption and Dimensions

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Secondary characters are there for a purpose, and if you can make them NON-STOCK at all, it would be good. I must admit I've used the over-the-top evil villain with no redeeming features (Bucus Elder in Heart Thief), but I've also tried to give less sympathetic characters some interesting traits.

Shade, in Heart Thief, WAS on the road of redemption, an action happened that triggered the worst in him and he backslid with a vengeance (or into vengeance). Yes, he could have been redeemed. Other characters that I tried to give interesting backstories that would lead to their not-so-good actions were Reynardus in Guardian of Honor and Calli's father, Will Torcher, in Protector of the Flight. Neither one of them was redeemed, but one got what he always wanted and the other got a second chance. Both, I think, were pitiful creatures who threw away the love of their children.

I enjoyed the dichotomy of the clan patriarchs in Heart Duel. T'Holly was beloved of his children, a more admirable man, a more charming man, yet he made the fatal mistake that T'Hawthorn, a colder, more conservative and outwardly arrogant man, did not. They both paid the price for their mistakes.

So let your characters tell you their stories, most of them will have dimensions that you didn't know of when you started writing them.

May your characters prove interesting today.


Blogger moonhart said...

Gosh, I am a sucker for secondary characters. I admit to loving mine to death but that is because of the backstories that I know (but the reader doesn't...yet).

I didn't like Calli's dad and to me, her stepmom was worse. I come from a huggy-feely ethnic family so hardship pulls us tighter in a "circle your wagons" kind of way. So I admit that I didn't understand Will at all...or why he fell for a goldigger or why he prefered the son of that goldigger to Calli. Calli needed some Jersey attiude regarding dear old daddy, but she got all she wanted and more.



7:01 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

LOL, Calli's dad was a bit over the top for me, sometimes I can't help it. Thinking back, our family tends to shatter...but the core group of Mom and bros and nieces and nephews should be solid.

Isn't it interesting when people are so different?


12:33 AM  

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