Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Secondary Characters That Steal Your Heart but Not the Show

with guest Allie Pleiter.





Love Inspired novels—like lots of romances and most successful series—host a vibrant community of characters.  A cast of personalities your readers know and love helps pull them into the world of the novel.  If you do it right, secondary characters can further your plot and bring important aspects of your hero and heroine to light.  If you do it wrong, they can steal focus, derail your momentum or—gasp, demand their own book (hey, it happens—SAVED BY THE FIREMAN’s Jesse Sykes started out as a secondary character in THE FIREMAN’S HOMECOMING).

 
In the spirit of secondary character respect, here are some of my best tips for wrangling them:

1)    Let them bridge the series, but not build it.

 
Readers love to recognize characters they know, so secondaries can provide continuity for your series.  Make sure, however, that the driving elements for your books and plots remain the hero and heroine. 

2)  Use the running gag in your favor

 
Your secondary characters can have texture and depth, but keep them essentially one-trick ponies—one character trait or tendency—so you reader isn’t having to hold vats of info in her head while she reads.  It’s useful to use a trait over and over in several books—your reader will feel like she knows just what to expect from Ned the Barber and that helps her to feel at home.

3) If you develop something substantial, do it over several books


The senior citizen romance in SMALL-TOWN FIREMAN has been brewing over several books—including the two that are currently up for the RT award, A HEART TO HEAL and SAVED BY THE FIREMAN.  It also involves two characters my readers have expressed as favorites.  This keeps my readers eager to see the next book, provides a satisfying additional payoff in this final book of the series, and just plain lets favorite characters have fun.  What reader doesn’t want that?





4)  Don’t give them the best lines or crucial plot points

 
Simply put, keep them in the background.  Don’t hinge plots on them, or they will draw too much attention.  If there are great lines to be said, don’t give them to your secondary characters.   Instead, make sure your plots and zingers are about your hero and heroine reacting to those secondary characters, and their actions.

5) Choose your foils wisely

 
Take your cavalier guy and stick him with a control freak best buddy.  Give your neat nick heroine a slob of a roommate.  Your shy guy hero might need a total extrovert of a mom.  Surrounding your main characters with a crowd of opposites hands you loads of opportunity to show off their personalities, growth, and weaknesses.

Use these tips to get the best out of your secondary characters without letting them get the best of you. Your readers will thank you for an engaging story and a vivid read.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite side-kicks in books or movies?



 An avid knitter, BBC Television geek and French macaron enthusiast, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, eighteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing.  Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com or her knitting blog at www.DestiKNITions.blogspot.com



The Catch of a Lifetime 

Karla Kennedy doesn't belong in Gordon Falls. The aspiring restaurateur has far loftier goals than running her grandfather's quaint coffee shop. The only person who seems to relate is handsome volunteer firefighter Dylan McDonald. Dylan understands dreams—he risked everything to start his fishing charter business. Now he needs Karla's help to make it succeed. As they work together, Karla and Dylan quickly discover that while their timing may be bad, their chemistry is undeniable. Karla always thought of Gordon Falls as a layover on her way to a big-city career, but could it be where her heart truly belongs?




Seekerville is giving away one copy of Small-Town Fireman in honor of Allie's visit (winner announced in the Weekend Edition) and we thank her for opening the door on a new obsession: the macaron. 

 


88 comments:

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Great advice, Allie!

Terri said...

Allie, I love secondary characters. I'm always thinking, please give me a series.

As far as secondary favorites, I'm awful at remembering when asked. I'd say Doris Day's roommate in That Touch of Mink. I kept wanting her to end up with Gig Young. Bookwise, probably Linda Goodnight's Popbottle Jones. I looked forward to seeing him in each book in her Redemption River Series. Fantastic secondary character.

Mary Preston said...

My mind has gone blank, but the side-kick has an important role to play.

The Artist Librarian said...

Stop eating my comments, Blogspot! Third time's the charm, right? =P

Do you approach side characters any differently if you know that they'll be main characters in another novel? As a reader, I've noticed it seems that a lot of romance trilogies or series have protagonists that were initially introduced in earlier books, then become the main character in a later book.

Cindy W. said...

Hi Allie! Thank you for such great advice on secondary characters! I love it when I am reading a series and they pop in from time to time. It lets the reader know what is happening with them but doesn't overshadow the current Hero & Heroine.

I read so much that it would be hard for me to think of my favorite secondary characters especially because I read a lot of series books so most of them were or will be the H & H.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

The new wave of French macaroons is tweaking my baking interest!

It's so funny to see tiny macaroon sandwiches, filled with delectable fillings!!!! Ganache, peanut butter cream, maple cream, etc.

Oh, wait, this is a WRITING BLOG????

You had me at macaroons, Allie! :) I've been intrigued by them since having them at a wedding in October, but no time to play in the kitchen right now so my curiosity on how to make them so stinkin' perfect will have to wait!

Great advice on secondaries, and thanks for coming over here to play with us today!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Allie. I am loving this post and trying to figure out which came first ...the secondary character turned hero or the book.

What's next for you in Gordon Falls?
And how do you do your fireman hero research??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes and do pass those lovely French cookies. They are stealing the show!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

In the nineties I used to read all of a certain author's books simply because she ALWAYS made the secondary guy in the book, the hero in the next one. I could count on it and I loved it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm having a hard time wrapping my tongue around the word macaron. I see they have them at Whole Foods. None in my area, sniff. But will do a Trader Joe run on Saturday. Any one else spotted them?

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Great advice Allie. "Sky High" is a kids movie, but they use the secondary characters really well.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the great advice, Allie! I love how you started a romance with an older couple and are stringing it along in your books.

My mind is blank on favorite secondary characters right now. Need caffeine.

Have a great day, and thanks for sharing!

Mary Hicks said...

The macaroons are too pretty to eat!
Allie, thanks for your post. It reminded me once more of how our friends bless our lives.
I figured I was the only person writing because a friend dared me. :-)

'Someday when I have time I'm writing a book' was my mantra. A close friend got fed up with hearing about it and dared ( threatened ) me to 'just do it'. She knows how to pull my string.

Two, two year writing classes, several short courses and seven years later, I've just finished my first 83K novel. I'm in the editing process now, and I love every minute of it! :-)

All thanks to my friend who dared me to 'just do it!'

Keli Gwyn said...

Great tips, Allie!

I learned how easy it can be for a secondary character to steal the limelight. In early versions of my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, the heroine's precocious nine-year-old daughter threatened to do just that. Savvy contest judges pointed out the fact that Tildy could easily become a scene robber if I wasn't careful. I had to tone down the talkative gal's contributions and limit her page time because she has such a vibrant personality. While Tildy is a fun character, I couldn't let her overshadow her mother. Once Tildy and I had a talk, she understood and accepted her role as supporting character. After all, she wanted very much for her mama and a certain mercantile owner to get together and didn't want to get in the way of the romance. ;-)

Have you ever had to tone down any of your secondary characters because of their strong personalities?

Allie Pleiter said...

Hi everyone! It's below zero this morning in the Chicago area!

Macarons are often hard to find--maybe that's part of the allure. They're weather-dependent as well, as they are hard to make in certain kinds of weather. Argo Teas is the chain that makes my favorites, and we have a local bakery that makes splendid ones.

As for my fireman research? I go straight to the source: my local firemen! And the Internet helps, too.

Allie Pleiter said...

As for when secondary characters become future heroes or heroines, I confess I don't always know that in advance. Jesse Sykes (from SAVED BY THE FIREMAN) was a complete surprise, while Max Jones (from A HEART TO HEAL) let me know from the get-go he wouldn't stay in the background for long.

Tina Radcliffe said...

And do you like that artist librarian???

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cool to have such friendly local firemen. They scare me -though my friend is married to one and we often double date so I sneak in questions!!! Lol

Cynthia Herron said...

Good Morning, Allie!

I love writing secondary characters! I so agree with your point about not letting them steal the show, but maybe allowing them to have their own story in the future.

Thanks so much for all the helpful tips! (And my BIL is a fire captain BTW.)

Audra Harders said...

Hi Allie! OMG, Macarons in January when all I should be eating is lettuce. I love the description -- psychedelic Oreos, LOL!

ANYWAY, seeing reoccurring secondary characters makes my heart thump. I love 'em. When they grow into heros and heroines, all the better.

But you're right about starting them with baby steps, they should never steal the show.

Great post, Allie! Happy New Year!!

Keli Gwyn said...

I grew up surrounded by firemen. My dad spent his career working for the U.S. Forest Service. For many years he was on the lines fighting wildfires. My uncle was a firefighter too, as are two of my cousins. One day I'll have to explore the life of a Victorian-era firefighter in a story. =)

Jennifer Smith said...

I love this advice. I've read some books where the secondary characters do seem to take a little too much of the attention--and others where I absolutely loved the secondary characters...A good post to save for future reference. Thanks for sharing, Allie!

Cindy Regnier said...

I love secondary characters - a great place to start the sequel as Allie mentioned. I don't believe I've ever tried a macaroon. Perhaps I should find out what I'm missing.

Keli Gwyn said...

Just realized that the reply to comments feature that was here yesterday went away. I vote for it to come back if possible. Just my 2¢.

Jeanne T said...

Great ideas, Alli. Thanks for sharing them!

Great secondary character? Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins. I think he's one of my most favorite ever!

I love macaroons. I'm looking forward to enjoying a few. :)

And, I'm with Keli. I loved the comments feature that was here yesterday. :)

Marianne Barkman said...

I love series! And yes, they are more fun to read when it's the character, and not the setting. I get Shannon Taylor's novel and she uses secondary characters in the next book.

Becky said...

Good tips for making good secondary characters. When I first read about the macaroons, I saw macaroni, so I thought, "What is French macaroni?"

Deanna Stevens said...

Interesting.. We just watched the Odd Couple over the weekend.. I don't know which one would be the secondary.. please throw me into the dish :)

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome, Allie! I love slowly developing secondary characters and bringing them forward in a later book. By the time I actually get to write their story, I feel like I know them so much better than I knew the H/H in the first book of the series, so it's even more fun finding out (I'm mostly a pantser!) where life will take them.

Favorite secondary characters on TV? Martha, Lanie, and Alexis on Castle. Hodgins and Angela on Bones. Abby, Tony, and Tim--oh, and Ducky!--on NCIS. Love how casting directors bring together these intriguing mixes of personalities and back stories!

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Thank you Allie. I appreciated the reminder to not let the secondary character steal the show. It took me a while to develop my secondary evil characters since I had many difficulties in real life. I just wanted to write about beauty and wonder (I write fantasy). Of course, real life isn't like that, so if the goal is to help kids, you must show them realistic struggles. Once I'd hashed my evil guy out, and another female one, I almost let them have a primary plot point but have put them back in place. I never thought I'd enjoy both the protagonist and also the other side so much.

Thanks for the nice discussion here.

Dana R. Lynn said...

Thank you, Allie. I'm at a point when I really needed this topic. God bless!

Mary Connealy said...

Allie, these are great tips.
I especially love the one-trick pony idea.

Things get complicated for me because often my secondary characters are being set up for their own book so they tend to be more complex characters and all of them involved in all the books. But I can tell if I start to put the focus on the wrong person.
I had a secondary character saving the heroine in a gun fight so the hero could go fight.
I knew that was wrong. The hero needed to be saving the heroine but that left saving the day in the gunfight to secondary characters.
I needed the hero to do BOTH. :)
I found a way but it took some revisions to get all the players in the wrong place so only the hero could do what needed doing.
It was especially hard because the secondary characters had all been heroes of their own books, they were savvy and protective and not likely to be in the wrong place...and I had to stay true to THEIR characters, too.

Meghan Carver said...

Good morning, Allie! Secondary characters are fantastic, and I particularly like your suggestion (#6) to make them opposites of the h/h so they can be a foil. Then, when they get their own book later, we get to visit with them again.

Mary Connealy said...

The first side kick that came to mind is Don Knotts from the old Andy Griffith show.
His nervous, boastful personality was the perfect foil for Andy's calm, common sense.

Mary Connealy said...

Debra Clopton has matchmaking meddlers in all her Mule Hollow books.
Great secondary characters.

Allie Pleiter said...

The "one trick pony" idea with secondary characters helps me keep from developing them too much while they are in the background. They can formulate more fully in my head for a larger role later, but keeping them "one trick ponies" reminds me of their current purpose. My favorite Castle secondary is Martha, the mom!

Terri said...

You guys are coming up with great secondary characters. I love Don Knotts and all the NCIS gang. Can't believe I didn't think of them.

What about Viv and Fred on I Love Lucy? Do they count as secondary?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I was puzzled by the different spelling of macaron/macaroon.

Google tried to enlighten me, but I'm laughing because no matter how it's spelled, their both egg white confections, but I love the differences and now will be happy to give macarons their own distinctive spelling.

Or I'll call them all cookies, happily!

And I will probably use that in a book.

I think if you love book series, you love when the that delightful character is upgraded to hero/heroine! And that's part of the fun of writing for Love Inspired, they know how to have fun with series.

kaybee said...

I don't think of Barney, Fred or Ethel as "secondary characters" because they became so much a part of those shows, which ended up being more ensemble shows. But I know that was the intent.
I keep my secondaries simple in category, which isn't too hard since we're supposed to have only two viewpoints, Him and Her.
My secondaries in "Trail," Pace and Jenny, take center stage in "Town," the sequel, and Pace gets his issues resolved in "Town" while Jenny rolls over to be the central character in the third book. I knew Jenny was going to have a book the day I wrote her first line. Sometimes they do that. I like it when they do.
Macarons? Oh, swell, I need one more thing to like.
It is FREEZING in New England.
KB
Flash-frozen in New Hampshire

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Love this advice. And oh, the macacron place in Charleston is marvelous. I think Allie, you told me about it.

Peace and happy new year, Julie

Jamie Adams said...

This is great advice, Allie! I need to keep a copy of this one. Thanks for sharing.

Debby Giusti said...

Allie, great stuff today...macarons included. :)

I once had a Mama in a book who started to take over. My cp asked if I was writing myself into the story. Had to laugh. She was right!

Mama got cut down to secondary mode.

I'm now working on a story about a character who had a small part in my last LIS. I'm getting to know him better and like the guy...of course, I've never had a hero I didn't like. LOL!

Hugs!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Oh, I'd never thought of surrounding my main characters with opposites. That's a great way to decided on your secondary cast.

I have a habit of falling in love with my secondary characters, which means they usually end up with their own novels. However, that technique totally works for me. I'm the type of writer who creates plots around characters rather than the other way.

Chill N said...

Surrounding your main characters with a crowd of opposites hands you loads of opportunity to show off their personalities, growth, and weaknesses.

Oh, I like that tip. Thank you, Allie!

I enjoy reading series where a secondary character in one book becomes the heroine/hero in the following book ... and the primary characters in the previous book put in an appearance. I'm always puzzled when the character's best friend from the previous book seems to have fallen off the planet.

Reassuring to know I'm not the only one whose secondary characters demand their own books :-)

Nancy C

Sherri Shackelford said...

As always, wonderful advice, Allie!

Debby Giusti said...

Julie and Allie, please share more about your Charleston macaron find.

Myra Johnson said...

NAOMI said: "I'm the type of writer who creates plots around characters rather than the other way."

Exactly--me too! I may have a seed of an idea about what kind of plot it will be, but the characters themselves dictate how it all unfolds.

Vince said...

Hi Allie:

Your excellent comments could have been made by the agent for any leading-role actor. I was waiting for you to write, ‘and don’t make your pets or kids too cute or too adorable’ ala W. C. Fields’ advice.

Now what I really like to see in a romance is a sympathetic secondary character who is helped by the hero or heroine -- in a way that advances the main story line -- but who has a loose end in his or her story. Then after the HEA, the epilogue will tie-up that loose end thereby create a second small moment of happy feelings. I call this an unexpected mini HEA that rounds out the total story reading enjoyment experience.

(For example, the hero was helping his neighbor study for the sergeant’s exam in a topic in which the hero has expertise and which is also crucial to the main plot line. Since the exam is well into the future it is not covered by the end of the story. However, the epilogue takes place a year later, (after the heroine has her twins), and the secondary character shows up wearing his sergeant’s stripes.

To me doing this exemplifies an author who goes the extra mile to provide for each reader’s enjoyment and who sees herself as an entertainer not just a writer. Janet Evanonvich has said that much of her success is because she never forgets that she is an entertainer.

As a marketing person, I want to always see an Epilogue and I’d like that addition to give the reader a second helping of HEA! But then, I’m always looking for ways to make it easier to sell the next book.

Vince

Allie Pleiter said...

Vince, you will love my April release THE DOCTOR'S undoing--there is a secondary character who does exactly that!

As for macarons in Charleston, there's a little place called Christof's. Still remember the lavender macarons....

Allie Pleiter said...

Should I be grateful or concerned how the macarons have sort of taken over today's post?

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hello Allie! Thanks for the great advice. I'm currently writing what I hope will be a murder mystery series, and I'm having fun creating those secondary characters that, while they will not get their own book someday, they will definitely be highlighted more later on.

For sidekicks, I was thinking of the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, but she breaks your rule of getting all the best lines. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes Maggie gets all the good lines! How about Donkey in Shrek... But again his lines are quotable!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

So I am guessing macarons don't do well in humidity. Are they as yummy as their cousin he macaroon??

Tina Radcliffe said...

I looove the opposite theory too. Like Jack Lemon in The Odd Couple!! Brilliant!!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Allie! Excellent points for creating secondary characters! They are really fun to write. Perhaps because they are often old or young so can say and do things the hero and heroine can't. Hopefully I haven't wasted the best lines on them, but they do seem to speak their minds.

Janet

Myra Johnson said...

Oh, I agree, STEPHANIE! Maggie Smith has all the best lines on Downton Abbey!

Now don't anybody tell me what happened Sunday night! We have it on DVR and haven't had a chance to watch yet.

We did watch the "Manners" special last night, though. Very interesting! As romantic as it might sound to have lived in that era, I'm not sure I'd have survived all those rules!

Janet Dean said...

Allie, I love the beautiful shawls you've knitted over the years. Do you find knitting enables you to work through sticky plot points?

Janet

Janet Dean said...

The macaroons look enticing! I've never had one. Now I want one desperately. Do you buy them online?

Janet

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Janet made the same mistake and I love her for it!

I vote for a re-spell!!!!

Natalie Monk said...

Love these tips, Allie. I'm not the best at balancing secondary characters in my writing, but I do like reading about them, especially when they provide comedy or cuteness. :)

Two of my favorite secondary characters that come to mind are Mammy from Gone with the Wind and Grandpa from the movie The Parent Trap. They influence the main characters and bring lots of laughs and their own unique brand of wisdom. Thank you for bringing us these tips!!!

Allie Pleiter said...

Stephanie - Regarding the Countess Dowager...I see Downton Abbey as an ensemble piece, so the rules are different. And you're right--she always gets the zingers!!

Janet - I wish knitting solved plot points for me. It mostly serves as the counterpoint to my writing...more refreshment than solution.

I forgot to mention that pets can also serve as effective secondary characters. A cat served as a great secondary in SAVED BY THE FIREMAN and I'm currently writing a stubborn pug as a secondary character for a December 2015 release.

Pam Hillman said...

Great advice! Thanks Allie!

I have a hint of a senior citizen romance in Stealing Jake with the potential for the couple to banter back and forth in subsequent books.

And you are SO right about letting a secondary character completely steal the show. Street kid, Luke, also in Stealing Jake, comes to mind. Love that kid!

Good stuff in today's post. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Whoo-hoo! Raising my hand for Vince's 2nd payoff in the epilogue. A fairly minor character gets a bit of happy-ever-after in Stealing Jake.

She was never even on the radar to be "on stage" in the epilogue, but as I got to the end of the story, another character showed up, and BAM, they were PERFECT for each other.

I've never thought of it as a plot device, but it just felt RIGHT to include it.

Mary Connealy said...

Debby Giusti...that happened to me in The Clueless Cowboy, a long ago Heartsong I wrote.

The neighbor to the heroine was this kind of blunt, common sense, older lady, not old enough to be the heroine's mother, bust she'd sort of assumed that role after heroine's mother died. At some point I realized she was ME! (or maybe how I wish I was!)

I had to cut her way, way back just because I could tell how much I DIDN'T WANT TO. It was cutting ME out of the book!

Sandy Smith said...

Very interesting post, Allie. Off the top of my head I can't think of any favorite secondary characters, but I do know that sometimes those characters become some of my favorites. I would love to be entered into the drawing.

Missy Tippens said...

Really great tips, Allie! You gave some things I hadn't thought of. I'll definitely take these to heart! Thanks for sharing with us today.

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie and Ashley Wilks in Gone with the Wind.

They're secondary and sort of ONE TRICK PONY-ISH.

Mary Connealy said...

I know a fancy French bakery in Omaha that sells these macaron things.

Is that like....a weird TAUNTING thing that they're spelled so similarly?

So you're saying they're good?
All that COLOR struck me as kinda icky. Like they poured food coloring in recklessly.

But maybe I'll buy one and give it a chance!

Mary Connealy said...




Macarons, don't confuse them with macaroons

It's high time we also set the record straight: the word "macaron" is not an alternate spelling of macaroon. In fact, the two terms refer to distinctly different things. Both macarons and macaroons are confections, and both names are derived from ammaccare, which is Italian for "to crush" — but that's where the similarities end.

Jeri Hoag said...

Very interesting information. I just had a secondary character kinda take over and now I don't know what to do, but this has helped immensely.

Jeri

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Allie,
This was a bang-on post! I love secondary characters and in fact I based one on a hairdresser/ manicurist my daughter used to go to when a teen. She was the best friend to Lily in my debut romance "Betrayed Hearts" and was so much fun I gave her her own story in "Wayward Hearts".
Sidekicks are so much fun to write!
Especially if they add some humor!
Cheers,
Sue

Allie Pleiter said...

Mary-
Funny, it's the wonderful colors that attracted me to them in the first place! The flavors are usually intense, and I like that. And the texture--just fabulous when done right.

Like the trend-predecessor to macarons--cupcakes--secondary characters are all about the frosting. That extra bit that makes the story especially memorable.

How's that for pushing a metaphor relationship to its limits? :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Allie, Welcome to Seekerville. What a great post today on building those secondary characters.

And yes, you are so right. It is annoying when they hog the show from the main character. Another problem is they can confuse the reader, especially when the author wants to add them all into books later and there are just too many to get to know.

But I love to read more about a well developed secondary character. And I love to hear how previous heroines and heroes are doing in a later book. Julie Lessman does that so well. smile Now I'm going to go try yours.

Thanks again for coming by. Happy new year.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I loved the weird colors! Rainbow cookies!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

The colors are what makes it. Now we need Allie to write a story about a firefighter -female-who falls in love with a chef who makes macarons.

Jenny Blake said...

Jillian Hart had a series where over several books there was a romance brewing between 2 older members. One was the father (it was the Grangers) and the other lady was in the books as she had a B & B which was featured in the books as one of the heroines worked there. I loved the way they were in the background and it was over several book but didn't take away from the series.
Janet Tronstad is another who in the Dry Creek series has an older lady who features also in many of the books.

Allie Pleiter said...

Thanks for the great discussions, everyone! It's been a bright spot in a bitterly cold day. The TV news just forecasted a record -12 below for Thursday morning! Good week to stay in with a great book, yes?

Tanya Agler said...

Allie, Thank you for this post. I loved reading craft tips on crafting secondary characters. I wanted to reply to two of the comments because I absolutely love these movies or shows.

Terri, I loved Audrey Meadows' character in That Touch of Mink, especially when she asks what color she wants her hair to be that week.

Myra, my husband and I have been watching Castle over the past year, and I wish Lanie would get more screen time.

As for me, I immediately thought of how Inspector Clouseau was originally written as a side character but stole the show (or movie in this case). Thanks for the blog because I definitely need to work on not making my books so intertwined.

The Artist Librarian said...

@Tina - Yes! The majority of the time I do enjoy the continuation! =)

Dee LeRoye said...

Wow...what a striking wake-up call on a subject that had not even crossed my mind. Now I'll have to put on my remembering cap and scratch the secondary characters out of the dust to see if they actually have stolen the show.

angelakcouch.com said...

Great reminders and ideas. Thanks! I agree it's fun when the secondary character becomes the main in the next book, and I've have been doing more and more of that lately.

Andrea Strong said...

My favorite secondary character these days is the villain, Bane, in Elizabeth Camden's The Lady of Bolton Hill. It's possible he steals the show for a while, but I didn't mind. He dares the heroine to test her faith in a way you would never expect, and as a result, he commits his life to Christ.

Of course I was clamoring for his story next. Ms. Camden did not disappoint. He is amazing in her third release Against the Tide.

DebH said...

allie
I'm a day late on commenting, but this is a great post and I'll be filing it away just in case a secondary character wants to get "out of line", so to speak.

thanks for sharing with Seekerville. Now off to go figure out the difference between macaron and macaroon...

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

Thanks for your great ideas about sidekicks. Put me in for the drawing for your new book, and all best wishes with it!

Amy Cattapan said...

Great tips from a great writer! So happy to see my local ACFW chapter president on Seekerville!

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Great post, Allie... Love your books!

Edwina said...

Great post! In some books, secondary characters have been my favorites!

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Oh Allie I just loved this post. You have really given me something to think on and grow with. Thank you!
PS - Love your work!