Not So Minor

When I say “minor character,” what do you think? The more I read and the more I experience life, I pose the question, “Are they minor? Really?” The word “minor” tends to diminish the impact or importance of something. Not so! Not in novels. In novels the protagonists or major characters have the main story line. The other characters have a story, too, but reserved for another time, another point of view. I propose that without the “minor” characters, there is not much to a story. What do you think?

In novels the minor characters are friends, sisters, brothers, parents, children, store owners, ministers, etc. But are they really minor in the lives of the major ones? Not at all. In my life, all the people who make up my circle are so very important that if one were missing my life would be off-centered. Hence, the reason it takes me time to adjust when someone moves or dies or grows up. None of these precious people serve a minor role.

Perhaps, “supporting” is a better word, for isn’t that what they do every day? What would a novel be without the interaction of the ones who complete the circle? As I launch the final novel in the Revolutionary Faith Series, Wait for Me, I have a love for all the characters that make Elizabeth and Louis into the people they are. The same roles of ones who have molded me: family, friends, teachers, mentors.

As you read the pages of Wait for Me, pay attention to the following special people:

          Sarah—Elizabeth’s best friend

          Anne—Elizabeth’s sister

          The Elliotts—her parents

          George—her brother

          Samuel and Christopher—Louis’ best friends

          All the children

          Jeannette and Henry

          Lucy

          Tom and Raymond

          Ellen and Amy

They each have a story. Each person in your life has a major role too. Let’s try to be thankful for those supporting us in so many ways.

Do you enjoy the minor characters in the novels you read? Who is an example?

Pre-order link for Wait for Me ebook:

https://www.amazon.com/Wait-Me-Revolutionary-Faith-Book-ebook/dp/B08HVWDQNL/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=wait+for+me+marguerite+martin+gray&qid=1610674918&sr=8-1

Minor Characters are Major

1750 FranceAn author recently reminded me that minor characters really play a major role in novels. That started me thinking about what she means. Do I agree? I do. Without thinking about it, I’ve used support men and women in my novels as a way to develop my heroes and heroines. The authors I read find ways to advance the plot with interesting characters that add depth to the protagonists.

What would a story be without the mothers, sisters, best friends, grandmothers, and friends of the heroine? What would my life be without the same group of people? As my sisters prod me to be better and to grow, an author can have them interact to reveal inner strengths and weaknesses of the major characters.  Do you sometimes find the life of minor characters as interesting and important as the main ones?

 

I’ve thought of a few examples of the utmost importance of the support role. See if you agree.  What about Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, and her best friend Charlotte Lucas. The way Elizabeth interacts with her longtime friend shows a side of Elizabeth that her mother and sisters don’t necessarily see. Elizabeth is deliberate in her dealings with Charlotte, even hurting her when Charlotte chooses to marry Elizabeth’s cousin. Many minor characters shine in this novel: Mrs. Bennet, all her sisters, and even Caroline Bingley. I wouldn’t want any of them to disappear from the novel.

 

Little Women offers a great cast of characters with Jo raising as the heroine with her three sisters and mother playing tremendous roles. Any of them could have been the number one character, but it was presented with Jo as the future author wanting to tell her family’s story. Without the sisters and mother, Jo’s world would have been very dull indeed.

 

And of course, I can add my heroine for my Revolutionary Faith Series. Elizabeth Elliott brings a mother, sister, cousin, best friend, and grandmother into her story. She is surrounded by women of strong character strengths and flaws. Her relationships with each form help form her views, her role, her beliefs, her traits….I’ve been able to develop these women through the five book series.

Surround Me front (3)Do you have a favorite example of a book or movie with an impressive support character?