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Do you have a favorite secondary character in your books?
Or a favorite sub-plot?
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My books each have notable supporting cast members. Whether we are talking about the rapscallion Evan from Blue Honor, Marcel and Aunt Noreen of OP-DEC, or the many rich characters of Trailokya, someone is going to find a favorite secondary character that they will carry with them for life after reading. Me, however, I find it much harder to choose.
Supporting roles are integral to the development and framing of the main characters as wells as the story itself. Without them, it is much more difficult to develop a good story. Arguably, it can be done. Films have made use of the singular focused arch (the most recent of memory being Locke (2013), but I would also state that there is always a secondary character present. One may just not be as obvious to some as others.
My personal difficulty in choosing a favorite is that I see the merit in each and grew fond of them when writing each of my books. I went on a journey with them, much like a road trip, and they became friends who gave me warm memories. Experiencing their trials and tribulations alongside the primary characters built an affection that rarely wanes, even in the site of new journeys.
Trailokya, for example, has a broad cast of interesting characters with a richness of detail and hinted histories that draw the readers (and me the writer) straight into their arms. For instance, there is Zaajah. This captain of the Order of Horus is a direct equal of the primary character Maiel. They are close friends, a bond forged in their time at the Ordo Priori and unbroken despite assignments to different orders in Zion. And, spoiler alert, Zaajah was there when Maiel was still close friends with the mysterious Primus Gediel.
Zaajah has a story of her own to tell, but she quietly assists her dearest friend, whom she sees as a sister. These two are so close that it is Zaajah alone that Maiel trusts to be her guardian while incarnated, not the usual protocol within orders. That protocol is a higher rank officer takes this role, as it is perceived in supervisory terms, and requires the wisdom of experience. This not only speaks to the caliber of guardian that Zaajah is, but the bond between them. In the books, a ketu between them makes perfect sense. However, their atman match to others. They may still fall under the definition of soul mates, as this term describes more broadly reaching, non-sexual bonds.
Beyond Zaajah, there are many more characters of interest. Callidora comes to mind. This is Maiel’s second in command, Evocati, and much like a Padawan of the guardian. The bond with this character is much newer, but Maiel has Cal’s unyielding loyalty. The two are additionally bonded on familial levels revealed as the story progresses.
Luthias, having served as the guardian to Maiel’s husband in numerous incarnations is a very compelling character in that he was once a soul, but has since evolved into a duta. This rare, but achievable feat speaks to the quality of his character, hinting around a long and interesting history of his own. Although Luthias is a veteran, he retains a notable gentleness and fairness. His discernment is strong, leading him to take unexpected sides in the fight to come. And, of course, there is the fact that his life moves forward despite the disintegration around him–ketu and a child, drawing him away from the center of storm.
I can’t go without mentioning the phenomenal Sephr. “This giant svargduta is both the commander and keeper (short for arms keeper) of Walhall, the armory of Zion. Entrusted by the king to scan and suit every legionae, there is no duta atman that does not go under his gaze and is not seen to the core of their very being.” Who wouldn’t love this guy? On top of all of that, he reflects ancient culture from the Middle East in his physical appearance and dress. If the reader is paying attention, they would come to the conclusion that he is the ultimate of all watchers. Consider the quote above again for a clue.
There are so many more, such as Maiel’s brothers, Oriael, Father Gallo, and, of course, all of the bad guys! I know someone out there is going to like Morgentus, Belial, Cursia, and so on. (If you want to learn more about them, check out my online companion or do a search on my site, because they’ve all been written of before). Let’s not kid. Baddies can be some of the best secondary characters going. We all love Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
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Stevie Turner says
Yes, we grow fond of our characters for sure. I’ve nearly finished another manuscript, and it’s a shame to have to let them go.
Captain Maiel says
It’s so hard to let go!
Richard Dee says
Whether they’re a trusty sidekick or a recurring presence, a secondary character brings so much to the story. They can add depth, fill in backstory and alter the whole direction of the narrative. Yours sound like they do that, and so much more.
Captain Maiel says
Thank you! I hope that I’ve done them justice. They deserve it!
P.J. MacLayne says
It sounds like quite a strong cast of characters!
Captain Maiel says
They really are. I worked hard to really fill them out.