Secondary characters (or minor characters, or supporting characters, whatever you'd like to call them), to me, are a huge part of novels. While I know that writers only have a limited amount of words (unless you're George R. R. Martin, who can write over 1000 pages and still sell thousands of copies), I don't feel like a book is complete without some fleshed out secondary characters. I've seen several other people state the same. Sure, your main character can wield her swords and work with her love interest to take down the corrupt government. But does she have any friends? No? Okay. That happens. She's a busy gal. But I can't believe that the only characters you can really get to know are the narrator/main character, the (possible, depending on the book) love interest, and maybe the villain, depending on the writer. There are so many people characters come in contact with, all human beings with their own quirks and history.
Earlier today, I asked on Twitter if anyone knew of any books written from a more minor character's perspective. Not in terms of a spin-off or anything, but a story told from someone close to that super special girl that is usually the narrator of a novel. Like if Red Queen had instead been told from Gisa's perspective. (Though this may be a bad example, since at the current part I'm in, Gisa and her sister are nowhere near each other.) Or if the Harry Potter series had instead been told from Ron's perspective. (Okay, this one is a bit excessive because that's a lot of books and Ron is arguably a main character and not a secondary one. But you get the idea. I hope.)
|From the Ember in the Ashes trailer - credit to Penguin Teen!|
Ultimately, I think it would take a very special author to write this kind of story. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like.
Of course, this entire post is geared towards everything but contemporary. Contemporaries, for me, tend to generally have more secondary characters that I love; I think Stephanie Perkins does a fantastic job with this.
Anyway. If you're still here after that long-winded, entirely opinionated and confusing post:
Who are your favorite secondary characters? Do you agree/disagree with what I've said? What thoughts do you have on secondary characters? What authors do you think could pull this off? Please let me know! I'm sure I'm just completely ignorant of all the things.