Wednesday, November 21

Creating Memorable Supporting Characters

Crafting Memorable Supporting Characters

I try and do two posts a day and my previous post--Using Permanently Free Books To Increase Sales: Part 2--took up most of my blogging time.

But that's okay! Because I know what I want to talk to you about. I found a TERRIFIC post over on the wonderful blog The Other Side of the Story entitled 5 Tips for Developing Supporting Characters.

How To Develop Memorable Supporting Characters

Nancy Parker writes:
Some [writers] spend far too much time developing their supporting characters, and some spend far too little time doing so. Achieving a balance between the two, while difficult, isn’t impossible. 
Here are two of Nancy's 5 points:
 3. They need a little personality. 
You should always give your supporting character her own personality so that your readers remember who she is. This is especially important in books that have a wide range of characters, because if the supporting character lacks a personality she’ll end up getting lost between the pages. Whether that means that she’s the witty one, the one who is always forgetful, or the one who fulfills the role of the snarky sidekick is all determined by what void you want her to fill within the story.

4. You can have too many supporting characters. 
You also want to stay away with placing too many supporting characters into your novel. When too many of them are running around it starts to get confusing and hard to follow, and readers have to spend too much time trying to remember who did what and why they’re relevant. 
Great advice! To read tips 1, 2 & 5 click here: Guest Blogger Nancy Parker: 5 Tips for Developing Supporting Characters.

Other articles you might like:
- Using Permanently Free Books To Increase Sales: Part 2
- How To Design A Great Looking Book Cover
- Pixar: 22 Ways To Tell A Great Story

Photo credit: "Greetings!" by JD Hancock under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.


  1. One of my hardest tasks is giving supporting characters personalities of their own. If I'm not careful, they end up mimicking the protagonist too much.

    1. I know what you mean, that's one of my challenges as well. As part of my editing process, now, I try to assign each supporting character a quirk, or visual tag of some sort, to help make them distinct.


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