Minor Characters Deserve the Same Depth

I started the editing phase for Mirror Image on the weekend. There are six view points (I thought there were five, but discovered I was wrong) so I decided to create six files and work on each viewpoint separately. Sounded like a good plan to me. That is, until I tried to edit one of the files.

There are three major character and three minor character view points. I decided to work on the minor characters first. The character I chose only has three scenes in the entire manuscript. The scenes make perfect sense, but the character feels one dimensional. He’s made out of words alone. There’s no substance to him. That’s bad!

Naturally, this made me feel as if I’d hit a brick wall. But, determined not to let it beat me, I let my mind mull it over for three days and that’s when I suddenly realised what I had done wrong. The character does his part in the story, but doesn’t gain anything in return. Again, that’s bad!

As mentioned, this is a minor character, but he is a character with a life and reasons for choices made and I have neglected to show any of that when writing from his point of view. I managed to knock down that brick wall that was holding me back and have started giving this character a real reason for being in the story. When I’m finished, he won’t feel used and abused any more. He’ll be a legitimate character, with real conflicts, real objectives and a real personality. Now, that’s how it should be.

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