The Other Characters

There are many blog posts and articles that stress the importance of knowing your main characters, of portraying them correctly, of expressing them thoroughly. Sometimes I think we forget that the characters in the background are just as important. Maybe, in some cases, even more so. Those characters need motives and traits to move the story along, too.

I was writing last night, and I was focusing so much on my main character that I realized I had no idea who any of the others were. I hadn't taken the time to figure it out. Maybe most of you already have, but this realization really stopped me. A story can't be created with just one person. Most can't, at least. I opened a new document and - of course - made a list. Of who these people were and what they like and say and do. How do they fit into the plot? How are they connected to my main character?

I'm a little ashamed of myself, to tell the truth. When you think of all the amazing secondary characters we've read about, here I am, pouring all of my time and focus into this single person. The story would be... boring, really, without those others. What would Harry Potter be without Hagrid? What would Pride & Prejudice be without Mr. Collins? What would Twilight be without Alice? These personalities completely add to the stories, don't they?

Anyway. Just wanted to include you guys in my own little lesson for the week: don't forget the other characters. What are some of your favorite secondary characters?