Tags:
  1. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield

    Reasons for Sidekicks In My Book

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MilesTro, Jul 19, 2014.

    I just realize my main character , Jaden, in War Beast is overpower. He has the power to transform into a tornado, which can destroy everything in his path. Jaden is like sonic the hedgehog meets the Tasmania Devil. He also has two friends, a fox girl who can shoot fire from her tail, and a boxer dog who can turn his fists into stone. Although they are his best friends, what would be the point of having them when he can do all the fighting without their help? He can just take over the fight without a problem. Plus he can endanger his friends if they get in his way. If he can do that, then why have side kicks?
     
  2. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    Sidekicks can think of solutions to problems that the main character can overlook, or can sometimes do things the MC can't.

    A sidekick can encourage the main character or act as a source of inspiration.

    It might also be the case that the heroes are needed in more than one place at the same time.

    My main character starts with the ability to create portals to anywhere she has been to before (guessing often takes her to the wrong place), and in later stories she will be able to sense and manipulate energy, distort time and control gravity. She has a sidekick who has no special abilities apart from his super intelligence, which has allowed him to create a suit which grants him invisibility and magnetic control. The two balance each other out because neither of them alone would be able to take down their antagonists.
     
  3. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Maybe because he needs their help to turn back from the tornado. Or because he becomes very hurt and vulnerable right after he turns back, so he needs someone to get him back home and care for him in the meantime. Also, no man is an island, and even a tornado-changing superhero has his nemesis, who'll find a way to get to him. Then, he'll need the help of his friends. And, if none of these work, maybe he likes his friends. Just because they are less powerful then him, doesn't mean he doesn't need them on a personal level.
     
  4. PensiveQuill
    Offline

    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Australia
    Is it wise to make your main character omnipotent?
     
  5. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    Sidekicks can see things from a different point of view, and may have their OWN motivations for what they are doing. Don't discount their impact on the main character either. At a moment when the main character is full of rage, or anger, the sidekick might stop them from sending someone over that ledge...or help push them.

    Or even turn their back on them.

    Sidekicks aren't necessary, but they can help. Especially driving dialogue.
     
  6. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    A cross between Sonic the Hedgehog and the Tazmanian Devil doesn't sound omnipotent to me.
     
  7. PensiveQuill
    Offline

    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Australia
    It was the OP suggesting that actually nothing can really oppose his main character so the other characters are redundant. It's the best swordman in the realm syndrome. If someone really is so blindingly ahead of everyone else then really there can only be one outcome to a conflict. I remember reading Orson Scott Cards little book on writing, one of the points he made is that there shouldn't be a free lunch, every power should have a price. That way you have balanced characters capable of heroics and also defeats.
     
  8. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    The main character might start off as the strongest of his team, always taking down the bad guys single-handed until one day his sidekicks wonder why they stick with him during the fights. One day, when he's on his own against a new enemy that's too strong for him, or can't be defeated by brawn alone. Surprised and ashamed, he leaves his friends without explanation. When they find him, he tells them that he's not strong enough any more and the sidekicks explain that they feel like that all the time, but they still get involved for whatever their reasons are. This inspires the main character not only to fight again, but also to work as a team with his friends.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,968
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    Yep. If the main character can't lose, why bother having a story?
     
  10. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    He does have flaws and weaknesses. If he is in his solid form, he is vulnerable. Plus all the Beast characters are weak against silver since their powers are magic. When they touch silver, it makes them lose their powers for a while and makes them sick. However, silver is very rare.
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Sidekicks are usually there for the purpose of exposition, A sidekick provides someone to explain or clarify the main chara ter's in tentions or thought processes, especially for media such as radio or TV for which directly tapping into character thoughts is undesirable.
     
  12. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    I think I'll keep the side kicks. Sometimes they will go on their own missions when my main character is busy or too tired.
     
  13. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    FYI - sidekicks are companions. Side kicks are martial arts attacks.
     
  14. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    Yeah, I meant sidekicks.
     
  15. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    like superman ...... snore
     
  16. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Sidekicks also allow for exposition. Without need for internal monologue
     
  17. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Sidekicks can go where the main character can't and think of things the main character wouldn't.

    My "main character" is a hard-charging but naive young political journalist who is really good at her job, but nerdy, detached from the cultural developments that influence all of the stuff she reports on, and just came to the big city from small-town Wisconsin.

    Hence, her "sidekick" (now really a co-protagonist, but whatever), is the fashion blogger the MC's TV network. She doesn't know a darn thing about politics, but she can figure out culture, music, fashion, all of the stuff that eventually feeds the political storyline. She also grew up in L.A. so she's very bright-lights, big-city and not a deer in the headlights like the MC.

    So, in my case it was really a matter of building someone who could explore the sides of reality that the MC doesn't understand or care about.
     

Share This Page