1. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Secondary Character steals the show?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by louis1, Jun 24, 2012.

    I don't know how it happened but my MC's best friend just completely stole the show, I just finished writing the scene for him and woah, I don't think people will even care about my main character anymore.
     
  2. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I think it's great to have a protagonist, but a secondary character that is really fun to write about. That doesn't necessarily mean that your protagonist isn't your protagonist anymore. I mean, most common example: Harry Potter. Definitely the protagonist, yet when I read the series, my favorite characters were his two best friends, as he was quite dull.

    Having that type of character is useful. You can develop your main character(s) through him/her in a way, making it more enjoyable for readers. Obviously, if this character that stole the show is good friends with the protagonist, having him/her around should do wonders for your story.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, it happened to me too with one of my secondary characters. originally he was the love interest of the mc and in the early versions he had just that part, but later he got his own pov and after that he's been unstoppable! :D Now I've rewritten it so that he's not only a secondary character anymore, but one of the mcs and his point of view weighs just as heavily as the other. he has gotten his own goal and desire apart from just being the love interest of the other mc. Plus, he also has a friend who demonstrated interesting qualities as a character, which surprised me.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Sometimes the main character , especially in genre or series fiction can actually be a laid back kinda guy watching more of the action going on around him. It's still his story to tell , but the other characters are more flashy in comparison - movies tend to go this route with the straight guy and his outgoing friends.

    On the flip side usually if the main character is totally outgoing then the surrounding characters will be rather laid back. Things tend to balance out. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Unless this is some epic in which the side character just won the battle for the mc and unless he dies at the end of the battle, then that might be a problem.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This sometimes happens. Look at the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Captain Jack Sparrow is actually a secondary character, though he grabs the whole show and runs away with it. In the first Pink Panther movie, Inspector Clouseau was a secondary character. There are many other examples.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree, minstrel. Jack Sparrow was clearly written and cast to be the lead character in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Here are a few TV roles that were originally intended to be secondary characters, but they quickly dominated:

    Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli in Happy Days.
    Steve Urkel in Family Matters.
    Fred "Rerun" Stubbs in What's Happening!!
     
  7. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Strong secondary characters are great for adding depth to a story line or a continuing story arc, if it is a series. I ran into one of these myself recently and now my cameo secondary had her own story. Good characters seem to write themselves with a little help from the writer's hands. When a seemingly secondary character comes vibrantly into focus it can be very good for a story. Character byplay is a huge part of any book; it shouldn't be just solely about the plot.

    - Darkkin
     
  8. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Sounds like you have an Ensemble Darkhorse trope.
     
  9. GillySoose
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    GillySoose Member

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    Happens sometimes. I read that Captain Ahab from Moby Dick was originally supposed to be a secondary character, but he stole the show so bad that Melville decided to make him the main character.
     

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