So, I had this lovely post written and, in true internet fashion, it was eaten. So, I’m starting over on the topic. This month we address secondary characters. The question is: Have you ever read or written a story that had a secondary character take over a story?
Of course. What writer/reader hasn’t? I have a current WIP titled “The Whispering House.” (In case the title doesn’t give it away, it’s a paranormal. 😀 Well, an erotic paranormal romance.) The intrusive secondary character was a love interest. I liked the tension he added, but the plot took a turn, and I couldn’t see how he fit in. As I wrote the earlier post, my mind started churning and I realized he needed to be put back in. (grin) But maybe he’s not intrusive. You won’t find his own POV, though. So, maybe he’s not so intrusive. Hm… I’ll have to think on that. I hope I still have all of my drafts…
Whether in a suspense, thriller, horror, or romance, I do not like intrusive secondary characters. For me, in all of these instances, they drag the plot down, kill the pace, and distance me from the protagonist.
Several years ago, I was reading a romance. With may 30 pages left in the book, the heroine’s best friend suddenly had her own POV, and the next 20 pages were devoted to the best friend and her love interest. Wait a minute! What happened to Harry and Maude? I liked Harry and Maude. They were about to get together, but now I’m reading about Sally and John? ARGH!
Or take one I just tried to read. (Tried to read because I didn’t last more than a few chapters.) It was a romantic suspense. Due to the intrusive secondary characters (and their POVs), all of the suspense was sucked out of the story. It could’ve been a good story, but within those first two to three chapters, I knew the hero’s cover was blown. Now, it became a matter of when, not if, the villains came after him. And it was so early in the 200 plus page book, I really couldn’t see how they were going to maintain this through the rest of it.
When I run across books like this, the delete button is my friend. 😀
Good secondary characters enrich the story line. Bossy ones that take over distract the reader and detract from the story.
Well, that’s just my opinion. You don’t have to agree, but you might want to see what the other ladies in the blog hop think: