Character Assassination

Have you ever read a story where you thought, Wow, I bet this minor character could have a story of their own, and then had to drudge through the rest of the story no longer interested in the main character?

I know I've read a couple books like this.

I was recently working on a story where I ran into some difficulty in how to move my main character forward. In reality, My main character was at the point where she was going to have to do something that she, and I, was not too happy about. Nonetheless, the action was needed for character development and to move the main plot forward.

So, I let it rest for awhile and worked on some scenes involving a supporting character.

The more I wrote and thought about this character, the more real that character became to me; and his story began to develop to levels rivaling the main character.

I've now added multiple scenes involving this character and some other minor characters, that may not be so minor for long, and even dreamt of these characters in their own story.

I'm now mulling over some sequel possibilities involving my current support character as the main character in his own story. I'm afraid the wonderful character I thought of as fuel for this story, is diminishing in importance and lifespan. Damn, I hate when that happens.

What about you? have you ever had a minor character rise in status throughout a story? Have you ever started a story with one character in mind and developed such a powerful minor character that they took over?

What are your thoughts?


  1. One of my books is Agatha Christie-ish and my main character is a history professor turned police officer (for money) and he, at first, had a boring partner. THen, I started thinking about the partner and when he started to develop in my mind, he became interesting. Now, I have to make sure the character does not take over the book.


  2. So far, no, but I can envision it happening at some point.


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