I’m taking a break from posts dealing with punctuation to spend some time on content.
This is a brief post about how secondary characters and subplots can potentially steal the limelight from your protagonist and/or antagonist if you aren’t careful.
Characters other than your primary protagonist/antagonist are there to move the plot along. Having extended portions of your story being told from the viewpoint of a secondary character can take away from the pacing of your manuscript. A few details about such characters and a little of their point of view can be great for a story. However, it is best to keep in mind who the primary personalities are and be sure to feature them.
It’s not just writing from a secondary character’s point of view that can be a problem. It’s just as easy to spend too much time talking about the worldview/problems of a lesser character as a narrator. You don’t want so many subplots that you’re going to take away from the meat of the story. Try to make sure that each subplot/secondary character helps to move the plot along. That’s why they are there.
When a lesser character starts to take over your manuscript so much that you’re narrative might be drastically changed, it might be time to begin a new manuscript with that secondary character as the protagonist/antagonist. If your writing muses are feeling that character, don’t hesitate to put aside your current WIP and start something new with him/her in a primary role. I’m not saying to abandon the original manuscript altogether. I’m just advising that you go with what you are feeling most passionately about right now.
I know that the previous paragraph will make this a controversial post, but I’m ready for it. I’m standing in the corner of the metaphorical writing boxing ring with my gloves held in front of my noggin.
All right, WG2E peeps. Feel free to swing away. Let me have it!