Or at least, they think they are 😉 Come on, nobody grows up wanting to be the sidekick–and this includes your antagonists and supporting characters.
This is a concept that I recently read in Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story, and right away, something just clicked.
My supporting characters went from “I’m here to support” to fully-fledged complex people with lives. I’m serious!
Once I began to think of these “other” characters in this way, I got out of a rut in a particular story where the side-character was just… there. Like a placeholder.
Like a nail just stuck in the wall.
When you consider that all your characters think they are the protagonist, it helps you better visualize their wants, needs, and (smaller) arcs.
It helps you breathe life into them, so that they’re not just a nail in a wall.
And when it comes to antagonists, it truly puts you in their shoes, so that you (and the reader) knows why they’re doing what they’re doing. Better yet, so that the reader may sympathize with the bad guy and feel that conflicting moral pull.
(You know, the conflicting moral pull you felt when you read Snape or Voldemort’s back story, and you thought… well, they do have a point…).
So, try it. How do your antagonists and supporting characters change when you consider that they think they’re right, just, and the star of the show?
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜