Friday, 26 October 2012

Talking Sidekicks



I’ve recently discovered just how useful sidekicks are. Sure, they’re good for comic relief and getting your protag out of trouble, but I’ve also realised (maybe “realised” isn’t the right word. It’s become very obvious to me that) sidekicks are good for:

Talking.

Having a sidekick present really helps with the story, because it gives the characters something to do. I find that there is more interaction between characters with a sidekick present.

For example, I’ve only recently introduced my sidekick. So before that, and particularly in the first action scene, everything was very do orientated. My character did this. My character did that. He did this. He did that. It was really difficult to come up with exciting things to do.

But since I’ve introduced my protagonist’s sidekick, things have started getting easier to write! There’s interaction! My protagonist has someone to talk to! We get to learn more about him!

What about you? Does your protagonist have a sidekick? If you’ve ever written a story without a sidekick, did you find it harder to write? I’m interested in your thoughts. Let me know in the comments!

7 comments:

  1. I agree about dialogue. However, I try really hard not to think about secondary characters -- well, anyone who's not the main character -- as "sidekicks." In their own minds, they're not sidekicks. They're the main characters of their own lives. I have to remember that, or else I might end up writing them only according to function and not according to character.

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    1. That's an interesting way to put it!

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  2. I think I've found the same thing. Having someone to talk to is key—in my very first draft, I had no Ghale. Taeon was lame. Second draft—added Ghale. SO. MUCH. BETTER. It's a chance to let the reader connect with the POV character on another level, because we get to see how they act with other people, especially people they spend a lot of time around. Hmm…I think I always have sidekicks, in some form or another. People the protag can talk to on a regular basis. Makes it all a whole lot easier and more interesting to read and write. =)

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    1. I'm so glad you added Ghale! He was awesome!

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    2. Sometimes the "trapped in the main character's head with no one else to talk to" factor is what puts me off of first person narratives (a main reason why The Hunger Games books didn't do much for me but I loved the movie). Having the best friend or the "sidekick" or whoever really helps.

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    3. I've never really found a problem *reading* a character's internal thoughts... but writing them is a whole other matter! Sidekicks are certainly handy!

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    4. I guess I'm kind of the opposite. Don't mind writing internal dialogue and thoughts, but sometimes reading them can be a chore. Although it really depends on the character and whether I like them.

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