Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Secondary Characters Primary Importance

My goal in everything is to get better every day. As a mom, wife, friend, and author. That means I have to be open to feedback and criticism. Even though I know I'm far from perfect, it's never easy to hear I've been too this or not enough that when it comes to me as a person. But for some reason, it's much easier to swallow criticism when it's about me as an author. (Random image: Kirkus Reviews giving me a glowing review as a mom but mentioning that my meal planning and cooking falls a little flat.)

One of the things I've learned from working with editors and reading reviews of my books is that I tend to underdevelop my secondary characters. I have to admit this is true. My process is all about inhabiting a main character and telling her story. Secondary characters are created to support the story, to create obstacles and room for growth. But that's not the way real life is. In real life, everyone is their own main character. And in the best books, secondary characters have depth and add richness to the story.

So today, I'm sitting down with all my secondary characters from my work-in-progress (which, by the way, has a new title: Ivy in Like), and I'm making sure they have their say. I'm getting to know them as their own main characters. They deserve that respect, don't you think?

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