Monday, April 1, 2013

The Loudest Yell Gets a Story First

Today, I'm thinking about secondary characters - the supporting cast. What usually happens to me when I'm writing is that I form attachments to the people who populate the world of my primary characters. They have entire lives that my readers know nothing about. But I do. I'm wondering if when you read a book do the secondary characters ever interest you to the point you wish the author would tell their stories?

The only problem when this happens to me is that I might not have time to get into their story right away. I've decided (just today - you're the first to know) that I'm going to start making time. I might have other stories in my head that I need to tell, but I also owe it to my supporting cast members to not ignore them too long. Or at the very least, I will put them on my "To Be Written" list.

My partial TBW list to date:
Paulie - Remember Claire's best friend in Honey On White Bread, my1945 historical romance? Paulie was flighty, hard to please and had a huge crush on the guy that had a huge crush on Claire. All it got her was the loss of her virginity and a slap in the face with the knowledge she was nothing more than a stand-in for Claire. There is something brewing with the return of her father that left the family years ago, and there's a guy who worships the ground she walks on. Paulie has her flaws so I'm not too sure about telling her story - even though she's demanding I unleash her on paper.

Ruth - Ruth had a bit part in Honey On White Bread as the wise older sister of Paulie and Benjamin. She had short, bleached hair and smoked unfiltered cigarettes. Ahead of her time, she believed women could work at whatever they wanted and deserved equal pay. She was a waitress but intended on owning a restaurant some day. Sassy lady. Her story should be fun to write.

Phoebe - She's the best friend of the heroine, Lacy Dahl, in The Art of Love and Murder. This is kind of unfair to mention since this is an unpublished book and I've already started writing Phoebe's story, Southwest of Love and Murder. Phoebe murdered her first husband - on paper - but now he's actually been murdered, exactly as she wrote it. She's an artsy, free spirited writer and she's falling for an uptight, playboy rancher named Mason. There's lightening between them while they deal with a murderer.

Penny - Or The Black Fairy, as Lacy named her because of her goth attire. Penny is a very minor character in The Art of Love and Murder. Penny mans the front desk of the haunted hotel where Lacy stays in Flagstaff. We don't know a lot about Penny except she's likeable. She has told me about a man who comes to stay at the hotel who is down on his luck, a drifter. There's a mystery our little goth fairy gets deep into.

Dirk and Margie - I have to include both because I'm not sure who will take the lead. These are older characters, even for me to write about. I like older characters with all their history and experience. Dirk made a brief appearance in The Art of Love and Murder and has a bigger role in Southwest of Love and Murder. He's the father of Mason and Lacy's husband, Chance. He's a rough, tough ranch owner who has a sweet spot for Margie, who is a petite, spitfire of a rancher. They're in their early sixties, long time friends but ready for some romance - if they can avoid the dangers they face.

There are more but you get the picture. Lots of characters vying for attention in my head. I wonder who will yell the loudest once I have the two books I'm working on right now finished?

Don't forget to join my Quarterly Newsletter Group for a chance to win some gift cards and find out which characters will get their own books!


  1. Compelling subject, Brenda, given that I did exactly what you have decided to do. My second and third books of "The Luna Chronicle" are about my secondary characters. So, obviously, writing about those minor characters we love is how a series gets underway. Hope your weekend away was fun.

  2. Funny how flawed characters jump out at you, making your job of turning them into a heroine a little tougher. My vote's for Paulie. I did like that girl!

  3. Looking forward to reading all of these secondary character's stories! Fun posting.

  4. Dirk & Margie get my vote, don't read much about old friend romance in my age group :) Of course Paulie from past works...release all those stories out of you Brenda!!!

  5. How fun, Brenda. I so know what you're talking about. And do tell Paulie's story. She may be flawed, but those make the best characters! She may just surprise you.