Using Minor Characters in your Writing

When I talk about a minor character, I’m talking about those characters who doesn’t really have a purpose beyond adding colour to a particular Point of View character’s story. Perhaps it’s the person serving coffee to our Main Character in the morning, or a fleeting mention of someone they once met.

So, if our minor character is just going to sit in the background, does this mean they’re not important?

Not at all.

Minor characters are distinct from secondary characters and serve a different purpose. A secondary character is someone you’ve fleshed out a backstory for in order to give them a place in the plot. On the other hand, a minor character is someone whose not going to change the course of the plot, but they’re there to just sit in the background. They add colour to your worldbuilding by providing a point of interaction through which your main or secondary character can tell the reader something about your world.

You can use minor characters to root your character into the world through their relationships – e.g. family relationships, existing or past romantic relationships, friends from particular parts of their lives. Even if they’re just mentioned in passing, it helps ground your Main Character and add more colour to your world. Minor characters have a lot to offer any story. Don’t forget to include them and use them to their full potential to keep your story interesting and exciting for your reader!

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