It also got me thinking about the albino in The Da Vinci Code. (If you’re a writer, you should know that’s how the mind of a editor works.) For me, that character is more memorable than any other. Why is that?
The key word there is “memorable.” He’s not bland like the protagonist. Despite his appearance, he has color. He has motivation, purpose, and perseverance. This is true whether you’re talking about the movie or the book. He doesn’t get the screen or page time as much as the protagonist, yet he comes close to over-shadowing him.
That’s one thing (among many) you have to be aware of when you’re writing. Don’t let your secondary characters or your antagonist take over. The antagonist has to be strong, has to be a worthy adversary, for the main character, but if he takes over the spotlight, then the book becomes his.
When you have your readers read your whole manuscript, it’s a good idea to ask, “Which character was most memorable to you?” and “Why?” If the answer is the antagonist or a secondary character, then you need to work on your protagonist.
He should be at least as memorable, if not more.
|Helen Ginger is an author, blogger, and writing coach. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Helen is the author of 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series, Angel Sometimes, Dismembering the Past, and two of her short stories can be found in the anthology, The Corner Cafe. Her next book, Deadpoint, is due out in Spring 2015.|