Monday, July 02, 2012
Developing Minor Characters in a Book
Since we fled DC after the storm on Friday night, here I am asking questions again. I am beginning to think taking vacations is a dangerous thing for us to do. Dangerous for the places we visit as much as for us.
Anyway, I just finished GONE GIRL, which was in most ways a terrific novel. Exciting, well-written, original, great finish. Who could ask for anything more. Me
One thing bothered me and it has come up before in many novels. How well-developed should the second male or female lead be in a novel. Does it work for you if they are only there to fill out the cast or to listen to the troubles of the star? Shouldn't they have some sort of life of their own?
In GONE GIRL, the male protagonist has a sister named Go. Great name, but she was given very few other characteristics although we were supposed to believe these two were very close. They run a business together, for instance. But she never came to life because she had no story of her own.
In a short story, you don't have the space to do this. But in a novel, there is lots of time to bring characters to life. What do you think? Maybe it is asking too much in a novel that is mostly about plot? But I wanted to know Go! Especially after she gave her that name.