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Craft Characterization/Conflict: Using Secondary Characters to Showcase Your Protagonist w/ Connie Flynn

Your secondary characters matter! Give them life while enhancing your story.

  1. conflynn
    New this year at SavvyAuthors!:
    • New!!
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    Premium Members $40 / Basic Members $50
    • Characters
    How do you give life to your secondary and tertiary characters? Do they just show up while you’re writing? Do they force themselves into the story because they perform an action? Are they there because you’ve been told you must have a buddy, a villain, a love interest, etc?

    These are all workable routes to developing characters but . . . that doesn’t mean the characters will be workable.

    Secondary and tertiary characters serve one purpose in a given story: They make the hero/heroine look good or look bad. They bring out the best in him, the worst in her and they do it while not calling too much attention to themselves. I call this “showcasing,” and this four-week workshop shows how.

    Why You Want Them:
    • To stay competitive as a fiction writer. Stories revolving around communities of all kinds---a business office, a child care center, a small town, a bustling city, a family or even a planet —are becoming increasingly popular among readers who don’t want to wade through an enormous library to find a book they love to read.
    • Once you understand each character’s purpose, plotting will be easier, you won’t stall or run into those plot points where you realize what you’d planned won’t work.
    • This is not a GMC derivative. It’s about connecting the purposes so they create instant tension that increases conflict or suddenly releases it.
    • This is also not a characterization workshop. It’s about conflict between characters and how to utilize that to write page turning stories.
    • If you aspire to write a series, mastering this technique will help you choose which characters to use in your sequels because their buttons will already be in place.

    This workshop is designed for intermediate to advanced authors, however, new authors would be a step ahead if they learned to develop their people and their plot by using the ‘showcasing’ method. There will be written assignments and students are advised to use a new story rather than layering this structure over a work in progress.
    Week One:
    Concentrates on building a protagonist with visible strengths and weaknesses.

    Week Two:
    Concentrates on developing stereotypes that will support or work against the protagonist.

    Week Three:
    Reveals how to identify the characterization buttons that create conflict and releases it.

    Week Four:
    Your cast of characters will be complete. You’ll know how each character functions and how to effectively use them so that reader’s focus is always on the protagonist.
    Instructor Posts on SavvyBlog:
    Oh, The Joy of Revising Your Book by Connie Flynn

    What Concerns You by Connie Flynn

    Are You A Rule Breaker? by Connie Flynn

    Fall in Love with YOUR Words: Dialogue and Narrative by Connie Flynn

    What’s With These Bogus Happy Endings? by Connie Flynn