Blogging Circle: Supporting Characters
I had to think a little about this week’s BC topic: What supporting characters do you love/hate?
Off the bat, the supporting character I love is Giguhl, from Jaye Wells‘ Sabina Kane series. A demon hairless cat who has the most awesome quips and gives some humor to an otherwise dark, edgy urban fantasy series. He’s so awesome, in fact, we interviewed him on Book-Addicts not too long ago. Yea. Freaking hilarious.
So, in saying that Giguhl is a great supporting character, well, what exactly makes him great? Other than the obvious…
A good supporting character, to me, is memorable. If Jaye Wells ever wrote a novella about the Adventures of Giguhl, I’d totally be all over it.
There are some scenes in the Sabina Kane books in which Giguhl actually steals the scene and upstages Sabina!
In Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, there’s a book that’s short stories about supporting characters. It’s one of my favorite books in the series, because all of her characters are amazing, and these short stories give more insight to them. Janelle and Damien are great, wonderful main characters, but at the same time, so are Surreal, Lucivar and the High Lord.
Anne Bishop’s supporting characters are so good, in fact, she actually gave them their own books. Not just one of short stories, but a full book in which the “main characters” became supporting ones.
It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what makes these supporting characters so great. Maybe it’s because they’re written as though they are main characters, despite being written for the background of another character’s main story.
A good supporting character is a main character, it just so happens that the story in which they are a supporting character is not their own. But if you were to give them their own story, it’d be amazing, because they’re great characters.
So what happens when a supporting character isn’t memorable?
It doesn’t necessarily make them bad, per say, but it doesn’t help them either. They’re like white noise, you know they are there, but you just don’t really notice them. And sometimes it’s the exact opposite. Sometimes a supporting character is so annoying and so in your face, that they distract from the main characters and the main story ARC and bring the entire book down.
And while I can think of a few examples in books I’ve read, I’m choosing not to name names.
Maybe Cid can shed some more light on supporting characters tomorrow, when she talks about the supporting characters she loves and hates.
Meanwhile, who are some of your favorite and least favorite supporting characters? What books are they from?