Creative Writing: Write Side Characters: The Good and the Bad | Matthew Dewey | Skillshare

Creative Writing: Write Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

Matthew Dewey, Writer, Writing Tutor

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7 Lessons (29m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction to Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 2. Sidekick | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 3. The Henchman | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 4. Character Developer | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 5. Story Developer | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 6. Rough Diamonds | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad

    • 7. Conclusion | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad


About This Class

Hello Writer!

Welcome to the course where I show you how to develop side characters that grow with the story, that makes the story more enjoyable, keeping the reader interested. Don't make the same mistakes that so many novice authors make and instead learn how to write side characters that interest a reader, rather than bore them.


My name is Matthew Dewey. It is hard to say when my passion for writing began, but if I can recall it all started back in primary school. A small, pale child with not much to say, but plenty to write, or in most cases scribble, across a page. From there writing became a hobby, moving on to become a part-time job writing articles on various subjects from technology to programming. Suddenly, the spark was ignited and I wrote my first novel. From there I was hooked onto something that was akin to a calling.

Enough monologue, it is time to tell you what this course is worth to you; this course is the sixth in a series of courses that I am creating to tackle the problems that all writers face. If you wish to learn how to create interesting and clear writing then look no further. I do the research and compile them into short, simple courses in which I give you the most important information on the subject. What is more, any questions found fitting of a new course will be accepted and answered.

How to write enjoyable side characters:

  • How to create side characters that add to the story and character development

  • How to avoid the common traps that lead to uninteresting side characters

  • How to write rough diamonds, the side characters that change and surprise the reader

  • Along with some additional tips and advice when writing in general!

Welcome to the Side Characters: The Good and the Bad! I will show you everything you need to know to create an interesting side character, that your reader can enjoy, by helping you develop your writing style! See you soon!


1. Introduction to Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: writing a level is not easy. Each chapter welcomes new difficulties. You cannot proceed. Perhaps the story goes away that you have no control over. Perhaps the dialogue you wrote falls flat or even, perhaps you write the chapter that bores you to tears. All these problems are common enough in the writing community. But what a special is the dedication to improve by learning from advice and courses such as this as a writer, you know, dark desire, pride in your work, creating a scene that you can read with a smile. Mentally, pat yourself on the back for your creativity and use over camp. My name is Matthew, and I've been writing for several years. I would give you a number, but it is hard to pin down when I realized are so interested in the writing world recalling now I can still see myself as a child writing stories in my primary school years, nothing more complex than simple, childish thoughts. But that was a start. I started writing professionally, however, around three years ago at the publication of my first novel, The Four Horsemen. Today, every least several levels and right every chance I get to finish the next adventure. Writing is a passion. I'm sure you and I are. She or you wouldn't be watching this introduction, and I wouldn't have made it. Sat characters. That is a topic of the meaning to teach, but didn't quite simplified enough, for course just yet. However, I did reach the point. And here young, sad characters are dealing important to any novels that characters help a great story and dipped and main factor not to be the readers. Favorite characters. Side characters allow for variety in any novel as a way of keeping readers interested as well as the writer. A great, sad character can be just as memorable as the main character, whether they are good or evil. I'm here to provide relevant advice on creating fantastic side characters, which will accompany your protagonist or antagonist, adding that extra variety to your novel and making it much more memorable. By the end of this course, I want you to be able to continue writing with more confidence on the subject, developing side characters with ease and purpose. I know that sounds like a lot to ask for, but these are the methods that are found worked and applied to every Roger. And chances are this course holds that missing puzzle piece you've been looking for. Don't hesitate to take your first step because you don't know how far you will be once you do. Was that intra out of the way? That's great. Some side characters that had loved your novel I'll see you in the first listen. 2. Sidekick | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: Hello, writers and welcome to the side character improvement course in this list, and I'll be discussing how to write a common and favorite amongst all readers, the side character, the sidekick. The reason it is a favorite is because most writers tend to create a character more likable than the main character. Sakic is the main characters based parental partner in crime, if you will. If the side character is the best friend, they're usually have one or two. Personality trumps what your common enough in writing. The best friend will either be better than the main character having greater intelligence or strength. Or perhaps they'll wiser, in which case it makes the main characters seem more human. Thes characters are gonna have a shortfall, however, making them the sad character. But essentially they are the competition for the main character, a constant reminder that the main character isn't the greatest person in this story, bringing them down to us and making them seem more human. An example of this kind of based friend, Saad character is her money. Granger from the Eyrie Potter series by J. K. Rolling. This character is a superior wizard computer. The main character Harry Potter and essentially making him more realistic. I love like the writers handing him the world assailable plateau all the time. It's a subtle way to make this character seem more human, but it is quite necessary. Next you have, the less her best friend who is inferior in skills such as intelligent strength wisdom. The bumbling friend, as I like to call them, is usually loyal, foolish and more sensitive. Thes side characters are dreadfully common, however, and appear in most major novel, such as Ron Weasley from Harry Potter, Samwise Gamgee for Motor, the Rings and even John Watson from The Sherlock Holmes, Siri's What's and I Include. The stories are written from his perspective, which makes him essentially a main character in a way. But Sherlock Holmes is the main character in that Siri's being a mystery. Siri's. It's important not to have a look at the world through Sherlock's Us. Anyway. I'm getting sidetracked. The characters are favorites, as they are in many ways to represent the reader thes best friends have great character and are usually surprised by what happens next. If you have seen a live studio audience, you can sometimes see someone holding up a sign reading Laugh for the audience to know when to laugh during the sitcom that the actors off playing out for him. Almost the paid audience. Consider this side character that sun as they help the reader feel the right emotions will react the same way to the events of the novel. All the actions of the main character that is the first half of the side characters covered . If you're wanting which kind of two based friends would best suit your novel out? Recommend both. You don't need to use them constantly. But what they believe and their reactions will certainly be instrumental with interactions , including the main character. Be sure to take advantage of that and not push them. Assad Now that was the best friend side character. Let us take a look at the partner or dual character. These are by far the most difficult sidekick side characters to develop as they're almost dueling over becoming the main character. The sad characters move present in the novel than any side character. They are an influence on the story, almost Aziz Muchas the main character and their actions or behaviour are made so clear that it feels for the reader that there's no definite main character. However, the reason that these are the most difficult sidekicks to write is because eventually they will have to break to make way for the main character. I don't mean they die or they fought or simply bow after your lousy They're being upstaged by the main character. But at some point in the novel, the duel ends with the main character winning the reader's attention. These characters can be used with subplots and to develop some story aspect. But at the end of the novel, they realize their place almost a ziff breaking the fourth wall in a way and stepping down to allow the main character to be sent to stage for beginner authors. I can actually recommend using this side character. The reason I contradict myself in saying that the characters difficult to right and yet I recommended to begin authors is because these characters can be incredibly useful in the main character and world development, however, making them seem interesting enough to earn a spot as that calm of side character is incredibly difficult, especially in creating that duality between them and the main character That is why I recommend the strategy to begin autres. Not only will they start practicing some interactions of two characters constantly, but beginners were also start creating better worlds and more in depth characters. With that, our first listen comes to an end. I hope this information helps you and writing your sidekicks as long as you remember these purposes. Thes characters will not only be useful in developing your story, but they can add further interest as well. I'll see you in the next video. 3. The Henchman | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: Welcome back to the side character improvement course in this list, and I'll be discussing the importance of the henchman side character tops and how they can help create a truly minister villain. In the previous listen, we discussed Sidekick, a positive character which complements the main character, creating interactions that can help further to find the main character the same way a sculptor defiance a statue. The henchman is one on the opposite side of the moral compass with villain, but the purpose is rather similar. The henchman is a sad character that complements the villain and, in their words or actions convey to the reader how evil the villain is Now. I understand if you're working with the different story arc that perhaps doesn't make use of a villain in a traditional sense, such as an evil person planning doom of the arrow. But the same applies to even the most basic antagonised. You may not be writing about an evil demon wreaking havoc on the world, but you could be writing about the jerk in the office place. No matter which one of your plane will most likely have someone who is just a bad although not as intense. I call this Saad character the henchman, as it is a polar opposite. Off the sad kick, the henchman will often be conflicting with the sidekick more than the main character. But that is besides the point. I found that Rajan, a henchman, is a lot easier than a Sakic. There's some advice I can give you on the personality and actions of the henchman to make them seem more sinister, but at the same time emphasize how evil the big bad guys, the henchman will be spiteful week to emotions. And more often than not, they will hate the villain as well. In order to create an effective henchman, I'll make them cruel in everything they do. Unless a plan on bringing them to the good side I will attempt to right a terrible person that couldn't care less about the protagonists. Once I have done that to make the ancient cower in the face of the main antagonist, it is fantastic to create someone that appears to be the worst, as it surprises the reader and creates more fear surrounding the main antagonised. Now let's return back to those two examples. A demon and a jerk in the office place. I will describe how you would use such an interaction in both ox in the fantasy Monster. Are can make the henchman either vow or Mr Pissed or strong and fierce. Um, depending on their role, However, I want to make sure the power pales in comparison to the main antagonised. So other make the antagonist Arkle the hinge Minkow in the Antagonists wake or even still have the antagonist kill the move in the jerk in the office arc, I would have the bully approach. The bully usually has scummy friends who praise him in his actions but still receive abuse from the bully. In the end, they're still friends in a way, albeit in a toxic friendship. However, the henchman will always be a useful tool in defining the venom. Like the sidekick Tough Fung's the protagonist. Personally, I lean towards a henchman more than I use a Sakic. It depends on how you present your protagonist, of course, but nothing beats a strong villain. I try to use whatever I can to create such a scary villain. That being said, I hope you found this information on henchman useful in the creation off your antagonist as well. There are many side character tops, and the henchman are, at least to me a lot of fun to rot. In other novels movies, they are certainly instrument that add humor to a noble with their strange personalities. So I try to write a few laughs in with some henchman, but that this listen comes to an end and I hope you enjoyed. I'll see you in the next video. 4. Character Developer | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: L. A writers and welcome back to the sad character improvement course. In this lesson, I will be moving on from the closest side characters, the ones who have the greatest effect over the story to side characters, which appear less frequently but still have a noticeable effect on the story. The's sad characters were hope. Develop certain parts off the story or the characters you have written in this. Listen, I'll be talking about the side characters that develop your main characters and strongest side characters. Thes sad characters will improve your characters three directions or through well placed story influences. Thes sad characters appear less frequently than the strongest side characters, perhaps appearing once or twice throughout the novel to help a character reach an emotional an epiphany, perhaps to adjust the story so the character can develop and become stronger over the events of the novel. Personally, I make use of a least two tops of characters like this in a simple novel where not many interactions are acquired, you can only develop a character so much before the reader becomes confused as to what they are reading. Your character cannot start out foolish and weak and over the course of many interactions become waas and strong. It simply isn't believable in a simple novel. If that is exactly what you want to do with your novel and have a character that develops from being something so basic and weak, something strong and we'll complex, you're gonna have to stretch out your novels events over a long period of time to make it seem more believable, as well as to why you have so many characters developing the main character or side characters. If your story takes place of a paid of days and the changes to your character will be minimal, if at all. However, if your story takes place over years, the changes will be noticeable, and he can use as many character developing minor characters to reach this point. These minor characters influences can be multiple when it comes to developing stronger characters. First thing you need to consider when rotting these characters into novel is what changed They should bring to a stronger characters. Well, this Monica actor help the stronger character reach a mental conclusion about themselves about someone else. Or perhaps, will this minor character equipped. The stronger character was something that I helped him overcome a challenge. Once you have decided on the purpose of this minor character, you need to be a little clever and where you place them in this story. One, you can turn them into a savior and place them exactly in the right place at the right term and make the monarch act to seem miraculous in their appearance. The other way you can write them into your novel is far earlier, to the point where the reader forgets what change they made to the main character until the main character uses that change to their benefit. Whichever way you go, it will lead to the final decision on the main character. Whichever way you go, it will lead to the final decision on this minor character. Who is this character? You must decide why they're helping the stronger character while they look the way they do act the way they do. And so on union, go further than face value description of a minor character. But you can't step into your novel with this bland character that has a profound effect over the main character. Use this opportunity to give the reader an example of an average person in the world and give the reader an idea that there are more people lacquers character throughout the novel . It really puts your story into perspective, but more importantly, it makes the interaction between the minor character and the stronger character Believable was that this lesson has come to an end. And I hope you found this information useful in writing a character to develop your stronger characters more. I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Story Developer | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: and a writers. And welcome back to Assad character improvement course in this listen, we will continue and finish discussing the manner start characters who influenced the novel . This lesson is surrounding this story. Developing characters who give the reading information will help the characters progress in the story with said information Now destroy developers need and progress the plot only There are many uses for minor characters that can develop the story often used such characters to develop world elements such as laws or technology. Of course, this depends on the different top of world that you're creating and how different it is from my own. Rogers only referred to the differences in the world's not the similarities, which would just be padding the rotting heavy money characters do. This is fantastic, Miss it as well as people generally are the most different. If you're writing something, sit in a fantastical world, you need fantastical people to fill it. Having such Monica characters will subconsciously fill in for the reader that is, well, building with minor characters in a natural. Next, I'll be talking about the Monica characters that affect plot the's characters I use really , you can have as many as you wish to develop the plot. A great balance between them and the main character is fantastic. However, if done wrong, it can leave a bad influence over your novel. In my second novel, dropped, I found that there was a mistake in my plot. I didn't plan it out or simply wrote myself into a dating to save my characters and a story from crashing into a wall and staying the our wrote a minor character in who point to them in the right direction. Of course, this was an awful way to do things and the rewrite made to improve that minor character interaction and have the story flow a bit better. That is not to say you can't have a Monica to playing their hand in the plot, but you can't have a monarch actor sweeping and save it. It simply makes for bad reading and is bad writing to keep something like that in your novel. I would not bring him in for a line on a minor character For anything so important. Just developing the thoughts off the stronger characters isn't that help them reach that conclusion, but don't have the monarch character save. If you find yourself in such a situation, it should be up to your main character or closest side characters to continue the story moving on. From that point, developing a plot with demonic character should be handled sparingly. Such influences are best left to more important characters. With that being said, that is the final point on these minor side characters. They are differently, some uses to them in the development of any part of your novel. You can use them to create better characters or mass flow to your story or in developing a living world. However, if they used wrong, they can be an obstacle for the reader to glance over. It can be an obstacle for the flow of your writing. Amman A character like this can interrupt anything that is going well and make it go badly , which is why you have to use minor characters like the sparingly. So if they do make a change in the negative, it'll be barely noticeable in the oval arc of the story, Which is why you can use these side characters to help or to hinder your story, so better thinking them through before writing them down Have, Bean said. That concludes, is listen and I hope you enjoyed I will see you in the next video where were discussed. The rough diamonds of side characters. I'll see you then. 6. Rough Diamonds | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: Hello, writers and welcome back to the side character improvement course. In this listen will be taking a look at the greatest of side characters. The rough dominance, the rough diamonds are sad characters that have a lot more importance than just being a simple sidekick for Henchman. The rough diamond nickname can apply to even further in describing a minor side character who begins to show more importance than just being a passing glance. Throughout the novel, the rough diamonds are the greatest of side characters but are represented as the reader as simple start characters. For example, imagine a side character who appears to have a great moral but suddenly becomes bad. Something turns them all. They have always been that way deep inside. Thes kind of revelations are usually revealed later in the story where the picture of the main character has been sit in the Reader's Month. It surprises the reader twists story, and in the end, the side character appeared so average or unimportant as a drastic effect on the plot. And suddenly the spotlight is on them. Personally. I have early ever written two characters like this, and in my experience with them, wasn't the best. I always found them lacking an ever put the level on hold, since I wouldn't get it just right. That is when I started doing some in depth research into creating a rough diamond of Assad character. When creating such a character, you can't four to the cliche, but you can't be unrealistic. I failed one of those two for each of these rough diamonds, which is why they fell flat. Luckily, I was able to make necessary changes, and I had in the in created rough diamonds that I could be proud of. The first thing you must understand about writing such characters is to make sure they don't change or do something without a great reason. You need to decide if they are fooling everyone all along, or you have to provide a scene or dialogue that can cause them to do something that affects the story in a big way. I won't go into too much detail that allow me to describe one of the scenes are created and how the rough diamond took effect a little after the middle of the story, I had the main antagonist and the main protagonist face off against each other almost surprisingly early in the novel cause you would expect this at the climatic ending to the novel. Seen at first was to be climatic and memorable, but I wanted to pull the rug from beneath the readers feet and do that, using a rough dammit, I had a meek side character who was the sidekick to the main character but also an unstable side character. As the readers would soon find out. The character hated the antagonist for personal reasons, and I got in the way of the fight in order to take their revenge. But the result for this rough diamond was that they ended up being killed despite the warnings off the protagonist. It was something completely unexpected in the rotting, as the character's personality was more weak willed than anything, which is why I love this scene. Once I had written it, it was uncharacteristic off the side character and approved to show more depth to them than anything else. The rough diamond interrupted what was to be the final conflict, postponing it to an even more dramatic ending. Later in the novel, the sad character proved themselves to have more personality, more courage than the reader every expected, and sadly, it was punished for the characters. Brash action. It was unexpected. It was grim. It lift a negative emotion in the main character and added to the coldness of the antagonist. I'm not saying that every side character should be a rough diamond, but you can rest easy with the sense of prod. Knowing that they are major characters in the novel that the reader will not expect was that being said, I recommend this tactic in writing fully great Assad character that you absolutely enjoy and have them do something. So money mental in the story, be it Saad, be it on the side of good or bad because of Rough Diamond can be a henchman as well as a sidekick. And was that This listen has come to an end and indeed the course I hope you enjoyed. I will be providing a brief conclusion in the next video on what you learned in this course and its importance. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video 7. Conclusion | Side Characters: The Good and the Bad: and thus the course comes tuning DOOL writers and interested viewers. I say thank you for watching our plan in creating more videos and courses such as this one to tackle the issues that hit right is the most and discussing and teaching. What I learned on writing side characters was an interesting course. When it came to my first couple of novels, I never really gave side characters that credit that they would do. Sure, I paid attention on building them up and giving them a useful place in the novel, but I didn't understand the potential, of course, as you do with anything you wish to improve on at aside, to do some research and see if there's something that I was missing. Indeed, there was plenty about side characters that I didn't really notice in novels, and I felt inspired. I have seen and read so many sad characters and movies and novels and never had our thought . I could create something so special beyond creating something that was used for funny conflicts or experimenting of personalities. Of course, right 18. What I have come to call rough diamonds turned out to be the biggest revelation off all the way. You can use characters to get the better of the reader and give them something exciting and fresh was an amazing thought and are rushed to put what I learned into action. And now I have told you the best pieces off advice of what I learned on the subject, and I'm sure you eager to put them to good use as well. But before you dove back into a writing, how about chicken of a profile and giving me a fun of? I'll be releasing courses such as this regularly and you watching, enjoying the means a lot, and it supports me and creating more courses to answer those questions Playing in your mind . Be sure to leave such questions and comments, or to send me a message on a suggested course idea or something. You wish me to tackle on another course itself. Any questions that play your mind? Things that trouble you create difficult scenarios for you in your writing. I'll be happy to address in later videos. If you wish to support me further and producing better content, I have a patriot on that patron dot com forward slash the paint sleuth or as you're seeing on the screen now. One small thank you for watching. And I hope you enjoyed was that good day could not and happy rotting.