NANOWRIMO – NGWN STYLE: Supporting Characters Who Won’t Shut Up!


***Don’t forget to leave a comment to win the daily prize! All comments are entered to win the grand prize!***

HerPerfectMan_w7257_680Happy NaNo, everyone! To celebrate National Novel Writing Month, we Nice Girls are sharing some writing tips. Members of the NGWN crew have already shared some awesome tips. Today I would like to talk about supporting characters in a story–particularly those who refuse to stay in the background! 🙂

Some authors are plotters who have their stories completely planned out before they touch the keyboard of their computers. Others are “pantsers”, who wing it with little or nothing planned ahead and just let themselves go to see where the story takes them.

Me, I’d say I’m mostly a plotter. I like to know the main events and high points of my story before I start writing. I’m a bit of a pantser in that it sometimes takes me a while to figure out how to get to those points. 🙂

Sometimes those little detours can spark new ideas for an author. In my first book, One Good Man, the hero’s brother had a girlfriend named Kim. She didn’t have a huge part in the story, but I liked her. She was snarky and mouthy and not afraid to speak her mind. A little rough edged. We only saw a glimpse of her, but she intrigued me.

I can’t quite remember when exactly I decided I wanted to write Kim’s story. Was it during the first book, or while I wrote the second, Take This Man? Kim appeared in this story as a supporting character, again her mouthy self. But she because she got her heart broken by Adam, the hero of this story, I had a chance to explore her softer side.

Some characters simply won’t shut up until you write their story. Kim was like that. Her story became Her Perfect Man. When an author decides to bring a supporting character to the forefront and give that character his/her own story, you get to reveal and expand that character.

I’d shown Kim’s mouthy, rebellious side in the two previous books. In Her Perfect Man I wanted to explore her softer side more. I wanted to show her in a more sympathetic light. She does favors for an elderly neighbor, she gives a home to a scraggly stray cat who she spoils rotten, she sews baby blankets for preemies for a local charity.

That doesn’t mean I ignored Kim’s prickly side. But now I could explore why Kim always got in her own way, and why she made poor choices in life. I got to show how her friends, her family, and her upbringing affected her. And I got to show how her interactions with Charlie, her “perfect man,” brought out both her best and her worst qualities. Her strengths and her fears.

Kim found her own happy ending this time around–she wasn’t the rebound girl or the booty call or the consolation prize. Charlie was the right complement for her–calm and level-headed, easy-going but with inner strength. He knew where to draw the line and wouldn’t let Kim steamroll him. And with him, she could let down her guard and start to trust.

So friends, when you’re writing your novel and that pesky supporting character just won’t shut up, you’re being offered an exciting opportunity. It’s a little bit scary and a lot of fun. You’ll be able to learn a lot about your character, open up his/her life and share that with your readers. You’ll see the whole spectrum of that character’s personality where once you glimpsed only a sliver. Enjoy!

NGWN+Promo+November+2014+with+textFriends, today I’m offering a digital copy of Her Perfect Man as well as a copy of my most recent release, Don’t Let Go to a random commenter. Please just answer this question:  Is there a supporting character in a book you’ve read who you were glad to see got his (her) own story or you *wish* would get his own story? *OR* If you’re writing a story, is there a pesky character in your WIP who just won’t shut up? 🙂

You can leave a comment through Nov. 26, after which I will randomly select a winner. All commenters will be entered to win a grand prize of $25 USD from All Romance eBooks! And don’t forget to leave a comment on our other NGWN NaNo blogs for a chance to win some of these other cool prizes:

From Leela Lou Dahlin, her NaNoWriMo novel, Rumor Has It

From Ella Sheridan: $10 Gift Card for Amazon

From A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder: Copy of SEALED BY FIRE (or choice of backlist)

From Angel Payne: Free e-copy of either NO PRINCE CHARMING or NO MORE MASQUERADE

From Harlowe Wilde: Copy of Kitty Kitty Bang Bang & $5 Amazon gift card

From Dani Wade: Choice of Backlist book

From Nona Raines: ecopy of Her Perfect Man and Don’t Let Go or another of her backlist

From Tina Christopher: one of her books

A prize from Dakota Trace

From Lara Archer: $10 Amazon e-gift card

From Taige Crenshaw: $10 All Romance ebook e-gift card

Thanks for stopping by today!

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

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16 responses to “NANOWRIMO – NGWN STYLE: Supporting Characters Who Won’t Shut Up!

  1. I will admit to excessive celebration when secondary characters I adore get their own story. Sometimes, even when we only get a snippet of them, we fall in love or our curiosity is piqued and we can’t let them go. Thanks for the great post!

  2. Catherine, Thorne and Woods sound like fascinating characters! In answer to your question, I keep thinking I’d like to give a story to Walter, the homeless guy who appears in “His and Hers and Hers.” He has a cameo in an upcoming story, but I have to think of a good plot for him. He’s one of those characters I can’t get out of my mind.

  3. I love those talking side kicks. They make the series much easier to write and I like getting to revisit characters I’ve already met in other stories.

    Great post sorry it took me so long to get over here but now I’m here and glad you don’t feel like the stinky cheese lady anymore. *You crack me up*

  4. I absolutely had a secondary character that just wouldn’t shut up. Man oh man, he ended up being my all-time favorite hero. And I did what I had only heard about from others—I fell in love with him. *sigh* *giggle*

    Great post, Nona!

  5. I admired you ladies for your dedication to NaNo writing. I do good just to write the emails that I have to send out.

  6. One thing I do love (as a reader) about books in a series is knowing that the more interesting the secondary character, the more likely we’re going to see them front and center in a future book!

    When I’m writing books in a series myself, I actually sorta kinda like giving those secondary characters some heartbreak, so they build up karma for their own eventual HEAs.

      • Absolutely! It’s why we end up having sequels. Right now, it’s a half-fey by the name of Thorne and a bear-shifter named Woods. They’re cops, and I think they may not be able to be in this book – which means we’ll have to put them in their own book! o.O… What about you?

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