Give Minor Characters Their Due

You have your hands full with your hero or heroine. Readers have to identify with their crisis. But what about the supporting players? They might be parents, friends, lovers, the local librarian, the waitress at the coffee shop. You can’t really worry much about them, can you?

Not true. They are individuals who demand time and space as they create complications for the main character or facilitate her journey. You wouldn’t have included them if they didn’t have a purpose.

If you suppress them, your story may not blossom and you may leave your readers unsatisfied. If you introduced them, it had to be for a reason. Think about the story you are working on. Do you have a minor character screaming to get out of his box? Hear him out.

Don’t forget however, that despite the benefits that a minor character confers,, you must keep him in check. Don’t give him or her the best lines or let them steal a scene. If all else fails, you may decide to give him his own book or story some day.


A few readers have asked for some more of my poems. Here’s another one – just light verse which lends itself to a rhyme. I wrote it a few years ago just for myself – it was the anniversary of my Dad’s passing:

My Dad was quite a gardener,
He loved his hobby so;
And every week-end morning
To the garden went old Joe.

He’d never studied horticulture,
Or even read a book,
Still he planted and he weeded
And watered every nook.

Our garden always flourished
And was certainly unique
‘Cos next to all the flowers
You might find pumpkin or a leek.
He didn’t think it strange at all
Vegetables next to a lily –
They all belonged in gardens –
Separation was plain silly.

I still recall my dear old Dad
Cutting the edges of our lawn
With a pair of manicure scissors
And digging in some mushroom spawn.
He fertilised the garden
With foul-smelling “Blood and Bone” –
Whenever he bought a sack of it
He was strictly on his own!

That’s how I’ll always remember Dad
Who loved our garden so ….
I hope in the Garden of Eden now
They let him plant and hoe!


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