WARNING: The following post contains plot spoilers for the movie Frozen.
The Stephanie Plum series, by
Janet Evanovich, has an extraordinarily rich cast of characters. If the
protagonist (the title character, in this case) isn't colorful enough, the
secondary characters are wildly interesting. And the whole series is more
memorable for it.
It’s easy to put lots of time
and imagination into creating your primary characters. Often, though, secondary
characters — that entire supporting cast, unless you’re writing a short story
or flash fiction — get overlooked.
Why not spend a few extra
minutes developing even secondary characters into unique individuals with their
Besides Anna and Elsa, Disney’s
Frozen offers an exotic array of
three-dimensional characters with fleshed-out desires.
> Kristoff is practical, consistent, and sacrificial, if a little
difficult to get along with at first, with a dry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
He counter-balances his love interest’s flighty enthusiasm. He wants his ice
business to succeed (a little hard when the entire kingdom is frozen) and, as
time goes on, Anna to be safe (a little hard when she’s in love with another
> Kristoff’s reindeer pal
and sidekick Sven is melodramatic,
easy-going, and loves carrots, which puts him at odds with other carrot-loving
(and –wearing!) characters. He wants … carrots, which is an issue when Kristoff
angers the merchant who might have sold them more carrots.
> Olaf, a snowman Elsa created and brought to life, is naïve, upbeat,
literal, childlike, and filled with the best intentions. His ability to misread
situations combined with his tendency to state the obvious make him thoroughly
unexpected. Olaf especially wants to experience summertime (in an ironic twist)
… an issue with Arendelle frozen solid and given his own elemental makeup.
Stay tuned for more secondary
characters in Part II.
What secondary characters do
you have in your story? Are each of them as fleshed-out and three-dimensional
as they could be? What do they each desire most of all?