Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Film Writes: Strong Secondary Characters (Part II)

WARNING: The following post contains plot spoilers from the movie Frozen.

Few techniques bring a story to life more quickly than building up your secondary characters.

In this post, we continue to analyze other strong secondary characters from Disney’s Frozen. (Read Part I here.)

Examples

> Hans is a prince of the Southern Isles (anyone who has seen the movie may appreciate that line) and Anna’s love interest. He’s charismatic, genteel, and a natural leader, excellent in a crisis and equally good at mustering support and amassing followers. His ability to sympathize with Anna makes him likable, and he seems to want her safe most of all.

> In contrast, the duke of Weselton (no first name) is mostly unlikable from the start. He admits his agenda from the first time viewers see him — as one of its trade partners, he wants to discover Arendelle’s secrets and exploit its riches. He’s prejudiced, deceptive, and defensive — a near-perfect antagonist.

> Grandpabbie, the oldest and wisest rock troll, acts as a mentor in this tale. He’s calm, generous with his magical powers, and a reasonable voice in otherwise highly emotional and chaotic situations. Without more information about him, it’s hard to say what he wants, but he does have a responsibility to help others, making him approachable.

Takeaway

Well-rounded secondary characters round out a memorable story line.

Questions

What secondary characters do you have in your novel? What roles do they play? What wants can you give them to motivate them to action?

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