Tag Archive: main characters


I have been arguing with a friend for the past few days about romance, chemistry, and relationships in writing. In the course of our conversations, I said something that made me think about something that has been obvious to me for a long time.

A relationship is its own character.

I’ve been reading a hell of a lot of books recently: anything written by Josh Lanyon (but especially his Adrien English series), just finished “Matched” by Ally Condie, I’m halfway through “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld, and I recently read “Discord’s Apple” by Carrie Vaughn. A quick plug: Josh Lanyon is m/m (male/male) or LGBT. His books are PHENOMENAL, his character building and world building are AMAZING. Not to mention his storytelling is out of this world. Check out anything by him to see all of the following points illustrated masterfully.

Now, I’m going to address three key points by using the other three books as examples that I found while reading. SPOILER ALERT. I will be half-reviewing, half-discussing these books so don’t read further if you don’t want to know what happens in the books. You have been warned!

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Secondary Characters

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a story and hated everyone except the side kick. While the heroine makes predictable (and often very, very stupid) decisions that show how brave and self-sacrificing she is, her snarky side kick offers much better advice and far more entertaining dialogue as he or she usually accompanies our lackluster heroine into danger. The worst is when the author kills off this magnificent character because of all a sudden, I really don’t care about the story anymore.

Then again, I’ve run into the opposite problem as well. The main character is hilarious and interesting, finding ways to outsmart his enemies and meet his love interest in creative ways. His sidekick plods along behind him, offering necessary plot lines that move the story forward or, worse, info dumps like it’s going out of style.

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