How does a Secondary Character find his way into role as Hero?
We’ve all had secondary characters that are persistent in their views, but have you ever had one that demanded his or her own story? I have one particularly frustrating secondary character…and his name is Angus.
Angus made his first appearance at the end of my novel, An Irresistible Shadow. He is the brother of another secondary character, Madeline. She earned the role of heroine in my upcoming story, A Dutiful Shadow. While Angus reprises his role as second fiddle in this book, he was rather demanding during its production. He tried to persuade me to write his story using his intoxicating Scottish brogue and charming wit. I was steadfast, however. This was not his tale. He would have to wait. “Go back ta sleep, Angus, darling. Wait yer turn.”
He pouted, sitting in the corner of my mind and watching me with his sharp green eyes. He was waiting for his moment to play hero. Angus was biding his time until I finished his sister’s story.
So I gave him a scene in A Dutiful Shadow. A scene he would rather I not mention, let alone share with the world. Now, I believe he is rather cross with me. “Be careful what ye wish for, Angus.”
As I finished A Dutiful Shadow and my mind was free to pursue other projects. I heard Angus’ whisper against my ear. “Aye, I’m with ye, darlin. Now, tell me, what destiny lies before me.”
I burst into laughter, because I know he isn’t going to be happy with me. My plans for him are much more intricate than he could ever imagine. Am I going to give him a chance at love? Aye. Am I going to make it easy for him? Hell no. To quote Shakespeare, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
“Be careful, Angus.” I leave him with those cryptic words as I begin to outline his story. The man has not only latched onto my subconscious, but he has infected the minds of other writers I know. Can it be that Angus is more powerful than I had originally imagined? He is my creation, a fevered delusion of my imagination. Yet somehow, he is more, whispering to me, haunting me, even now.
My warning to you dear readers and fellow writers is to proceed with caution into your journey of words. You never know when a secondary character will commandeer your plot. A simple benign creation created for the sole purpose of progressing the story, might in fact ruin your plans with his own.