I’m working on the copy edits for Forsaken by the Others now. One thing that’s been driven home to me in doing my reread is how very much I love some of the secondary characters who will most likely never be seen in this series again.
When you breathe life into characters and make them into more than just a caricature on paper, when you know their hopes and dreams and fears and see just how fun it is to spend time with them, it’s hard to let them go.
It’s one of the downsides to being a writer, I think. No matter how much I might want to revisit them, some characters need to be let go. Their story isn’t grand enough or their end too painful to share. If you’ve read enough of my work, you know that—just as in real life—there isn’t always a happy-ever-after for everyone. To make the journey meaningful, there must be a measure of pain and loss and suffering.
Of course, I try to keep things light and funny as much as I can, to counter the truth of that statement and make these escapist slices of urban fantasy palatable.
Life does go on. No matter how great or how terrible things get, they have a tendency to change, for better or worse. When you’re an author, you are responsible for the world and characters you write, and you decide just how much they will suffer for the sake of the story. It’s my job as the storyteller to make those moments—both the joyous and the painful—mean something to the reader, too.
Coming back around to the topic at hand, I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time fleshing out secondary characters before. There is a whole world of information behind them in this book, pages and pages of unseen story, and it all served only as a reference for Shia’s experiences. Maybe some of them will get a short story or novella one day, but for now… it might hurt, but once these copy edits are done, it’s time to put them to bed.
Who are your favorite secondary characters? Doesn’t have to be from one of my books, just in general—characters you wish had their chance to have their story told.