Prompt – Best Supporting Character

I have been trying to think all day if there is a story that features just one character around whom all the action flows, with virtually no developed characters apart from him. I mean, there must be such a story, because… well, statistics would seem to determine that if I can think of it, someone else must have, and tried to write it. Of course, I never said it would be a good book. It would be interesting if there was such a good book like that…

In any case, the point is that I can’t think of a single one, and that’s probably because you really can’t have a quality story, where the protagonist goes through legitimate and interesting events and changes, without some kind of human (or alien?) interaction. We need others, and we change by being around others.

They don’t always get the spotlight, though. Sometimes they just fade into the background, but when you look back at the story you see that it wouldn’t have gone the way it did without them. So today, give a supporting character a spotlight. Write a story that highlights a character who is not the center of the story. See what you can come up with. Happy writing!

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4 thoughts on “Prompt – Best Supporting Character

  1. Ah, Brandon, man vs. nature is one of the most primal story elements! What would have happened in Hatchet had Brian not been alone? I suppose you could argue about the pilot, but he was only present for… five pages? (Sorry, I don’t have access to the book right now!)

    But your point is well taken: Most stories really do have supporting characters, and often enough the supporting characters are as interesting (if not more so) than the main characters. To use the picture you’ve used, I’ve always liked Sam more than Frodo!

  2. I have never read Hatchet, which might explain why I couldn’t think of it. However, I can think of one man vs. nature story, albeit a movie, which is Castaway. Then again, even in that movie he had Wilson, who is perhaps one of the most interesting supporting characters ever! Not to mention the fact that much of the story revolves around his desire to return to his girlfriend, who is married when he finally gets off the island. So once again, interaction with characters, very vital to the story, even in one that has so little interaction!

    I’ll have to pick up Hatchet and see what I think.

    1. Wilson counts as a character? I’ve not seen Castaway, but isn’t he a volleyball? I suppose not every character has to be human, though, so it makes sense. Huh. Hadn’t thought about it that way. I suppose Island of the Blue Dolphins would also include the dog, then. (It’s been a looooooooooooong time since I read that book!)

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