Does The Sidekick Make The Hero?

This is a reblog of an excellent post by Allison Maruska on the uses of sidekicks. I know many of us get attached to our characters (I certainly do) and maybe don’t think of ‘using’ them, but it can be productive to take a step back and consider how this type of character can fill a role in a story. It’s certainly worth a long look to see if your supporting characters are doing everything they can to make your story shine.

As an example, I read somewhere that JK Rowling said that Hermione was an incredibly useful character for exposition in Harry Potter. Nobody would be surprised at any information Hermione had to offer. They’d all just assume she read it in a book somewhere.

Allison Maruska

I had the good fortune of participating in RMFW’s Colorado Gold writing conference this weekend. While I attended several productive workshops, I found a few to be especially informative, including one about sidekicks in fiction. With the permission of presenters Mario Acevedo and Warren Hammond, I’m writing this post so you can also benefit from what I learned.

I confess; I didn’t plan to attend this workshop. I had a gap in my schedule and wandered over, thinking sidekicks only applied to Batman. I figured if that was the case, I’d listen for a few minutes and then wander somewhere else. Instead, I absorbed every word, because the presenters not only turned my concept of sidekicks on its head, they effectively showed how an author can use them to enhance the depth of the hero (or MC, if “hero” doesn’t sit right in your mind). If you’re like me, you’ll discover…

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Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

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