S25E5 – A Guide to Designing Support Characters

Story would not be the same without multiple characters. You often need a villain and at least one supporting character. In some genres, especially epic fantasy and science fiction, there will be at least a dozen prominent supporting characters. There are even some cases where the supporting characters are almost main characters of their own.

It’s important, then, to consider how all of these supporting characters play into the story as a whole. What role do they fulfill in the group? Are they important to the the plot in some way? What will they contribute to the resolution of the conflict?

In the workbook we discuss this episode, we talk about several kinds of supporting characters and things to consider for each of them as you build your cast. We include things from how they look, who they are to the main character, and what strengths they contribute to the team.

This workbook will be just one in a series we’ll release through the month. Each book is designed to help you plot, build, and write. If you’re a plotter, you’ll probably find the books more helpful before you write. Pantsers can use them to chart and track as they work on their stories. This series, though, is built in a way to help you even if you don’t get the book. You’ll get all the information you need in each episode to help you build your own version, whether it’s about worldbuilding, branding, or creating your own writing prompts.

First aired October 18, 2021.

For additional episodes on this topic, see below:
S1E5: Character Design: Support
S6 Bonus: What Makes a Good Villain
S10: Designing Your Characters
S21E9: Villainy: Should Villains Be Evil?
S22E6: K/D Ratio: Character Voice

Our first workbooks are now available! Check them out here.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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