This’ll be the last post on secondary characters (and probably the last centered around my current book for a while). I had no idea when I started I’d end up making so many posts about in the same thing. But when my fingers meet a keyboard, it’s hard to control them.
Yesterday I mentioned close girlfriends can help a heroine and shape the story by helping her or guiding her in some way. Yet, the same can be true for the hero who has a close male friend. Andrew, the hero, may not have many friends in general, but his closest is Alex, who just so happens to be the heroine’s cousin.
Alex comes off as odd to say the least. He’s highly intelligent, yet is extremely obtuse. However, it’s because he’s obtuse at certain times (all right, almost all the time) that he fits into a role that helps both the hero and heroine. His candid talk with Brooke in the library which spurs her into action, coupled with his complete dismissal that Andrew would do anything utmost with his cousin while being unchaperoned, are the driving force to how a scandalous, reputation ruining, proposal inducing(?), duel challenging situation comes about.
On the contrary, Alex is not the only outside force driving these to into the scandalous situation described above. The book has a villain. Two actually. One villain is in the form of an unsightly and poorly behaved chit who throws herself at the hero, causing the heroine to take drastic measures to claim what’s hers. The other villain comes in the form of the man who set the whole thing into motion.
The Duke of Gateway, also known as the Dangerous Duke, is the true villain of the book. His nasty manner and cold-hearted scheme is what throws the hero and heroine together in the first place. It’s also him and his persistance that keeps the plot moving forward as he makes his demands and pressures the hero about carrying it off.
Whether a friend, foe, sister or parent, key secondary characters usually play (or should play) some sort of role in getting the hero and heroine from the beginning of the book to the end. The key, and possible conflict, is keeping them in character as they help move the plot along. Occasionally acting out of character due to stress or a change in circumstances usually doesn’t throw the reader off too much, but keeping them true to character makes the book flow better and allows