Novel Revision Series: Minor and Supporting Characters
“Let the jury judge them; it’s my job simply to show what sort of people they are.” ––Anton Chekhov
In this discussion-based craft seminar, we’ll consider how minor and supporting characters are introduced or created in the reader’s mind. These characters are important because they often give depth and texture to your novel, round out important scenes, and reflect and deepen your main characters. Major characters need to be created in tandem with narrative structure and point of view, but minor and supporting characters often stand on their own, and they tend to be flat in first drafts, like place holders, and can often be greatly improved in the process of revision.
Do you fully understand your minor and supporting characters? Are you under-describing or over-describing? Are you relying too much on physical description, or are your descriptions too “on the nose"? Could using spines, metaphors, or another character-creating techniques help bring your supporting cast alive?
Participants are invited to bring in scenes from their novels in progress featuring important minor and supporting characters for possible on-the-spot notes and revision.
Part of GrubStreet's Novel Revision Series, led by Tim Weed and designed for those who have either finished or are nearing completion of a novel draft. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the revision challenges you face with your novel in progress. Fall classes include:
- Novel Revision Series: Descriptive Writing and Image Systems
- Novel Revision Series: Interiority, Backstory, and Flashback
- Novel Revision Series: Point of View and Psychic Distance
- Novel Revision Series: Minor and Supporting Characters
- Novel Revision Series: Dialogue and the Scene
- Novel Revision Series: Killer Openings & Symphonic Endings (coming soon!)
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- Class Discussion
- In-Class Reading
- Instructor Feedback
- In-Class Writing
- The Novel