Thanks so much for being here, Amber.
The Trusty Sidekick
I've been thinking a lot about the sidekick character lately. You know who I mean. She or he is the best friend of the main character. She's the friend the main character bounces ideas off of, tells their secrets to, and hangs out with most of the time. In most of the books I read the sidekick character isn't one I connect to much. I kind of think of them as a throw away character with their main function being to help me learn more about the main character.
I find that in my own writing I've had some sidekick characters like this. In my first published book PROWL, Haley is Kenzie's sidekick. Honestly the reader doesn't learn much about Haley in PROWL. Mostly she's used to help us get to know Kenzie better. However, in the sequel ENTICE the story centers around Haley, so I do delve more into her character. I'm still not sure she ever outshines Kenzie, but I do hope the reader connects with her on some level.
Recently I wrote a sidekick character that made me rethink my idea about sidekicks. In my contemporary romance FALLING TO PIECES, I absolutely fell in love with my main character Ivy's best friend Billie. Billie is fun, quirky, witty, and honestly I wish she were my best friend. Truthfully I found myself liking her better than Ivy at times. Now that the book is out I'm learning that my readers feel the same way. In many of the reviews of the book readers mention Billie and how much they like her. The problem with this is that now all my future sidekicks pale in comparison.
I just finished another contemporary romance STAR STRUCK, and it's set to release in June. Star's best friend Lola is nothing like Billie, and I had a hard time connecting with her. But let's face it - I can't make every sidekick character exactly like Billie. She's a unique individual.
All of this begs the question, how important is the sidekick character? As a reader do you hope to have a huge connection with the best friend or are you okay with her just kind of being there to help the story along?
I personally think the more characters a reader connects with in a story the better. It draws them in, keeps them reading. But I'm curious what others think. Weigh in on the comments below and let me know what you think. Also tell me who some of your favorite sidekick characters are.
Awesome post, Amber. I've had that a few times where I've loved the sidekick character. I think they are really important to a story. They can provide humour, mentorship, add conflict to scenes that need them. To me, they are a vital part of the story structure. I look forward to seeing what other people think :)
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