Minor characters who become important later

by Erica


I'm writing a book about a small crew of pirates who live with the main character. The book is written from the main character's POV and the pirate crew is more a group of a minor characters at first. They are important to the main character only as a family. It isn't until later that they start to do bigger things, like sacrificing themselves to save the main character. I read somewhere that you shouldn't have random characters and I'm trying to provide more info about the crew to make them more important to the plot and more realistic. How can I add the info without having a whole chapter dedicated to the backstory of each character?

Response: You definitely don't want chapters full of just backstory. Try to reveal just the important parts of backstories - the parts that are relevant to your main story. And don't reveal an entire backstory at once. Weave the key details into the story in bits and pieces. Do it in a way that feels natural in the context of a scene.

I agree that characters should not be random. If you haven't already, check out this article on how Dramatica sees archetypal characters...


This should help you create characters who fill dramatic requirements of the story. Couple this with interesting backstories and give your characters unique traits and you will be well on your way.

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