A few weeks ago, for some odd reason that I don’t recall, I was trying to imagine what type of character I would be in a YA book. Would I be the angsty paranormal MC that manages to whine and obsess over a guy and basically do all the things that paranormal MCs can do to get on my nerves? Would I be the ultra-sarcastic one who spends most of my time alternating between bantering and making out with the love interest? Would I be the wallflower that manages to come out of my shell with the help of a cute boy?
Well, despite the fact that I wouldn’t mind being the second or the third option (definitely not the first, though), I’d have to go with D. None of the above.
Yep, I would be a secondary character.
Hopefully a sarcastic and amusing and awesome character from the supporting cast, but a secondary character nonetheless.
And you know what? I’m totally fine with this.
Let’s look at some great secondary characters for a moment.
There’s pretty much every secondary character from the Harry Potter books.
There’s Sturmhound from the recent Siege and Storm, along with the similar Kenji from Unravel Me. Tim and all of the Garretts from My Life Next Door. Ruby’s brother-in-law and new friends in Lock and Key. Kristy, Delilah, and more from The Truth About Forever. And these are just some of my more recent highly-rated books.
Who wouldn’t want to be in the company of characters like these?
Secondary characters often have the best and funniest observations and quips. They’re the ones who are willing to give the protagonist and/or love interest a good slap on the head if they need a bit of a wake-up call. They (tend) to not be involved in drama the way that the main characters are.
I think that’s the main appeal of wishing I were a secondary character. Why would I want to go through all the drama that the protagonists have to endure? And why would I want to endure needless (albeit often interesting) drama when I could instead be a happy-go-lucky secondary character that goes around laughing at everyone when I’m not comforting them or whatever secondary characters do whenever they’re not being witty.
So, yeah, I’d totally be a secondary character. I’m not the type of person that wants to deal with drama. In fact, I often don’t feel like dealing with people, which is probably why I read so much. I’d much rather be in the background telling people what I think when I want to. I’m not a leader or an “in the spotlight” kind of person.
And that’s perfectly alright with me.