Support is necessary.
If you’re writing fiction, you have to have supporting characters.
Main characters are great, but they can’t do everything. They have to have characters surrounding them that can also perform things that your characters are unable to do.
A supporting character can be an antagonist, or the main character’s best friend.
A well-rounded supporting character can be what you need when a break is needed. They can be comic relief, or support for your antagonist. They can be plot points, and can provide necessary plot twists. They can require rescuing, or provide an antagonist from which someone must be rescued.
In my Justice Security series, Tony Armstrong is an example. Tony is a “grunt” – a uniformed member of Justice Security. For the first three stories in the series, Tony was a background character, in charge of the “grunts”, and heading up the front desk in the Justice Security building. He was limited to a few lines in each of the first three stories.
Then came Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Tony becomes one of the main characters, trapped inside the nightclub secretly owned by Esteban Fernandez. It’s revealed that Tony was Special Ops, and had been in Afghanistan. Tony had the presence of mind to hide, and go undercover with the bad guys when the club was taken. Steve, the silent cameraman for the reporter Miriam Apple, was revealed to be a former Army Ranger.
Both are instrumental in saving the day.
Your supporting characters can make or break your fiction. They’re there when you need them, so don’t hesitate to use them!
Michael (T. M.)