Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ode to the Sidekick

Today's post is dedicated to the sidekick. The unsung secondary character who can elevate a story from good to great. I love secondary characters. Sometimes more than the main characters.

I think what I love about sidekicks is that they tend to let loose more than the MC's. They're given more leeway with their personalities and idiosyncrasies. They can be as bad, as crass, as naughty as they want and the reader will still love them because their outstanding personalities are like a get-out-of-jail-free card for any untoward behavior.

I have lots of favorite sidekicks. Ian from Jeaniene Frost's Cat and Bones series is one of my favorites. Ian is a VERY naughty boy, right down to his--uh--body piercings. ;) But he's so damn endearing, I'd forgive just about anything his rakish behavior can dish out. Another of my favorite Frost sidekicks is Vlad. I'm so happy to see that he's getting his own series. He's a sidekick who could easily carry his own series.

Patricia Briggs has Stephan, the vampire with a conscience, and Warren, Mercy's movie-night buddy with a cute southern accent and an even cuter lawyer boyfriend. JR Ward has Lassiter, the Oprah lovin' fallen angel. Lassiter is another sidekick who'll be seeing his own book. In a word...SQUEE!!!

Sidekicks make a story great. What would Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series be without Pam? And would Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series be the same without Nix? No. We need those secondary characters to help carry the story. The hero and heroine are busy fighting monsters, falling in love, and dealing with emotional baggage. We NEED those secondary characters to give those stories a little extra oomph. The laughs on the side. And in the words of SKY HIGH: Hero Support.

Who are your favorite secondary characters? Are there any sidekicks who just turn you off?

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