Jane Fallon’s books include Getting Rid of Matthew, Foursome and Got You Back. Her latest, Skeletons was released by Penguin earlier this year. She’s also a producer whose credits include Teachers and This Life. On day twenty-nine of National Novel Writing Month, she talks to us about supporting characters:
Your supporting characters create your world. They’re your colour and texture. Without them your book will feel two-dimensional and flat. Every character, however small a part they play needs to feel authentic and alive. It’s always a temptation to try to use shorthand to get across a character who is only going to appear a few times in your book. Everyone understands a cliche. But if you do that your reader is going to lose their sense of disbelief. You’ve asked them to immerse themselves into the world you’ve created so it’s important that world never feels cliched or flimsy. Make sure they’re as real as your leads.
Lesser characters can also be like a breath of fresh air – light relief, a pause from the intensity of the main story. They can throw a different light on your main characters. allowing us to see our heroes in a different way. They are what makes us feel we have entered a world that exists whether we’re there or not. Don’t underestimate them.
To find out more about Jane, visit her website: http://www.janefallon.co.ukby