image border bottom

I Love My Minor Characters Too Much

April 03, 2009  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, The Craft   1 Comment

Really, I do. Sometimes, I find myself writing and writing and writing about them and I suddenly I realize I have bloated my novel.

Let me give you an example. Here is the brief background: various peoples, ruled by a mono-gendered species called Tanvaias, populate the galaxy. This little bit is about two Jen’ari, a war like race found of humans, but not so found of “the tans”.

Doctor Kasarr was am imposing man, even by Jen’ari standards. He towered above most, and his voice was commanding and deep, full. He ran a private medical nano-tech lab, where he and his three assistants produced microelectronic prototypes for various medical conglomerates.

He was unhappy. His old commanding officer, Colonel Hershem, was at his door. Hershem and he departed ways; they used to rub each other the wrong way. Despite that, they were a good team. When they booth retired five years ago from military, the engineering regiment they left needed four people to replace them.

He keyed the door. “Colonel, this is a surprise.”

“Glad to see you still aren’t lying, Kasarr. I note the absence of the word ‘pleasant’.”

“Well, whatever your reason for skulking on my stoop, it can’t be good.”

“Yes and no. Congratulations, by the way, on finishing your medical degree. I can imagine it wasn’t easy. And I hear this lab is quite prestigious.”

“Hit me with the good news first.”

“You’ve just guaranteed your lab funding for life.”

“Then the bad must be really bad.”

“Maybe. We’ve both been drafted.”

Commander Kasarr groaned.

“Do you know a human called Mendal Cheverous?”

“Yes. He invented medical goo. Very smart.”

“Huh. Well, apparently he has a project we will be working on.”

“What? Last time I heard he was retired. The human should even be dead. Medi-goo has been around for decades.”

“This comes all the way from the top, my man, all the way from the top. Central Core. You’re on his team, and I am to lead the support staff and bludgeon anyone who gets in our way. I don’t know what we’re working on but anytime one of these things happens recently it’s usually War related.”

Kasarr looked at the Colonel as if he sprouted wings and turned pink.

“That sounds bad.”

“That’s not the worse part.”

“Oh? What could possibly be worse?”

“Our location. We’ll be working in the colonies.”

Kasarr groaned.

“In tannie space.”

Kasarr groaned even louder.

Suddenly transports of every size started landing everywhere.

“These yokels are here to pack up your lab. It’s coming with us. All of it.”


“These MPs here are to escort your assistants home to pack their things. They are also coming with us.”

“And my things?

“Already on the ship.”

“You really hate me, don’t you Colonel?”

“For this? For your damn smarts and skills? Like the heat of a thousand burning suns.”

Kasarr grinned. “It’s good to see you again Colonel.”

The Colonel grinned back. “Shut up and let’s hit the liquor store while we can. The tannies have exceedingly bad taste in booze.”

Oh man, how could you not love these two? They are bit players in the novel they come from, but man, I could write about them for days.

Ever feel that way?

Comments on “I Love My Minor Characters Too Much

  1. Val April 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Absolutely. The novel I’ve recently finished is filled with minor characters I couldn’t leave alone because they were more interesting to me than the protagonist. Therefore, there was only one thing to do, write a few spin off stories making each of them a protagonist. Good god this could go on for years. By the way, I liked that tasty tidbit of writing. Very cool stuff.

%d bloggers like this: