What is the role of the friend in your story?
The Role Of The Friend In Fiction
What would Batman be without Robin? What would Garfield do if he didn’t have Odie? This character is in the story to help the protagonist. So whatever the protagonist’s goal is, the friend’s goal is to help him or her achieve that goal.
Think about your own friends. You have friends you can count on all the time. If you are in trouble, they help you out, and then you have friends you can count on to get you into trouble. Are they always late? Do they ask to borrow money? Does he or she try to steal your boyfriend?
They can help, or they can ‘try’ to help. Think of Alan from The Hangover. He adds to the conflict and is a catalyst for their trouble. Or when Robin goes off to solve crime on his own and Batman has to save his ass as well.
Because of their shared past, the ‘friend character’ helps to show backstory. He or she knows about the difficult mother, the psycho ex and who teased the protagonist in school. Chances are they know and understand the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist.
All My Friends Are Fictional
They also save your protagonist from solitude. If you character is alone they lapse into internal thought and you increase your risk of telling instead of showing. By discussing his problem with the friend, we are able to show who he is, and we learn about him and his thought processes in a way that moves the story forward, reveals character, and keeps the pages turning.
Think of our favourite duos: Thelma and Louise, Sherlock and Watson, Tom and Jerry, Frodo and Sam. They are inseparable and they are awesome.
Make sure your character can phone a friend, literally or telepathically, whatever suits your story.
Read more about The Awesome Foursome Fictional Characters
[Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.]
by Mia Botha
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