Secondary characters are important in a story- any story. With them they help move the story along, they help your main character which can be good or bad and they make your story well rounded. They help reveal details, can motivate the main character and interact with the antagonist even if it is them.
A lot of people think it is all about the antagonist and protagonist. But we can’t be remiss about the other guys. The ones who are basically side kicks to our superheros of the novel.
Treating them like well second class citizens does them, your main character and your book a disservice.
I have read books where I preferred the secondary character so much more than anyone else. Just like a tv show or a movie where you prefer the supporting cast much more.
They help open up dynamics to your story line and possibilities that you would not get with just a single character. Unless you are writing a book where a person is all by themselves
Don’t let your book down by ignoring this important part of a novel. By doing so your book will be one dimensional. And unless you are writing a one character book your novel will have a strong shot at going nowhere.
Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as a reader I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.
If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like, while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read to the end.
How strong are our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format is simple: Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?
Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how it happen to this other character that is in the book. The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.
Also talk about your characters weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.
Invest in your characters and they will do wonders for your book.