Playing second string, or, the importance of supporting players

Much attention has been given on this blog to main characters, their GMC (Goals, Motivation and Conflict), their character traits, and their story arc. What, then, of secondary characters and the supporting roles they play?

Like your hero and heroine, secondary characters need to serve a purpose in your manuscript. Following are some common secondary character types in romantic fiction, and their examples from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

File:Pride and Prejudice5 1940.jpg

The Comic Relief

When the going gets tough for the H/H, this character provides levity. The wise-cracking little brother, the brutally-honest best friend, the class clown. This person is often the wisest character in the story.  Whenever this character appears, he should make the reader (and hopefully your H/H) laugh. Mr. Bennet 
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