OK – we’ve talked about the antagonist in this vampire tale, and we’ve touched on the protagonist (I’m going to take about him in depth next time). Now, I want to talk about the second-most important character in the story: the protagonist’s best friend. For now, we’re going to call him Nigel. Of course, this is not his final name, but I am not going to keep typing ‘the protagonist’s best friend’ while talking about him, so Nigel it is.
A lot of times, the secondary protagonist serves the purpose to highlight the main protagonist. Your main protagonist is a quiet, calculating type, so the best friend is the guns-blazing, shoot-first, second and third sort of person. Your protagonist is a sober sort of fellow who has to come in and bail out his best friend from jail…again. This a rule that doesn’t need changing a whole lot. In my last post, I talked about subverting tropes. I intend to do that with this story, but there are some that shouldn’t muck around with. This is one of them.
So – as our main protagonist is going to be the Harker-expy from Dracula (I am taking some things from the original text, only because I’m trying to get back to the notion that vampires are thins to be feared, not snuggled), our man Nigel is going to be a little more adventurous. Hie might even be in the War ahead of Harker and have some responsibilities ahead of him, which no doubt has aged him a little, maybe made him a little more sober about such things. Not as bad as some people, but we are going to see that war is indeed hell, and one of its Dukes has as of yet to arrive.
Will Nigel get hurt or killed at the hands of either our Harker-expy or Dracula himself? Not really sure how that is going to fall out. I’m torn between two camps:
- Yeah, he should die. The whole Hero’s Journey shtick has him passing through the Underworld (or the trenches of the Underworld) and something should be sacrificed. We can’t sacrifice the hero because ultimately it is about transformation. The sidekick on the other hand is completely open to have abuse after abuse heaped upon it, ultimately ending in his death with this also the spurring action. This has been done, parodied and lampshades over and over again. So if I want to play with the audience’s expectations…
- He should live! After all, the point of this whole story is to subvert a lot of the audience’s expectations. We have been primed to believe that the best friend has to undergo something dramatic, or even fatally dramatic. Going back to the inciting action (this could even be the proverbial Call To Action), he doesn’t have to die, he could just see what’s going on and politely opt out.
I am half tempted to have poor Nigel end up as the Dragon – the secondary antagonist (the best example of The Dragon is Darth Vader. Also point of trivia: ‘Dracula’ isn’t a name, but a title meaning ‘Son of the Dragon’. Just sayin’) Ina the story. This does strike as a little overdone, so maybe this will something I will come back to later on, after I have fleshed out the main antagonist and protagonist a little better. For right now, Nigel gets to remain alive, sane and possibly a War pensioner by the end of the story.
Thanks for reading this and bearing with me while I blather on. As always, if you’re generous and tech savvy, there is a bitcoin link to donate to. I am working on getting something up like PayPal. There are also book links on the right. Feel free to look over those. Next time, I might explore more of the timeline of this story.