Posted: Feb 25, 2020, 7:55pm
The question was "I'm quite curious about how you go about writing a character as a 'support character' and how that compares to how most of us write characters."
First, anything I say is not intended in any way to talk mess about 'how most of us write characters.' Anyone who is brave enough and smart enough to put their writing out there, especially in a forum where it must be something other people react to and with, is already a very good and wonderful writer. It takes a lot of courage to do that and I bet if we all think back we can remember out first attempts and how anxious it made us. It still does for a lot of us!
For me it's about putting myself and my character second in order to bring out your character. You might call it a sidekick role but it's a little broader than that. What I try to do is find out about your character from what you post in your background (all meta right?) and then try to guide my actions and dialogue towards exploring your character to find out about it in character. To tell your story. You spent a lot of time writing your background, figuring out your motivations, coming up with your personality and all of that amazing creativity needs to be appreciated and showcased!
Quite often it can be mistaken as a romantic interest in your character, and sometimes that is the best way to make it happen, but it doesn't have to be. As long as I'm helping you tell your story, as long as I'm not upstaging you or stepping on your special abilities and I'm trying to give you opportunities to use them then I'm supporting you.
My story should never, ever, be the focus of a game. I'm your best friend, your girlfriend, your sidekick, sometimes even your nemesis or the person you love to hate and have conflict with - anything so long as it helps you tell your character's story and to make them come alive for you.
Another part of it is making sure I'm helping the GM or DM or Mod or whatever you want to call them move the story and not be a pain to them. They do so much in creating the story and loving it as it unfolds that I need to support them too. Am I appreciating their descriptions, following up on their hooks, commenting on things that maybe no one else is engaged in that they should be to try and help the story stay on track, making them feel like what they do for us matters? If not then I need to fix myself and get on it!
Supporting Actress isn't for everyone and a lot of people disagree with me but it's something I like. It's sometimes a struggle bubble, especially as I work to maintain and grow my agency in my characters, but I'm getting there.