There's only so much writing, waiting, and nail-biting those of us in the querying trenches can do to sustain our passion for the craft. Eventually, one has to turn to daydreaming.
Sometimes I like to daydream about When I've Arrived. What does that look like in my flighty head? For some people, it would be signing a book deal with a Big Six publishing house. Maybe it means having all five-star reviews on Amazon (miraculously.) Maybe hitting the NYT bestseller list.
Know how I'll know When I've Arrived? Fanfiction.
I mean, seriously. All those other factors mean that people want to buy your book. Hopefully the read the whole thing, and you pray they like it. But you really don't know those things, do you? No. Not unless some obsessed fan is writing fanfiction about your story and characters.
It all comes down to the Obsession Factor. Do people close your book and wish there was more? Do they wonder what your main character wore on his first day of school? Do they imagine themselves living in the world you've created?
And, the sub-factor I want to talk about today - are your supporting characters so awesome and fascinating that your readers can't stop thinking about their stories?
Raise your hand if you loved TWILIGHT. Go ahead, this is a blog, no one can see you. Okay. Now put your hand down if you didn't give two figs about Alice and Jasper or Carlisle and Esme. That's what I thought. You're arm's starting to ache, isn't it?
How about Ron and Hermione? Don't tell me you've never thought about how Ron would propose to her. Or what about Ginny? Did she really go for that last year at Hogwarts? Neville and Luna? They totally got together, right?
I'll tell you, my phenom-of-a-CP Chessie does an awesome job with this. I mean, her main characters are great, blah blah, great story, etc., but know who I really love? Two of the supporting characters. I wish they were in the book more, which says a lot. The boy is so cute and the girl is so kickass and they are so sweetly in love that I just squee every time they show up on the page. (My other CP, Gina, does a bang-up job too. Mmmm....Jeremy....)
When Chessie drew this picture of them DANCING! Geez. I almost wrote some fanfiction. (But I didn't. I swear.)
Maybe that's because I'm lucky. If I beg Chessie for scenes from future books enough, she gives them to me. If only that worked for every other story that grabs us with the supporting characters just as much as the main ones (or sometimes more?)
Your turn! What is your favorite book that has the Supporting Characters Obsession Factor?