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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post: The Support Character’s by Ben Hennessy

Please help me welcome author Ben Hennessy to Full Moon Bites!

I like the little guy. The underdog. But more than that, I’m interested in the supporting cast. The ones who populate any story without ever taking centre stage. Any hero or villain has to have others around them to interact with, however fleetingly – otherwise, the two main opposing characters may as well just have an arm wrestle and save us three hundred pages of effort.

In the Austin Powers movies, there’s a scene where the buddies of a security guard in Doctor Evil’s lair are waiting to throw him a retirement party. They’re sitting in a Hooters and the drinks are flowing. People recount how much they’re looking forward to meeting their friend and wishing him all successes in the future. Then they get a phone call. There’s been a tragic accident. The guest of honour has been decapitated by an ill-tempered mutated sea bass. Stunned and saddened, the gang of friends raise one last toast in memoriam.

I loved this scene, because it highlights exactly the kind of thinking that goes into a lot of films and novels. Fantasy novels, the kind which I write, can be especially bad – along with anything involving Jason Statham, of course. Soldiers, bandits and even innocent civilians are slain with a complete lack of consequence. Nobody asks who these people were. I mean, not unless there’s a plot development involved; as a random example, such as a character’s brother being murdered. Thus is born a quest of vengeance, which is admittedly a very good tool for plot progression. Revenge has been done to death, though, particularly in Asian literature, where honour and family play a much bigger role than in many other cultures.

But back to my point. When I write, I try to make sure that I know in myself what a support character’s purpose is. Not only to the plot, but also for their appearance. Why are they working for a Very Bad Man? Who is waiting back at home for them? How did they end up bumping into the hero, or the comedy sidekick? Why did they join the army? Who will mourn them if they’re gone?

In Stephen King’s On Writing, he states that each and every one of us in the world sees ourselves as the main character. We’re the movie star of our own life. If one can bring that philosophy into our writing then, while it may not be easier to create brilliant characters, it does become harder to writer one-dimensional pop up obstacles. As long as we remember that everyone has a history – even if a lot of it is boring – there’s something which makes everyone unique.

So let’s hear it for the little guy. They may only turn up to have their head cut off during an action scene, but someone, somewhere, will miss them. And perhaps, after wading through enough of them, the heroes and villains may take notice as well.





In the legends, the Four saved the world from war and poverty. These incredible men walked the lands, seeking an audience with the ruler of each nation. They demanded that humanity focus its efforts on education, trade and culture. No longer would the people face starvation and terror. This commandment was enforced with displays of miraculous power. After all, it is difficult to argue with the Gods. Once finished, the Four left with a promise: If ever your people fall back into darkness, then we shall return.

Now, over five centuries later, Sarene grows tired of her village life. Suffocated by the confines of her surroundings and the overbearing protection of her family, she yearns to have an adventure of her own.

But the world outside is not as tranquil as it seems.

And Sarene is already in danger.




Ben Hennessy is an exciting new author from Essex, England. Brought up on a literary diet including the likes of Stephen King, David Gemmell, Terry Pratchett and David Eddings, he looks to take all these elements and create a unique style of fiction which blends heroic fantasy and a subtle sense of wry humour. Having spent the last decade working various jobs in locations such as Ireland, New Zealand and Vietnam, he is now hoping to forge a new career as a full-time writer.

His debut novel, Queen of the World, is scheduled for release Summer, 2012. Due to be published by Inspired Quill, it tells the story of a young girl who finds herself at the centre of a whirlwind of political ambition, deadly creatures and men who are as Gods.

When he is not poking his keyboard, Ben enjoys travelling the world, finding new music and crashing parties.

Find the Author:

Twitter: @HennessyWrites



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