Hi friends! I am so happy to welcome author Maria Grace to Austenesque Reviews today! As some of you know Maria has been dealing with Hurricane Harvey these past few weeks and it is amazing that she released her new book, A Less Agreeable Man at the same time! Major applause to Maria for that – she is Wonder Woman with capital W! Anyways, I am thrilled to share Maria’s post about secondary characters and a very beleaguered Colonel Fitwilliam!!
Writing Secondary Characters
Jane Austen gave us some amazingly memorable characters throughout all her books, characters we cannot get enough of. Darcy and Elizabeth make the most frequent appearance in adaptations of Austen for very good reason. But there’s something about the secondary characters that I find very compelling, as well.
A Less Agreeable Man is the fourth book I’ve written around secondary characters, and I’ve done almost as many short stories. There are just so many wonderful possibilities with these characters they are hard to resist.
Don’t get me wrong, they can be pretty challenging as well. Some of them show up as either bland or ridiculous in Austen’s works, unraveling the puzzle of what makes them so is a fascinating process that can result in a surprising, three dimensional character.
Lydia Bennet is a ridiculous, self-centered little flirt. Mary Bennet is bland and sermonizing. Harriet Smith (of Emma) is a ditzy little follower who does not think for herself. Elizabeth Elliot—or where to begin with that piece of work! The list goes on. But the delicious question is why are they that way? Is it possible that we have been presented with an unreliable narrator and only see them through the eyes of that opinion? What is going on underneath the surface of that character?