Not long ago, a reader sent me an email--YAY!--listing his favorite characters thus far in the Infinite series.
1. Bryce, the dauntless household steward turned spy in Judge.
2. Tsir Aun, the calm, efficient commander in Prophet.
3. Pet/Scythe, the ever-hungry monster warhorse in Prophet, Judge, and King, who is not, I repeat NOT, based on Maximus from Tangled. (Prophet was on my editor's desk months before Tangled hit the big screens. I bought tickets to Tangled, enjoyed the show, bought the dvd, and told DH, "I'll receive mail asking about Max/Scythe." Sure enough.)
I was intrigued by this list because this reader, Jeff, had chosen two of my favorite supporting characters, Bryce and Tsir Aun. I replied, of course, and asked why these two made the top of his list, and in our ensuing emails, we agreed that Bryce and Tsir Aun were quiet characters. The sort of friends we should all be lucky enough to number among our own. Read more Here.
Ever since this email exchange, I've been pondering Quiet Characters. Why are they important in life and, as a result, in fiction?
I'd like to think of Quiet Characters as the everyday heroes who cross our paths and our Main Characters' paths routinely--calm, efficient, dauntless, honorable and faithful souls who are pleased to remain in the shadows while they work in humble occupations. In short, Quiet Characters provide glue that holds our societies together. This is not to say that Quiet Characters lead boring lives and are content with everyday humdrum. They don't, and they aren't. Didn't Bryce volunteer himself as a spy and infiltrate an enemy army's encampment to aid his own people? Didn't Tsir Aun accept and undertake (honorably and efficiently) a punishing political task after striving mightily to lead his country away from defeat in battle?
Hats off to you, dear Quiet Characters, in life, poems and prose. Life on Earth would be bedlam without you.