Today I have a guest post from Rex Evans Wood about the sidekicks. Rex is the author of Truitt’s Fix, a novel with a rather enigmatic summary.
Among the joys of writing long fiction are the discoveries you make along the way. Sometimes it’s a character who surprises you by what they say; sometimes it’s the solution to a problem that leads you in an unexpected, sometimes essential new direction.
I had many such experiences while writing Truitt’s Fix, a novel about a man who finds himself in a strange time and place. For example, I was several chapters into the writing when I realized I had a serious problem. The story was hopelessly bogged down with too much internal dialog and emotional wrangling for Dan Truitt, my main character. To be credible, the story had to deal with all the conflicting pros and cons of his situation, all the natural fears and concerns, but to have that all take place within one character was not only boring, it just didn’t ring true.
The solution? I added a sidekick, and the story came alive with a new dimension that liberated it from the difficulties and offered a number of additional creative opportunities. The give-and-take between Dan and Tim the sidekick allowed for a much more interesting way to hash out the many issues that confronted them, and Tim became a delightful character who lent a good deal of warmth and depth to the story.
The use of this device has long tradition in literature. Another interesting example can be found in the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks. Screenwriter William Broyles had a similar challenge, needing a way for Hanks’ character to express all the feeling associated with being stranded on a desert island. His solution? A Wilson volleyball! Hanks paints a face on “Wilson” and the conversation ensues. A delightful solution.
Truitt’s Fix by Rex Evans Wood
Dan Truitt’s in a fix, caught between warring nations, on the run, and pursued by a relentless villain. And at every twist and turn, there’s more at stake as he meets “absolutely the best, most unforgettable characters you’ll find anywhere.”