Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Minor Characters and the Liberty Bell

"Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." These profound words [come from the Bible] but also adorn the Liberty Bell. I grew up in Cape May, New Jersey--nowhere near The Real Housewives. My second grade teacher, Miss Church, took our class on a field trip to the Liberty Bell in Philly. I was fascinated by history and stories [and cheesesteaks], as most of us are, and the crack in the Bell has its own story. It represents freedom. It represents hope. The crack on the Bell's bosom makes it real.

You must be thinking: how does the Bell relate to minor characters? Minor characters have their own stories. And they, like our protagonists, have flaws. They're human. They have cracks. Free your characters by showing their cracks ["...that's how the light gets in."--Leonard Cohen]. Let them be real. Let the light flood your story.

Got cracks?


  1. Thanks Melissa! A good reminder that all characters have something invested in the story, even if they aren't at its focus.

  2. The liberty bell cracked on my older brother's birthday (not the same year, of course) and ever since I found out that delightful tidbit, I have reminded him at every opportunity.