Choosing a Companion
Alright, you've got your hero, your villain, your damsel maybe even a style of transformation and a monster too. Wanna know what comes next? No idea, yet! You should have figured out your companion aaaaaaages ago.
There's very little that's more important than a good companion. Whether it's to lend support or kick them down, no hero can do it alone. Even if they really wish they could.
The Loyal Companion: Most, though not all, companions fall into this overhead. Otherwise, they'd stab them in the back and run the moment they could. (See further down for that.)
This is basically the companion that stands by the hero's side through thick and thin, a Sam for a Frodo. Whether this is because of a deep friendship, a sense of honor, or a secret relationship between the characters is all up to you and your audience's imagination. Frankly, the reason matters less than the character themselves - this is the one you don't wanna mess with. When the Loyal Companion is hurt, the Hero is TICKED. When the Loyal Companion is killed? Your fans are beating down your door with questions. And hammers. With sharp. Ends!
It's a fact that the loyal companion often gets the short end of the stick, and can actually walk away with more sympathy than the actual main character from the audience perspective. Besides being wonderful support, these are just ticking time bombs of anger and angst for your Hero - just stab them a little when you want your main guy to go berserk. Trust me, it'll work.
The filtering companion: Okay, how many of you have ever read a book on Sherlock Holmes? This will make sense either way, but the first hand experience might save you a few "Huh?"s along the way, so I'm rather hoping for a hand or three.
Basically, occasionally, you get a hero that's just plain un-relatable. Maybe he's long winded, or his views are too alien to understand. Or maybe it's an age problem - a little girl makes a wonderfully cute hero to make us pay attention, and capture our hearts
but she tends to limit the maturity of a piece.
The filter character is there to stand between them and the audience, and provide a more relatable experience about the hero. After all, while everyone read Holmes to hear about the detective, it's a basic fact that every story that had him tell his own story? Failed.
Try to keep that in mind if you're going for something really interesting.
The Heroic Companion: Sometimes, there's more than one main character. Maybe this one's just a little bit secondary, gets less spot light, or devotes themselves mostly to the main hero
but that doesn't make them any less of a butt-kicker when the situation comes from it. In fact, it's not uncommon for your main character to need constant rescuing. In that case however, what you really want is..;
The Baby Sitter: Sometimes, your main character just sucks. This is a combination of the Filter and the Hero companions, most of the time. You follow them, though the most important person in their view is someone else, and watch them constantly rescue a single person. There lives often suck, on the surface, but there tends to be a slight bond between them, even if they don't always realize it.
In fact, sometimes, they down right refuse to recognize it. Which, for yet another tag along, leads us to
The Unwilling Companion: Sometimes, your companion is trapped. It could be that they were an enemy to begin with. It might be an understanding they haven't managed to explain their way out of, yet
It might be that they just need something, even! But you should all be familiar with this one - the one who constantly complains and whines, and yet
when push comes to shove
Except when they don't, of course, but they come back! Usually! Okay, sometimes they don't, but in that case they were either never truly a companion to begin with, or your just going for comedy. There are countless jokes you can make while the main character is on their deathbed, you know. Tortures the audience, too.
The Annoying Companion: That's right, it's donkey's time to shine! Not to mention a few of the more annoying personalities in the world. Basically, these companions make you want to tear your own ears off and scream, when it comes right down to it
However, they're generally fairly loyal, rather nice, or have certain other qualities that make you wanna scream a little bit less. (Anyone else feel like their reading a page on TV tropes at this point, yet? 'Cause I sure as hell feel like I'm writing one
I keep expecting to find links all over this dang thing.)
The Lovely Companion: Sometimes, your companion
is hot. I don't mean beautiful, I mean sexy. Other times, they really are just beautiful. However, the general idea behind this is the sexual tension/ potential perversion/angry rivals/potential future" this brings out.
Most heroes don't actually go out with the incredibly good looking and sexy ones, though. It's the more demure, though just as beautiful, ones you often have to look out for
Or the naives. But that's a discussion for the "love interest" guide, which should appear next time I'm crazy enough to write one of these.
The Loving Companion: Of course, sometimes the characters companion is in love with them
anyone watch one piece? Remember Boa? (Seriously, I have to say, she's one of my favorites
I'm a sucker for going "D'awwww!" over a girl in love.)
All that aside, though, this is one where it may or may not be returned. The basic point is just how they feel - and depending on how the love interest goes, just how much their companionship will change.
The Quiet Companion: Sometimes the companion just... fades into the background. Sometimes the reader just forgets that their they're, all together - sometimes, the writer does too! Maybe they were brought in for one moment and just haven't been let loose yet. Maybe they're the type who's always over ridden. but honestly has something to say and comes through when needed. This tends to play better in a comic or show, but there's more than one way to handle it.
First off, if you want the AUDIENCE to forget they're there, you should probably try and turn it into a running joke. Otherwise, you look like a lazy writer who couldn't be bothered to write lines - the truth of that is besides the point. It's much more fun to have the characters forget them. Have what they say spoken over, their advice overlooked, people blinking at her and wondering what she's doing there... maybe exclude her from most of the descriptions. The reason this works better in pictures, of course, is that you don't HAVE to bother with those descriptions. Just sneak them into the picture demurely.
Of course, there are other things out there - originality is encouraged! But that's it for now. These things take forever to do, you know! (Seriously. They often take up to an hour - this one was short.)