The one thing I didn’t realize is that creating a story can be very arduous. In my opinion, the most important thing when writing a story is character. Character is what engages the reader. You want characters that are compelling, dynamic, and varied. The toughest part isn’t even necessarily creating main characters. It is creating the side characters. Most authors tend to focus on writing for the main characters because they are the ones you’ll spend the most time with and the ones that will be central to the plot of the story. Because of this, the secondary characters can sometimes fall by the wayside. But a great story not only has great main characters, it also has great secondary ones as well. While the primary characters drive the story, it’s the secondary characters that fill out the world and often provide color to the journeys of the main characters. With great care, a secondary character can become iconic. In ongoing stories, a secondary character can even upgrade themselves into a starring role through sheer force of personality and popularity.
In The Black Diamond, there are two sets of secondary characters. The first ones we are introduced to are the parents. This makes sense. As youngsters, of course our warlocks’ parents would play role. We all know there are stories about young people where the parents are conspicuously absent or aren’t in the story where it’d make sense for them to be. I don’t know about you, but when I see this, my first question is always: Where are their parents?
Derek’s parents are Stephen and Valerie. They are each in their early-mid 40s. Stephen is a warlock with the who used to have the power of telekinesis, or the ability to move things with his mind. He lost that power when Derek came into his own powers. Stephen used to be somewhat of a monster hunter in his younger days. He’d help those in his community with magical issues and/or monster problems. After a tragedy befell his family, he gave that calling up. Valerie is a normal human. She met Stephen when they were in college and when they became serious, Stephen told her about his magical heritage. She was not scared off by the revelation and provides shelter to both her husband and son from their magical maelstrom.
Matthias’s parents are Isaac and Shawnette. They are in their late 30s. They met in their early 20s and had Matthias, their only child together, shortly after getting serious. Isaac is warlock with the admittedly nebulous power of sensing and Shawnette—Shawn for short—is a witch with the power of compulsion. She can make people obey her using verbal commands. Isaac is very regimented and can be a bit self-serious. Shawnette is very self-assured and protective.
Derek’s and Matthias’s parents are the main supporting characters in the story, at least at first. There are a few other secondary characters that appear throughout the story. The first is Lamar, the owner of Sharp Cutz barbershop and an old friend of Stephen’s. He is a kintano, or a human who studies magic. He provides assistance to the warlocks. The next is Dodger, who is Derek’s canine familiar. Derek came across Dodger when he was a kid and the stray puppy was sheltering itself under a park bench during a rainstorm. Mariah is the mayor’s assistant. She helps Angela Wright with both her mayoral and witchly duties.
Lastly, what would be a good college story without the classmates? Our warlocks have a large circle of fellow students that they interact with in various ways, but there are a few that standout. First is Rhonda Little, Matthias’s girlfriend. They met in high school. She doesn’t know about his magic… yet. Tre’Vell has a best friend named Deandre. Deandre grew up with Tre’Vell in Baltimore. He knows about Tre’Vell’s abilities, just not their origin or true nature. He is very loyal to Tre. Derek has a treasure trove of friends, but the two main ones in the story are Devon and Kelsey. Devon, he’s known since they were little kids. He is a part of a cohort of friends that go way back, all of whom know of Derek’s magic. Devon is the closest to Derek of their friend group. Kelsey is a classmate from D.C. that Derek meets in a class at Word U and becomes close to. It’s strictly platonic, which is a little unusual for Derek. She keeps things light.
Throughout the course of the series, characters will enter and exit the lives of our four warlocks. They will both support their stories and journeys while also having lives and stories of their own. All will contribute to the wide world of The Black Diamond!
Next month: Let’s go on a journey!