Did you know that initially Family Ties was designed to focus on Elyse and Steven Keaton, but with Michael J. Fox playing Alex, he gained such popularity that he became a focal point in the show? That is how a secondary character can grab a reader’s interest as well.
3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1 was inspired by the latest TV Series that I am watching. In the process of seeing these two central characters spar, I’ve learned a lot about my own characters as well.
Each week in April I will share another installment of 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome starting today with Tip #1.
Tip #1: Arguments Bring on Humorous Tension
Right from Hawaii Five-O Season 1, Episode 1 Steve and Dano are arguing.
Here is a clip from Season 1, Episode 1:
(Please note there are a few words in it that I wish weren't, but the example is so helpful.)
Interesting Elements of this Sidekick Character:
1. Conflict between two people that have to work together to accomplish something, especially when they are in dangerous situations, builds tension. In the end, the two conflicted characters develop mutual respect for each other, but the differences are still there, ready in the line up to cause conflict again in the future.
2. Juxtaposing Key Values of the Hero and Sidekick make us like them both more. This shows us the character’s values. When they defend it to each other it makes us want to defend it, too.
Dano is all about his daughter and he doesn’t plan to get killed and leave her without a dad, so when he risks himself it’s important to him that Steve understand the value of what he just did.
Steve just wants to catch the man who killed his father. He’s about justice at great personal cost and doesn’t care if that gets him killed.
3. The Character who is in charge in the segment gets the upper hand first. It establishes that character as the Alpha male or dominant role in leadership in the story.
4. The sidekick gets to show their strength as well, that they are a force to be respected. It establishes their worth on the page. No one wants a pansy of a sidekick.
5. Each Character learns to appreciate the value of their sidekick. Steve appreciates Dano’s commitment to his daughter. Steve illustrates this by giving Dano a three night stay at a hotel where his daughter can go swimming.
Dano accepts Steve’s apology and commitment to justice. He accepts being late to pick up his daughter because of the urgency of stopping the villains’ escape. He can put Steve’s big initiative for justice front and center.