February 20th, 2013


Go Ahead — Write This Story: Sidekicks

We all need someone to talk to. The protagonist or antagonist in a story may need a best friend, partner, minion, sister, husband, or subordinate. Sidekicks can do more than help the author avoid long internal monologues. They can provide a different point of view, useful skills, narration, humor, pathos, plot twists, advice, admiration, conflict, contrast, and love. In short, a sidekick permits constant interaction and action. Famous sidekicks include Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes, Hamlet’s friend Horatio, Xena’s friend Gabrielle, Sherlock Holmes’ Dr. Watson, and Don Quixote’s squire Sancho Panza. Not every story needs a sidekick, of course, and if you need an idea for a story, here are a few:

• This is a story about a florist hired to provide a bouquet and decorations for a wedding to seal the alliance between warring magical kingdoms with opposing views on ornamental horticulture.

• This is a story about a vacation on artificial island floating across the Atlantic Ocean.

• This is the story about someone who buys a ticket in the National Health Lottery and wins first prize: 100 years of extra life in robust health.* (*Some restrictions apply).

— Sue Burke