Best Friends Forever

Harry likes best friends with personality and lives of their own.

Mindy Kaling is one of those people I’d like to be friends with. Not just because she’s famous, but because she’s awesome and I think we’d have a great time together. (Online shopping adventures! Fun games of “judge the TV moms!”) Yet another thing that makes me love Mindy is this article about women who only exist in movies. Basically, it’s every pet peeve about female characters in film: the gorgeous actress whose single flaw is that she’s klutzy; the career woman who’s too busy for love; the woman who works in an art gallery.

One item that caught my eye in particular:

The Sassy Best Friend

You know that really hilarious and horny best friend who is always asking about your relationship and has nothing really going on in her own life? She always wants to meet you in coffee shops or wants to go to Bloomingdale’s to sample perfumes? She runs a chic dildo store in the West Village? Nope? O.K., that’s this person.

The sassy best friend is certainly not limited to the world of romantic comedies. This can be a problem in most fiction, YA novels included. I read one YA novel a few months ago that was great, but I felt like the main character’s best friend was never allowed outside that role. She seemed to exist entirely to be a best friend. While it’s certainly okay to have minor characters, it’s good to remember that these characters are also complete people outside of your main character’s journey. Maybe we don’t get to see most of their outside world, but there should be the suggestion that the friend has something else going on.

Of course, if Mindy Kaling wants to meet for coffee or go to Bloomingdale’s to sample perfumes, I’m up for it.

(H/T AC Gaughen)(image: Harry Potter Wiki)

2 thoughts on “Best Friends Forever

  1. Mindy Kaling is so awesome, I agree! I can’t wait to see her new show and read her book. I also agree with the sassy best friend part. I think that type of thing happens with boyfriends, too. In both movies and YA fiction. These guys will sometimes have “love interest” written on their foreheads, but no personality. It’s like their whole life revolves around kissing the main character and making her blush, which makes it hard to connect with or care about their character. Each character deserves to have their own life outside of the main character’s.

    • @Jennifer. I had that problem the first time I tried to write my book: my male romantic lead had no real personality and was in love with my MC only because I wanted him to be. When I started it over again, I gave him a best friend–a “brother”–and a life outside my MC. In fact, there are times when his friend understands him better than his girlfriend. (Writing background stories of him and his friend doing their own thing before the MC comes along helps.)

      Funny, but when the perpetual sidekick starts having some personal issues, his mentor tells him to get his own life, make more friends, get right with God, etc. In short, your advice! Lol. He never separates from Anselm, but you do get to see him working through his problems, and you get to see that he has a personality–and it’s not always sunny and irreverent.

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