Side Character Survival Guidelines Chapter 1/
Side Character Survival Guidelines Chapter 1
I am a side character.
Yes, literally a so-called side character. My ultimate mission is to contrast the protagonist, contrast the protagonist and contrast the protagonist. Details include
1. to first appear in a cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant manner, then to lose to the protagonist to show what cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant actually mean; 2. to appear in a cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant manner when the protagonist encounters an obstacle and then with sarcasm on the surface but guidance hidden within to make it so they would better themselves; 3. to stimulate the chemistry between the protagonist and a love interest when who protagonist likes likes myself and then back off so that no flags are raised, and then to make a new flag and then die fabulously in the protagonist's embrace, leaving behind a touching epitaph so that the plot can enter its climax and the love interest can fall for the protagonist with no regrets… uhh, scratch that last one out. An ending where everyone is alive is a bit more healing. Everything above is compulsory for a side character to learn, which is quite hard work. Though I'm a serious person too, and I understand all these things well.
Quick TL's note here, everything above was one paragraph, so I split it up so it'd be easier on the eye.
Of course, please don't look down on this work. These characters are still very important for the completeness of the whole book. I believe no novel exist with only a protagonist without any side characters, or the plot can't advance either. It is our hard work that perfects the plot of a novel. Of course, not just novels, dramas, films, comics, cartoons, etc. all need side characters to exist. I wish that everyone now understands our importance here.
Saying all this inconsequential stuff here is just venting out, really, since I didn't happen to be the fated protagonist who managed to acquire a protagonist halo for myself. There can be many, many side characters, but the protagonist is always unique. There's a lot of compet.i.tion, and kids who are fortunate enough to acquire a protagonist halo are about as rare as people with Beijing citizenship. Venting out here certainly has to do with jealousy, resentment, bitterness, because… I want Beijing citizenship too T.T.
With these background information, I believe you have a basic understanding of the world I'm in. This is the world of a novel, and everyone here knows that. Where the reader can read about us we work hard to act in-character as characters in the novel, but that is not often the case outside of the reader's eye. The only difference between us and actors is that we have to live as our character for our whole lives. If our character dies, then so do us in our world. This is something readers don't know, but people who are reading my story right now, please don't inform the readers of the novel I'm in about this. From what I know, most characters are unlike what characteristics they show in the settings. If they knew what these characters are like in private, resulting in the view numbers decreasing, everyone will be unhappy.
In a novel's world, what character you will be is determined at birth. The moment you open your eyes you will know what kind of path you must take. Perhaps you will never meet the protagonist but you will ‘accidentally' die when the demon lord destroys the world, or you might meet the protagonist once and that's it. Or like me, you're a side character who is paving the way for the protagonist every day. To be honest, people who are mobs or cannon fodders have it easy, because they do not have character settings so they can live however they like. Side characters like us who have names and surnames and character settings are annoying. You might be a naturally slow person but you have to pretend to be a CEO who is cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant. You might be a man among men but you have to pretend to be a weak little white flower. Or like me, you rattle on and on and on but you have to pretend to be an ice-cold character. So to have someone like you who can listen to me complain in private makes me happy.
I am, well, my character setting is, as said above, an ice-cold mountain. The type you often see in the novel, the kind of cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant character that often appears alongside the protagonist in their tall, wealthy and handsome ways. This is the setting you most often see in power fantasy novels with an originally weak protagonist. They, I mean we, will often appear when the protagonist is n.o.body, and show our disdain towards them. This will be followed by us being beaten to a pulp later when the protagonist starts powering up.
Of course, we might still be popular if we do a good job with the pretension, but most of the time this is a demanding job with no returns. Why? To put it simply, our type of winners-in-life characters are often full of flags. Most of these flags which are too numerous to be removed would result in death. Personally I'd prefer not to encounter such an end, and I hope I will at least have enough popularity that fans might write to the author to remove some flags from me. Even if I still have to go die obediently at the end, at least I will know that someone has cared about me.
True, it is best not to die. d.a.m.n it, I also want to be a protagonist with a Beijing citizenship!
Cough, but I digress.
To be a good side character is also demanding in certain aspects. As a good side character, you must first have a cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant name. The name must be as long and as complicated and as cool as possible. As such a side character, I also employ such a name. Yes, my name is Xuanyuan Mufeng.
It sounds kind of weird, but at least it fits with the above criteria, and can be said to sound kind of powerful. It is at least better than something like Wolegecao which is essentially a test for the reader's level of Chinese as well as being a beast to remember. A name that is easy to remember and sounding n.o.ble and foreign is important for popularity, especially in a novel. If readers want to like you, they first have to remember your name. n.o.body will talk like this when discussing with their friends, “my favourite character is that… that… that whatshisname…?” Then again, if the name is too simple it also obviously doesn't fit with the high-cla.s.s and imposingly icy atmosphere of the character. For example, if the name is something like w.a.n.g Xiaoming, then the whole novel might just become a dissing novel.
Other than that, a good ident.i.ty is also very important. As a character who is to contrast with the protagonist's cool, imposing, wild, impressive and arrogant aspects, and who has a certain amount of chance to be upgraded into a mid-boss, I cannot just be some waiter carrying tea and drinks. Those settings where while being the janitor or the reading companion someone is extremely powerful is often the hidden boss character, and you can't have these settings collide; they need to make a living too. Normally, characters like me would be given the position of head disciple if it were a cultivation novel, the position of being top of his school if it were a school life novel, a position of being a winner-in-life and tall and rich and handsome in if it were a novel set in the modern times. They're all awesome and powerful is what I'm saying. As this world we're in is a transmigration cultivation novel, my setting is the head disciple of the Icy Mountain Sect.
Other than that, a tragic backstory that can trigger pity and motherly instincts in readers is necessary. While it is formulaic, but for both side characters and protagonists, if their personality are slightly different from the norm, whether in a good or bad or deviant way, there must be some reason that caused this. Most of the time the reasons have to do with their childhoods. G.o.d knows when it has become a habit of most authors to write a sad past into characters, but many readers buy that. If they like it then I can't be the one complaining. So, unavoidably, the situation with my family is not good either. More specifically, my whole family is dead, except for me, and the culprit has not been caught either. Though it was just a setting, the whole place full of corpses and blood did traumatise me so much that I am still anaemic nowadays. I haven't told anyone though, because this was not part of my setting. Anyway, whether personally or in conjunction with the plot, I will have my revenge. Considering the general case of authors, both making the side character an underling in the early phases and drawing the last boss out towards the end would be a common trope that can use a character like me, especially when it comes to sending me my lunch packing… Did I just set a flag I shouldn't have set just now?
Anyway, I'll stop talking about this unfortunate this. Now it's the problem with my job. The difficult part of the job is that it is lifelong and I cannot find another one. If I do it badly I might end up as cannon fodder in the end. Sometimes not even the author has an idea how the plot will go and that is when wild plot developments occur. I have even heard some novels next door have their protagonist become the hidden boss at the end because of the author's mad thoughts. Afterwards the suffering protagonist has his halo which has turned black on going everywhere to cry about his situation, before being killed by his side character in the end. This is certainly a tragic case. There's even one who, due to popular demand from the readers, ended up with the boss(♂) in the end. It's a difficult job to guess what the author is thinking. It might just be a novel to you and it's over after a good laugh, but it's our whole life in our case. I have to say there are times when we feel sad, but then we just have to suck it up and continue our jobs.
If what I have just said has made you a bit uncomfortable then I apologise. Let's talk about something more casual instead. Though there's mostly just sad things, of course there's still happy things. As a tall, rich and handsome side character, the best part is that I have a lot of money. Though settings-wise I cannot lay my hands on women… or men, of course, for that case, I can do something else instead. Where the readers can't see you, n.o.body cares what you might be doing. The most important aspect is that you stay far, far away from the protagonist besides your scheduled appearances. As a talkative person, though I have to maintain my expressionless poker face in front of others, it's fine when I try to strike conversations in my own home with my furniture or dolls or faucets or whatever…
… Please don't tell anyone that, that actually sounds kind of embarra.s.sing.
… Please, don't tell anyone.
Author's notes: Σ(
)Putting one chapter up first, so that I don't abandon it.
Why is it so long again_(:з」∠)_
I only wrote 30 odd pages in handwriting_(:з」∠)_
Anyway… this is kinda just testing…
I won't abandon this, no.
TL's notes: Holy Christ I didn't notice how long each paragraph was before translating this. I hope it isn't too harsh on the eyes.