Antagonists and Allies

Even if you’re using first-person POV, your protagonists need strong secondary characters to help drive the story. Think of the Mrs. Bennets, the Queen Charlottes, the Harriets, the many engaging characters who add texture and plot complications to the stories.

The question is, who should they be for your romance? A lot depends on what you’ve already planned: exactly what your protagonists want, what’s getting in the way of their romance, the period and place of the story. I will be the first to admit that sometimes these characters just walk on the page when you’re drafting, even if you’ve made a thorough plan or outline. The need for a fresh take on something can be a matter of instinct. It can also be something you learn to bear in mind as you plan and draft.