I once read a book where the secondary character saved the day – and the girl. Why? Because the hero was off doing something else. Never mind that it was relevant to his personal growth and own conflict. But when you’re getting to the end of the book, shouldn’t he have already gotten all that taken cared of in time to save the day and the girl???
I won’t name the book or author. Actually, I have a confession to make myself. I too was once guilty of this. Yup. *Nodding my head in shame here.*
I wrote this excellent book where the at the end, the secondary character saved the day and the girl. Yeah, my hero was there, but he didn’t react quickly enough. To tell you the truth, he didn’t know what to do because he didn’t want to jeopardize the heroine’s safety, since she had a knife at her throat and was used as a human shield by the antagonist. So the secondary saved the day by coming up behind the antagonist and was able to wrestle the knife away, free the heroine, and killed the antagonist.
To my reasoning, that secondary character had more than ample reason to kill antagonist. The antagonist had raped his 14-year-old daughter. I thought it was a very fitting end. My critique partner, however, didn’t agree. She went at me about not having the hero save the heroine and kill the antagonist. It completely ruined the book for her. And you know what? She was right. That “excellent” book is now collecting dust, waiting for me to go back and change the ending. Thank God for critique partners!
So lesson learned. Have the main character save the day, not the secondary character, no matter how great his/her motivation is. And if there’s a girl to be saved, let the hero do the saving. Common sense, I know, but like I said, even I was guilty of this. Let the hero save the day, save the girl … and save your book!