Lately I’ve been wondering what makes people feel their ROs are relevant to the plot or rather have vested interest in the plot. Or rather have the reader feel like their important. Maybe I don’t have the magic words to describe it correctly so two examples of what I mean.
One would be someone like Alistair for DAO. Dude has his own unique backstory and personality. Also turns out he’s related to the former king giving him a claim to the throne and he also has the my whole life was destroyed and I want revenge going for him. With all this he is quite the example of an RO with involvement or investment in the story, one with much more investment than required for most ROs to fall into this category.
A good second example would be Toshie from the samurai of hyuga series. They are one of the emperor’s ninjas, a trusted one at that. Loyal to their emperor. They also help you along in the story by being the mystic seer the mc isn’t not to mention the constant advice they give you and a couple occasions they challenge you, ex. the trial on the third book.
1.So I suppose the question is what ways can an author make it so their ROs are relevant or have involvement with the main story beyond simply being romanceable with a side plot?
2.What would make their character arc be involved with the main story or stories?
3.What is the general bar for a good character like this?
4.Am I missing something with how ROs are relevant to the story?
5.What are your own examples of characters you think are like this?