J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer

Reading, writing, and fighting–the three joys of life!

Random List of 7

This week’s list is brought to you by the letter F:


According to Wikipedia: “a foil in fiction is a character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight various features of that other character’s personality, throwing these characteristics into sharper focus.” Foils are usually trusty sidekicks or supporting characters, with qualities wildly different from the MC’s, yet complementary somehow. Since a compelling MC is nothing without a great supporting cast, a foil’s interactions with the MC can truly bring out and augment the MC’s personality.

Here is a list of my favourite foils in fiction, in no particular order:

1. Sancho Panza (fat, practical), foil to Don Quixote (skinny, dreamy)

2. Sancho Panda (fat, practical), foil to Don Coyote (skinny, dreamy)

3. Dr Watson (fat, middle-aged), foil to Sherlock Holmes (tall, lean)

4. Genie (funny, loud, big, brash, bold and erm...blue?), foil to Aladdin (clever, streetwise, yet insecure and seeks acceptance)

5. Lumiere (tall, lean, rebellious, romantic, ladies' man) and Cogsworth (stout, loyal to a fault, by-the-book, uptight), foil to each other. Yes, I know neither is the MC in Disney's "Beauty & the Beast", but I adore them! :)

6. Donkey (happy-go-lucky, talkative, not very big), foil for Shrek (big, brave, scary, sometimes grumpy, sarcastic)

7. Odie (happy-go-lucky, not very bright, doesn't talk, hyperactive dog), foil for Garfield (fat, sarcastic, lazy cat)

I would like to think that I’ve created some pretty good foils for my MCs in my current WIPs:

In ORACLE, the MC’s younger brother is immature, loud and devil-may-care, as opposed to the MC’s quiet reservedness and vanity. Additionally, while the MC is a police detective, the brother is involved with the local gang and implicated in petty crimes.

In SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND, I actually have two foils: the petite, blonde and tomboyish female MC, a police detective, has a best friend who is a gay fashion designer with an effervescent personality. The MC is also single, lives alone, and working hard for career progression, whilst her partner is a tall, sixty-plus male senior detective with a large family, cruising the final few years before statutory retirement.

What do you think of the foils in my WIPs? Have I missed out any significant foils from my list? Who are your favourite foils in fiction?


2 Responses to “Random List of 7”

  1. Denise says:

    This is a great list of foils. Never thought about it as deeply as you have. I like your foils in your WIPs. En guard!

  2. e.lee says:

    hahah a great list!

    Watson is rather underrated as a foil, because he presents a humane angle to the Sherlock Holmes stories which would be too chilly if it were just about Holmes' analytical powers.

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