Who doesn’t know this famous character?

Last month when we practiced the parts of the book proposal, we looked at the overall manuscript.  Each of us took our manuscript and worked on how it was presented to the world as a whole.

Now though, we are going to start looking at the individual pieces that make up a great manuscript.  And of course the key thing that keeps a reader reading is the characters.

Don’t  get me wrong.  Lots or other parts of a story are important too, especially plot.  I know I’m the kind of person that is less interested in a character’s growth than what happens next.  I have been known to even finish books I don’t like simply because I want to know the ending.

However, the sad truth is if you don’t have compelling characters none of the other stuff matters  You have to write characters that readers are going to be interested enough in to find out what happens to them.

So, for the foreseeable future, we are going to be working on making our characters as compelling as possible.  (Notice I said compelling, not likable.  There are some great books out there with anti-heroes even in the children’s section.)  I’ll discuss different types of characters, and we’ll do different exercises to help strengthen our characters.  And remember character is very important regardless of whether or not your writing a picture book or the next Great American Teen Novel.  Get ready to really get to know your characters.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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