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Is Your Main Character Ready for the Big Time?

Buried in the Slushpile

So, you’ve written a children’s book and now you’re wondering:

Is my main character ready to publish?

Well, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if your character is ready for publication.

First, let’s focus on the character:

·  Likeable: Is your main character likeable? Readers need to care about your main character and want to root for them.

·  Relatable: Is your main character relatable? Your readers need to be able to see themselves in your main character and understand their struggles.

·  Clear goal: Does your main character have at least one clear goal that you can articulate? Your main character needs to have a purpose and a goal that drives the story.

·  Motivation: Does your main character have clear motivations for their goals? Your readers need to understand why your main character wants to achieve their goal.

·  Age appropriate: Is your main character age appropriate for your manuscript’s target market? Make sure your character’s age and behavior match your intended audience.

Next, consider your main character’s arc:

Do they have a character arc? (Need at least one from below)

·  Positive: Does your character show positive growth throughout the story? This is the most commonly published type of character arc.

·  Negative: Does your character show negative growth throughout the story?

·  Flat: Does your character show no growth because the other characters grow to meet them instead?

If you can answer yes to all of the character questions and yes to them having an arc, then congratulations! Your main character is ready for you to start querying or to be sent to your freelance developmental editor.

But don’t forget that there is a lot more to publishing a book than just having a great main character. You also need to consider the rest of the story.

So, is your whole book ready for publication? 

That’s a lot trickier. But I do have different tools for that. You can use my submission checklist, or if you’d rather talk with me directly, take a few minutes to fill out my pub diagnostic.

Remember, writing a children’s book is a complex process, but taking the time to create a strong main character is a great first step. Keep in mind that even the best authors revise and edit their work, so don’t be afraid to make changes if needed.

With dedication and hard work, you can create a book that will capture the hearts and minds of your readers. Good luck on your publishing journey!

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