Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Character Revision/Calls for Submissions

Word vomit. That’s the term some writers call the first draft. The phrase is certainly an apt description of my un-revised writing. Good writing is born from rewriting.

Begin revision by examining the main character. Is the character believable? The main character should not be perfect. Instead, give the character flaws. Play up those flaws through the problems the character has to work through. Is the character likeable? If not, the reader won’t care what happens. Create a likeable character so the reader will relate and want to follow his/her journey.

Provide enough description for the reader to envision the character but not so much to slow down the action of the plot. If the color of the hair doesn’t affect the plot, the reader doesn’t necessarily need to know she has red hair. In picture books, the illustrations will provide many of the descriptions.

Is the character’s behavior consistent throughout? The character shouldn’t be mild-mannered and meek in one part of the story and loud and obnoxious in another unless the change in character is fully explored and related to the reader.

The character needs to grow, change, or learn something over the course of the story.

Next week, I’ll focus on plot revision.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
Kudzu. Hazard Community and Technical College’s literary magazine Kudzu is seeking submissions for the Spring 2012 issue. Writers must submit their prose or poetry at http://kudzu.submishmash.com/submit/5144/submission.
Deadline: January 31.
Details: Contacts Scott Lucero at Scott.Lucero@kctcs.edu.

Call for submissions for student writers:
B.J. ROLFZEN MEMORIAL DYLAN DAYS CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST
Student Poetry Division
Must be currently enrolled in high school or undergraduate
college and have no professional literary publication. Poems
limited to 1,000 words on any subject. Multiple entries will
not be considered.
Deadline: March 1, 2012.
Details at http://www.dylandays.org/a/j/dylan-days/contests/creative-writing

Check out more contests on my blog: http://nancykellyallen.blogspot.com/

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