Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Developing Characters/Call for Submissions

In writing fiction, characters are central to the story. The character must seem real to the readers or their interest in the story will quickly fade. Before beginning the manuscript, think about the fundamental elements of character. Look through magazines and cut out pictures of interesting looking people or animals. Observe people in which you come in contact. Notice their physical characteristics, such as how they are dressed. (This works for animals, too). Pay close attention to the way the person walks, talks, and reacts to others. If you’re using pictures, imagine how the characters would act. What would the person say and how would he/she say it. How does the voice sound—scratchy, hoarse, loud, whisper?

What kind of past has this character experienced? Is the person a leader or follower? Imagine the person is in a dangerous situation—house fire, car accident, robbery, tornado, heated argument that turned violent. How does the character react?

In a notebook, write a short character sketch about a character you would like to write about. Give the character a plausible history and enough complexity to seem real. The complexity comes from a character that is not perfect. The character should have flaws and have to deal with those flaws to grow, learn, and change by the end of the story.

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest will award $3,600, including a top prize of $1,500. Submit one humor poem online. No length limit. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. No fee to enter. Final judge: Jendi Reiter.
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2012
Guidelines at

Call for Submissions for Young Writers
Kids'Magination is a new ezine for kids who love to read and write. We're also looking for submissions. Please submit your best, polished work. Our guidelines can be found here:

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