Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Conflict Ups the Interest in Reading/Call for submissions

As in adult novels, compelling conflict in children’s chapter books and novels keep the pages turning. The main character needs a worthy goal. The goal should be worth all the trouble the character endures to be believable.

Try these tips for creating conflict and increasing literary tension:

-Begin the story at a moment in which the character will forever be changed, at a moment of excitement, or in the middle of the action. Grab the reader’s attention early.

-A way to up the tension is by setting a deadline in which the character must accomplish a task. Like a ticking clock, the urgency will make compelling reading.

-A rule many writers use is treat the character badly; then treat the character worse. Present one obstacle after another to make the character work hard and face difficult choices.

-The character should solve his/her own problems. Active characters act upon the situation. Don’t rely on Aunt Polly or a big brother to solve the character’s problems.

-Keep the character consistent. A shy kid shouldn’t suddenly develop an outgoing personality without sufficient reason.

Next week, I’ll address more ways to create conflict.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
Lingerpost is a biannual, online journal that seeks to publish wonderful new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by established and emerging artists. We’re open to a wide variety of work as long as it is well-written and innovative. What compels us is a desire to enter another heart and imagination, to know—we look for poetry that seeks to know and be known. We read submissions year around, and currently we're reading for our next issue. Email submissions to
Deadline for next issue: July 25, 2012
Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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