Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Compelling Characters

If you are a writer, you want to create a protagonist that is empathetic. Is this a character you would spend a lot of time with? If not, the reader probably won’t either and will stop reading the story long before reaching the end. Does the character defend those who are vulnerable, stand up to a bully or commit to other acts that showcase empathy?

Pile on the problems but give the character enough backbone to confront the obstacles. We are striving to develop compelling characters, not perfect ones, so allow them to have a few frailties and faults, something to hinder the ability to succeed. As the story progresses with the character facing even greater obstacles, s/he grows, adapts, changes and becomes strong enough, clever enough to keep trying. Conflict is a must. If there is no conflict there is no story because conflict leads to growth.

 Make characters relatable, reflecting real life so they seem real. Have them take action and not be passive. Action drives the story and ups the tension. Compelling characters are the basic element to any story. The reader is cheering them on to reach their goal. After all, we write for the reader.

Call for submissions for Young Writers

CALLING for Submissions from Middle Grade and Young Adult writers! The Crawl Space Journal, a small place for big imaginations, is looking for great writing, especially short forms: poems, prose, and flash fiction, within the realms of magical realism, fabulism, and fantasy, for our Spring Issue. We do accept novel excerpts (up to1,500 words) if they stand alone. Our readers are mainly between the ages of 11 and 14.
Call for submissions for Adult Writers

Lilybell welcomes writer submissions. Lilybell has a very specific voice. We recommend reading several issues before submitting work.

Submissions should be sent to Please include your work in the body of the email. No attachments accepted.

Submission guidelines at

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