Wednesday, June 22, 2011


YA World Wednesday

Kids feel not only with their heads, but with their hearts or stomachs. It all depends on the situation. Many emotions tumble through them: fear, anger, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment, loneliness, and, of course, love. As they live through their young-adult lives going through one experience after another, they feel a plethora of emotions. Plus, their feelings are jumbled up because they are in the era of discovering how they actually feel about the world around them. They are on a path of discovery.

The reader is going along with them on this path. You as the writer needs to express each characters feelings in their own individual way. The key to doing this is to use specifics and show the character’s progress from the beginning of the book to the end.

In other words see the world through their eyes. For example, if your main character is training to become an ice-skater, have her see things as a skater. She may think going to a party is skating on thin ice or that going to prom with the hunkiest guy in school would be like sticking a Salchow jump. Or if your character is an artist, he may think of life in shades of colors. The sky was cobalt over a emerald sea. You get my drift. Make what they see specific to them and how they view their world.

Show character progress…
In the course of your story your main character needs to change. For instance, perhaps your main character is quick to judge others, but through his adventures he learns that the grumpiest guy in town has lost his wife in a tragic accident, or that the girl who seemed like snob is embarrassed by her home life because her mother is a lush and her father is always yelling. As your main character experiences his own challenges he learns that being quick to judge is robbing him of good relationships that could make his life more meaningful.

Showing your characters feelings helps readers identify with them because they see part of their own lives in the pages of your story.

 How do you use specifics and show progress in your WIP?


  1. Great points here. This is what I like about characters in books I read, so I strive to do the same. :)

  2. Laura,
    I'm glad you liked the points I brought up. Thanks for dropping by.



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