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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


To piggy-back off a post on Sara Crowe's blog from late yesterday (see the HONE YOUR CRAFT sidebar for a link), I've searched cyberspace for a few places that talk about creating memorable characters, both middle grade and young adult. These can be helpful in giving you a few ideas for developing a character so that the reader loves them as much as you do, or as a check-list to make sure the protagonist in your completed manuscript meets certain criteria. The list of today's links is at the top right of this blog:

Unique Tips for Creating Memorable Characters

Layering Voice to Create Powerful Characters

Creating Believable Middle Grade and Young Adult Characters

How to Create Memorable Characters for Profitable Publishing

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters

Character Creation

Realistic Teen Fiction

Here' a list of the top 10 children's books of all time, in terms of book sales. Take a look and CONSIDER THE CHARACTERS in these biggies (figures are from paper-back books sold before 2000):

1. Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
2. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
3. Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, Judy Blume
4. Love you Forever, Robert Munsch
5. Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
6. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
7. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, J.K. Rowling
8. Are you there God, it's me, Margaret, Judy Blume
9. Shane, Jack Schaeffer
10. The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks

Okay, first of all, do you see a pattern? 3 out of 10 best-selling children's authors use initials in their name--PEN NAMES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! Okay...no...no, they don't (on a sidenote, never use a pen name when querying agents--it irks them).

Second of all, these lists seem to be objective because I've seen a million different variations of the above. Bottom line though, these books have strong characters or they wouldn't be so popular. Also, I'm thinking that this list might be influenced by the number of books sold to teachers and schools.

Third of all...my baby is smelling suspicious, so I need to go investigate. Click on the links if you're looking for some extra info on characters, and peruse my other link lists for info on queries, etc. I update them as I see new stuff. I suggest popping into the agents' blog on the right and seeing what they're up to.

Have a great Tuesday!

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