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From the Blog: Connecting With Your Characters

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You may have noticed the Camp NaNoWriMo dare appearing on your Dashboard and thought to yourself, "Self, what the heck is this Camp NaNoWriMo thing, and why should I join it?" 

We've got answer! And bug spray! And tent poles! Well, actually just answers: Camp NaNoWriMo is a writing event that happens in April and July. It's different from NaNoWriMo in November because you can work on ANY type of creative project, not just a novel. First drafts or revision, scripts or stories or poems or essays—all are welcome! Just accept the challenge from your Dashboard or View All Novels page to get started, or click the button below to learn more about it.

Visit Camp on YWP to learn more!

From the Blog: Connecting With Your Characters


Every book has a character or two, but how much do they matter to your story? NaNo guest Avery Nicole explains that characters who have inner conflict make the story memorable.

What makes a book addictive? What makes it so hard to put down?

The answer is the characters.

You may be thinking, no, it’s the plot. The exciting, adventure-packed stories are the best... But what would the plot be without your characters? They are the ones driving your story, the ones pushing against the plot and making the story stretch to its end.

There are always characters. There isn’t just a plot, it isn’t just a documentation of what happened, it's a story of whom it happened to.

Why is it that in some stories, we find ourselves connecting with the characters, but in others, we are unable to relate? Maybe because so many books do not contain the secret ingredient: internal conflict. Your character’s lie-driven motive pushes against the reality of the situation.

Let me explain.

People are broken and imperfect. We all believe lies about the world, and every day these false beliefs control our actions and words. Someday, though, we might come to the conclusion that what we always believed was false. This is what makes a good story because any person on the face of this planet can relate to it. We all get things wrong, we all have false beliefs that someday we might come to the other side of.

A story isn’t simply a plot, but a character arc, a revelation. A journey from Point A (the lie) to Point B (the truth). Examples of lies? I have to be famous and popular. I have to be perfect. I have to prove myself. By the end of the story, the character has come to see the opposite of this. I don’t need money or fame, I need to love and be loved. I don’t need to be perfect, everyone is flawed and that’s okay. I don’t need to prove myself, I need to be myself.

The opposite of this lie is your story’s truth. Your story’s theme. It’s that motivational quote or idea that you want to tell the world, it’s why the story matters so much to you. It’s what will bring you to 50,000 words in thirty days.

See, this is where so many authors have gotten confused. So many writers don’t connect with their characters. 

You could walk away from this blog post shaking your head, and that’s okay. This isn’t the only way to write, it’s just my advice. But you could also walk away from this blog post smiling, finally realizing what your story might have been missing all along.

Violence and plot and war and grief aren’t what captivate readers. It’s why that violence and plot and war and grief matter specifically to your character.

So it isn’t the plot. It’s the characters. Their lies, their truths, their internal conflict. The characters are what make you want to read past your bedtime. They are what make the book so meaningful. They are what will bring you to your goal of finishing your novel.

Top Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash


Avery Nicole is currently a sophomore in high school, on the road to college. When she was seven she wrote her first short story and writing has rarely left her mind since. In her free time, she enjoys writing contemporary novels and poetry. She continuously works to achieve her goal and dream of publication.

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