Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

MY CHARACTERS, MY IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Nancy J. Cavanaugh


Today’s re-blog talks about books for youth; but, the ideas and methods work for adult stories, too :-)

Nerdy Book Club

All of my stories for middle grade readers have begun with my idea for a character.  That initial inspiration eventually blossoms into an entire book, but that only happens after I allow that character to become real in my own imagination.

If you’ve ever observed a four-year-old playing with her imaginary friend, you will see that for her, there is nothing at all imaginary about her friend.  For her, that friend is as real as everything else in her world.  This is the kind of realness that has to happen with my characters in order for me to be able to tell their stories and make those stories ring true for my readers.

So how do my characters become so real?  Very simply, I patiently get to know them, sort of the same way I would gradually get to know a new person I wanted to become friends with.  I…

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