empowering young writers online

Building Characters

show don't tellSee how Elsy uses description, dialogue, actions and reactions to show us her characters’ personalities. In Chapter 6 of Auras, Eva has friends who help her and enemies who hurt her. In Chapter 2 of St. Charles Academy, Kayla is getting to know the girls at her new school.

Notice that Elsy doesn’t label her characters – she never calls them mean or nice or sweet or snotty. Instead, she lets readers figure out what these characters are like through their actions and responses. Not only is this more entertaining, but it’s also more effective.

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