Things I Learned from NaNoWriMo 2: Teen Angst

My NaNo Novel dealt with a primarily teenage cast, complete with high school scenes and after school mystery. As the plot thickened and began to twist and turn and knot up, the characters began to act… a little too adult. Then, when it began necessary to, uh, flesh out my word count when I couldn’t see the next step of the story, I delved into the psyche of my characters a little more.

That is where I learned that it was an element that my story needed deeply. I hadn’t made it apparent that my main character’s mature facade had a root in her troubled childhood, or that the comic relief guy did have a serious side, along with a strong sense of duty. One of the characters decided that they were clumsy in the kitchen, utterly selfish, and had been pretty lonely until that particular point in the plot. All in all, it was enlightening how much the characters blossomed when I really focused on them. It also allowed my characters to be teens (complete with angst) in between bouts of serious plot.

The lesson: give your characters room to bloom!

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