For more writing tips, check out SPILLING INK: A Young Writer's Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen PotterHow to Create Great Characters:

1. Decide what your character wants more than anything in the world. It can be a thing, like a racing bike; it can be a friend; it can be to accomplish something. It can be anything at all. Just makes sure it's something your character wants very badly.

2. Make it extremely hard for your character to get the thing they really, really want. That's how you create movement in your story. Your character has to fight through obstacles to get the thing they want.

3. When you get stuck while writing your story, go back and ask your character, "OK, what do you want right now?" It happens to all writers . . . there are times when you just have no idea what to write next. It feels like your characters are frozen. One way to thaw them out is to ask them what they want right now. We are all driven by "wants" every second of the day. So are your characters. See what small desires your character might have. Maybe they just want a snack. Have them get up and go to the fridge. Maybe there's nothing they want in the fridge, so now they have to ask their mom if they can go to the store and pick up some pretzels. Mom says "Sure" and your character heads out the door. Ok, now they're on the move. Anything can happen on the way to the store. Congratulations! Your character is out of the deep freeze!

More cool writing links for youg people:


Creative Kids
The nation's largest magazine for and by kids

Frodo's Notebook
For kids ages 13-19

Launch Pad
A site for young authors and illustrators

Skipping Stones

Teen Voices
For girls between 13 and 19

Teen Ink

Merlyn's Pen