Characters to Connect With

I had a conversation with an agent last week that led to some recommendations for YA books that do an excellent job of showing the main character's emotional life, their inner motivations and desires. I thought I'd share the titles for the benefit of other writers struggling to find this balance (I think I'm always afraid of going too far and making everything overdramatic, and err on the side of not showing enough). Here are some books that got it right:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (this one was also used as an example of voice in Eve Adler's workshop at our local SCBWI Spring Spirit Conference)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

My own recommendations would be the Flavia De Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley:

Any other recommendations?


Angie said...

Isabel from Chains reminded me a lot of Nya from Janice Hardy's The Shifter. Not sure if you've read that one, and I'm not sure if it was a matter of showing the emotional side of the character in so much as they both have really tough choices to make.

I'm also reading one now, more on the upper YA side that really goes into showing the character's emotions - it's called Hold Still by Nina LaCour.

Thanks for sharing the other titles. :)

Christina Mercer said...

Looks like great titles to add to my "must reads"!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Angie--Thanks, I'll have to check out both of those titles. In my spare time, ha!

And Christina, you'll have more spare time when school lets out,right? Or does that translate into more interruptions? "Mom, I know you're writing, but I can't find my socks . . ."

Post a Comment