Posted by: nancyisanders | September 6, 2016

Oldie But Goodie: Middle Grade Musings

Here’s the final post I found in this Oldie But Goodie series on Middle Grade Novels that I posted several years ago:

Everything I Need to Know about Middle Grade Novels I Learned from Jurassic Park
Part 6

Here’s an overview of what I learned about characterization from watching all three Jurassic Park movies:

Main Characters:
1. Make each main character 3-D by giving them each three distinct, over-the-top and unique personality traits. Either make them likeable or make the reader like to dislike them—don’t just give them random traits—make them appealing to the reader in some way.
2. Develop each of the main character’s characterization throughout the entire novel including the beginning, middle, and the end.
3. Have each main character change or not change by the end of the book in a dramatic way with purpose.
4. Use the unique characterization of each main character to either save the day or bring about ruin by either moving the plot forward or throwing obstacles in the way.
5. Create character-driven plots to add tension and emotion to the story and keep the reader hooked.

Minor Characters:
1. Create a cast of minor characters each with one distinct and unique personality trait.
2. Develop each of the minor characters throughout the entire novel including the beginning, the middle, and the end.
3. Use the minor characters to move the plot forward or throw obstacles in the way and add tension.

I am planning to use this list as a check-off list for the characters I’m developing in my middle grade historical novel. I really think this will take my book to a newer level of interest and excitement for the reader—I know it’s already working to hook me in as the author.



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