Ask children’s and YA writers about problems in their work and you’ll get a variety of responses:
“The adults keep taking my story over.”
“I don’t want my characters to suffer.”
“I have problems creating enough tension in my plot.”
“I don’t want to write edgy stories, even though that’s what sells.”
If you have one or more of these problems, then I’m issuing you a challenge: Stop parenting your characters. There are a lot of ways that writers parent their characters, but no matter how you do it the end result is the same—a story that just doesn’t work and ultimately won’t sell.
Fortunately, it’s a habit you can break.
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