I'm telling you guys, I have no idea how the judges are going to pick just three. The entries have been awesome. There was even a whole group of sisters who entered, which just thrilled me! Jordan Newhouse and her younger sisters, Moriah and Bethany. I love it.
Still a few more hours to get your entry in too.
Down to business.
In regards to our main characters, we've talked about how they need to change and how we need to unearth their extraordinary qualities. Something else we need to do is show their inner conflict. And I'm not talking about their conflict in regards to what's going on all around them, I mean those facets of their personality that sometimes run contradictory.
Like does your character embrace life with gusto? Does she leap into everything with enthusiasm? Well, find something she maybe isn't so enthusiastic about. Like that interpretive dance class she's being forced to take. Or the job where she gets paid minimum wage to scrub Backstreet Boys stickers off toilets. (Yes. I've had that job. It included delivering cheeseburgers to people's cars. The BSB sticker-scrubbing was just a perk.)
Maybe your character has a smart remark for everything. Put him in a situation that ties his tongue.
Or maybe a career woman who loves to go-go-go all the time ... but savors the time she gets to spend rocking her baby to sleep at night. Or atightwad who has a soft spot for the homeless guy who begs on his street corner.
Because we all have our inconsistencies, don't we? Make sure your main character does too. It makes them real.
What works best is if it's part of their story. Let's go with that last example for a second, the tightwad. Maybe he's a tightwad because he grew up in a family with an iffy housing situation. Maybe the guy on the corner kinda looks like his deadbeat dad, and he gives money to this guy because he thinks about that man's children.
Or maybe that career woman was raised by a mom who never wanted kids, and so even though her own children were a surprise, she's careful to never make them feel unwanted the way she did as a child.
It's amazing what kind of subplots this exercise can build. Have fun with it!