Crafting Dynamic Voice and Relatable Character for Young Readers

Crafting Dynamic Voice and Relatable Character for Young Readers

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Interiority is key to character development. It's defined as the thoughts, feelings, and reactions of your protagonist (or POV character). Developing a rich inner life for your fictional people directly inspires reader investment in your story. But many writers have questions about interiority. What's the difference between sharing thoughts and telling? Is portraying a character's physical experience enough? How can interiority help me create a compelling plot? What's too much interiority, or not enough? Over the years, Mary has learned that interiority is a key tool in a writer's toolbox when it comes to developing character. As with everything else about the fiction craft, it's all about finding the right balance and applying it in your work. If you struggle with fleshing out your protagonist or secondary cast, or if you simply want to make sure the character in your head is coming across on the page, join Mary as we dive into this fascinating topic. Not only will this idea be immediately applicable to your WIP, but Mary hopes it will also stay with you, grow, and evolve throughout your writing life.


Mary Kole is a former California and New York literary agent for Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Movable Type Literary. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco and worked as an editorial intern at Chronicle Books. She has spoken at over 75 writer's conferences and workshops across the world, and has recently been teaching the concept of interiority almost exclusively. Her blog on children's writing and publishing,, receives an average of 17,000 hits per month and has been around since 2009. Her writing guidebook is Writing Irresistible Kidlit (Writer's Digest Books, 2012). She currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, dogs, and cat, and works as a freelance editor with over 500 clients per year.

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