C — Character


Today’s letter and post is courtesy of Judith Natelli McLaughlin, author of the Mackenzie Goode Makes a Mistake series.

When I heard about this A – Z blog challenge, I was enormously excited. I knew I wanted to participate, but I also knew I didn’t want to pick my letter. I wanted a letter assigned to me so I could really hit the blank page with no preconceived ideas. Well, I was assigned the letter “C.” The funny thing is, if I were to have picked a letter it would have been “C.” Ha!

Why? Because I write across genres. I write chapter books, middle grade novels, and contemporary fiction. I am not a plot driven writer. So what do I concentrate on?


The common thread that defines all my writing is: character. My books are all character driven stories. I choose to explore characters with mental health issues, those who have experienced loss, the superstars, the over achievers, those who battle addiction, anxiety and self-doubt. My characters make mistakes. My characters learn from their mistakes. They are funny, insecure, filled with bravado, skinny, overweight, in bad relationships, in good relationships. They talk. They hide. They suffer. They gloat. In other words, they are you and me. Or your best friend, cousin, mother, brother or sister. You get it. They are real with many layers and much to love about them (even when you hate them).

So C is for CHARACTER. I really like the slogan for the TBS television network: Characters Welcome. Because that is how I feel when I write. I open my mind and say “characters welcome.” I want my readers to relate to my characters, like them, hate them, but mostly feel for them, because like my readers, my characters are human, too.

Tell us… What do you love the most about character-driven stories? When you write, how do you go about creating believable, likable, well-rounded characters?



JudyJudith Natelli McLaughlin has been writing for as long as she can remember. The first book she ever wrote she bound with masking tape. For Judith that was exactly how a real book was supposed to look. She still loves to write and illustrate books but she no longer use masking tape to bind them. She publishes across genres, including children’s chapter books, poetry books, middle grade and women’s fiction.

A native of New Jersey, Judith lives with her husband, Brian, her three daughters, Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie, and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.

You can follow Judith on her website, FacebookTwitter, and Amazon.

2 thoughts on “C — Character

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