***Super-duper amateur writer alert...go easy! :redface: *** I'm continually finding inspirations for creating compelling characters. Yes, they tend to be the people you find in young adult, non-fantasy fiction...yet, the vast majority (and, unsurprisingly, all of the ones I actually like) pass those lovely Mary Sue "litmus tests" with flying colors. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with them... The frustrating reality is that every one of the interesting, realistic, developed (as much as they can be) characters, settings and 1/2 page vignettes I've relished creating sits, metaphorically molding, in a folder on my desktop entitled "Ideas." I am yet to synthesize an engaging, believable plot for one of those "Ideas." Where do I find inspiration for creating the plot?! I read voraciously. I talk to people. I watch people. Every plot I begin ends up a complete rip-off of something I've read or heard...or else it grinds to a miserable halt before it ever goes anywhere.