I've been writing a short story for about a year. The story is a coming of age story about a kid stuck in a small town where options are limited and he is forced to try and find a way out to progress. I've written the story three different ways and still can't seem to find out what is missing and why the story isn't working. I've recently reread the story and I feel like the problem is characterization. Upon reading the story the characters just don't seem real enough to me, I'm wondering what would help them become real and what can do?