Posts Tagged ‘children’s novels’

In The Apartment (script by Billy Wilder and  I.A.L. Diamond ), the 2 protagonists are C.C. Baxter, an insurance clerk (whose apartment is much in demand by four executives for their extramarital activities) and Miss Kubelik, an elevator operator in the insurance company (who is described by Baxter as a “perfectly respectable girl”).

Then there’s Miss Olsen. She is secretary to Jeff Sheldrake who is head of Personnel. Miss Olsen appears in only a few scenes, yet, she personifies multiple archetypes—shape-shifter; herald, but also threshold guardian; antagonist, but also ally. Her character fascinates me. Baxter’s and Kubelik’s heroes’ journeys would not have begun if not for the action of this not-so-minor character.

For more information about the movie







C.C. Baxter -  portrayed by Jack Lemmon

Miss Kubelik – Shirley MacLaine

Jeff Sheldrake – Fred MacMurray

Dr. Dreyfuss-  Jack Kruschen

Miss Olsen – Edie Adams





May your major and not-so-minor characters be memorable!

I recommend your studying The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler and The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson.

Happy writing and rewriting!

Editor / Manuscript Consultant / Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Teresa is author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Teresa is author of Love Made of Heart

Coach Teresa edits manuscripts (contemporary novels; thrillers; children’s novels; memoirs) for authors who want to attract agents  & publishers  OR  want to be their own publishers.


Coach Teresa, what does it mean when an agent says my story is episodic?

Authors of novels, memoirs, children’s novels–this advice is for you.

Episodic = This happens, then this happens, then that happens… An episodic story is not compelling because there’s no connection between character growth and action plotline.

The answer: Show the transformation of your protagonist(s) . . . not because “things happen to her/him” but because her/his choices/behavior lead her/him to the next step, to the next step, as she/he goes after what she/he wants.

Examine every scene. Ask yourself this question: What does your protagonist want in this scene?  What is she/he afraid of?  Who/What is the antagonist in this scene?

As Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson says:  “When the dramatic action changes the character at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significant.”

Re-read your favorite book that has a similar premise as yours.

Cheering for writers!
Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Want to attract agents  & publishers?  Want to be your own publisher?

Email:  writingcoachTeresa    at

Coach Teresa  LeYung-Ryan

specializes in:   novels   / children’s novels  / memoirs


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