I ride my bike between 6-8 miles most mornings. And most mornings, I pass this amazing tree on the banks of a stream. The thing I love most about this tree is the root system. The roots stretch out for yards in each direction, supporting and holding up the tree. It moves me every time I see it. And it always makes me think about the characters in our books being the “roots” that hold it up. Without solid, well-crafted characters to uphold the narrative, a storyline will fall flat. If readers aren’t able to connect with our characters, then we haven’t created a root system that will carry them through to the end of the book. Action is necessary to move a story along, but we must never forget that well-developed characters are what drive the action. They will always be the most fundamental part of the stories we tell. Without engaging characters, we would be left with no story to tell at all.